Buenos Aires, Isla Maciel. The guys smoke a joint in their favorite place in the Isla, a former dump site in the old harbor area where they often gather to isolate, spend time in solitude, talk. The place is highly contaminated by the quaint Riachuelo flowing a few inches from them. They don’t care about the risk they run for their health. They love dangers and always live to the limit risking a lot. Life does not have a very high price for so many kids who live in these conditions and it is constantly threatened. All of them at least once in life thought of committing suicide. Riachuelo is one of the most contaminated rivers in the world. Its dirty waters delimit borders and people who have their houses in its proximity live in alarming conditions.

Karl Mancini

Amores Perros


In Buenos Aires the dirty waters of Riachuelo delimit borders and people who have their houses in its proximity live in alarming conditions. On one side it is Capital Federal, on the other it is Avellaneda, here Buenos Aires, there the Province. One of the suburbs on the river is called Isla Maciel. Amores Perros is a story of love and pain, a story of skin, street, drug, fight and violence. It is the story of some adolescents. Their stories are the stories of many Argentinean boys and girls who grow up on the streets, to whom the drug Paco has been sold since the age of eight years old because cocaine is too expensive (20 pesos is the cost of a dose of Paco, just over one euro), whose effects last about two minutes and condemn people to life of dependence and slavery, often to death.



Wrath, pain, impotence, misery not only economic are their daily lives. Everyone has inherited this situation by many factors: a family that doesn’t exist, violent, addicted or alcoholic parents, an absent government that ignores suburbs, a police often corrupt and accomplice who often comes to terms with the narcos. They have no life’s expectations. Being together is the only way to support each other, spending their days walking without rest looking for food, relieving anger in their raps, loving carnally and, at the same time, fighting like dogs.

A few minutes from the touristic and colorful barrio of la Boca (meaning due to the fact that it overlooks a stretch of Riachuelo, one of the most contaminated rivers in the world that flows into the Rio de la Plata) just taking a boat where an improvised Caronte drives you through the marsh waters to the opposite shore, it is possible to reach La Isla Maciel. It can also be reached by crossing the recently constructed Nicolas Avellaneda bridge, on both sides of which many drug dealers wait for phantoms who are looking for their goods.

La Isla was founded by Italian immigrants and port workers who dared to cross in the river and settle into what once was a swamp surrounded by the waters of Rio de la Plata, the dirty Riachuelo and the steam Maciel. Over time, a highway was constructed that cuts half the Isla delimiting two new zones, the favela of Villa Trankila and the Dock Sur with its towers and thanks to an infrastructure project over the past 10 years, Isla has lost its insular condition.

This division is now theater of conflicts, a war for territorial control made by Narcos groups. The only truce is possible on every Sunday in the football field located in the center of the Isla, where San Telmo plays, the barrio team, the team of everyone.



People who live in neighborhood like this are often labeled as criminals, discriminated, relieved of any opportunity to improve their status, to have access to structures that can help them or achieve a different job and future for themselves and their families. Abandoned people who organize themselves to not die. Here there are cases of 12-year-old’s adolescents who want to kill themselves having no life’s expectations. Being together is the only way to support each other. Some guys struggle to keep themselves from dying, others let themselves go with no chances to come back.




Karl Mancini (b.1978) is an Italian documentary photographer based out of Rome and Buenos Aires. He studied photojournalism in New York at the International Center of Photography (ICP). Since 2001 he has worked in more than 90 countries, with a particular preference for Asia and South America, as a freelance photojournalist and writer, following socio-historical and political events and focusing on issues such as gender violence (to which he is working on since 12 years), war aftermaths, minorities, human rights, migration, the tragic story of landmines. His longterm work “Ni una menos” about the feminicide and violence against women has been shortlisted at the Sony World Photography Award 2017, won the 3rd prize at the Luis Valtuena Humanitarian Photography Award, the 2nd prize at Days Japan International Photojournalism Award 2018, the 2nd prize at the Kolga Awards 2017 and was finalist at Lugano Photo Days 2017. His works have also been exhibited in USA, England, Russia, Australia, India, Japan, Italy, Greece, Spain, Switzerland and in many important international festivals, earning him several awards in many prestigious competitions. His stories have been featured in some of the most prominent magazines and newspapers from all over the world and he regularly collaborate with International NGOs and international magazines and newspapers such as Newsweek, Stern Magazine, Der Spiegel, Marie Claire, CNN, Vanity Fair, Internazionale, Amnesty International Wordt Vervolgd, El Pais, El Mundo, Io Donna, NZZ am Sonntag, Woz, il Venerdi, La Repubblica and many others. In 2014 he was selected as one of the Emerging European Talents by the online magazine LensCulture and was one of the finalists at Portfolio Italia-Fiaf. In 2015 he published his first book, ITALIANSKIJ, about the Italian community in Crimea persecuted during the Stalinian Purges.

He’s currently working on violence against women extending his long term project ‘Ni una menos’ to the other Latin American countries where the situation is alarming. The common line that sadly connect so many and different countries is gender violence in all its aspects (domestic, psychological, physical, economic, institutional, cultural, obstetrical). He strongly believes that it’s very important to give visibility and voice to victims who doesn’t have it, inspiring more of them to come forward to tell their stories and bring pressure on the governments. At the same time he’s working on an other long term “La linea invisible” about life in the suburbs of South America through the eyes of the youngsters.

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