Mariano Silletti – Ludovicu

Mariano Silletti


Ludovicu’s disappearance. Ludovicu arrived in Montescaglioso (Italy), with his family, from Romania. Ludovicu was 57 years old and he was suffering from Alzheimer. One day in December 2013, he went out from his home and never came back. Veronica, his wife, waited for him for hours. She then finally came to our police station. Ludovicu’s story has touched my heart. I am a police officer, I have a passion for photography and I did not want this story to be forgotten. In wintertime it becomes dark very early. Ludovicu’s home is located in the town center. Everything there was silently screaming poverty. The walls were damped with peeling paint. Veronica was very heartbroken and tired. We needed her husband’s clothes: she slowly gave us his trousers and some of his underwear. The dogs had to sniff them so as to find a trace of the man. We would like to give some hope to Veronica. We would like to fight the evil premonitions and try to find her husband. We tried to find him in the countryside, we entered the abandoned cottages. Where we found other stories, we came across other women and men’s lives. It was such a melancholic winter. While we were trying to find him, we stumble in so many different lifestyles. We came across other emigrants, the shepherds, the peasants and the citizens from our town. I looked at them with different eyes. Our search was persistent, my goals were out of focus. I had come across a mystery and suddenly I realized it. I saw fear and pain. A man suddenly disappears without any trace. I was surrounded by shadows and I wanted them to vanish. After winter, spring came. I wanted to find some encouragement even in these obscure months. Until now, no traces have been found of Ludovicu’s disappearance. 




Mariano Silletti was born in Pisticci in 1972 and currently lives in Matera (Italy). He joined the Carabinieri Forces at a young age, in 1991. In 1997 he studied and attended a photography course in Bari. His photography captures scenes of ordinary life, stories of men and women he has come across during his duty as a Carabiniere. His photography is emotive, full of feelings and strength.

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Mariano Silletti

6 Responses to “Mariano Silletti – Ludovicu”

  • This is another essay that drove me immediately to look at the photographer’s website. There, you can see a short video of these photographs with a voice-over in Italian and subtitles in English — even more moving than seeing just the photographs (discounting the fact that everything sounds good in Italian!).

    I’m a sucker for expressionist photography, but these have a depth of sincerity that is neither easy to find nor to accomplish. The tragedy and sadness of Ludovico’s tale comes through in all of these photographs.

    I also like the high-contrast color shots on Mariano’s website.

  • Powerful stuff.

  • Poetry. A grim poem. A new look into the heart and through the eye of a cop. I hope you find out what became of Ludovico, that his wife may find peace. Joy would be good, but peace at least.

  • auto correct… try again Ludovicu

  • <3

    NOW THIS, to me, is how 'documentary/narrative' story telling should work…..(and i do NOT mean the style)….

    an episode in this police officers life than inspired him to go on not only a cinematic but existential question for the missing man….

    a police officer with camera….god, this for me, is a discovery….

    the same way that Simon Armitage's extraordinary poetry was often inspired by his work as a probation officer, so to these stories….

    and the story evokes so many haunted films (man facing southwest for example) and all the films haunted by disappearance…

    I would love to see this turned into a book or documentary…..

    i almost never come to Burn now just because im caving inside my own work, but what a joy to discover this story…

    heart break and all

    DIG DIG DIG DEEPER…and let us know how this goes over the next few years… may never find this man…but you may have found a compass point toward meaning…


  • Mariano, strong strong work. From deep inside. I know this story….a different time and place…but the same story. And it stings. And it’s painful. And these images carry the weight so well. Bravo.

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