III section – Valerio Bispuri

III section – Valerio Bispuri


He’s living in Buenos Aires.

He’s a professional reporter since 2001 and collaborates with numerous Italian and international magazines for example L’Espresso, Il Venerdì, Internazionale, Le Monde, Stern. He has made reportages in Africa, Asia, Middle East but in Latin America Valerio has worked for a long time. After his work Encerrados (a ten years photographic journey through 74 South American prisons) he has decided to explore the prisoners’world in the Italian jails. “Prigionieri” with “Encerrados” and “Paco” are a trilogy about the lost freedom. This second trip in the jail universe intends to know the conditions and the daily life of prisoners in Italian holding facilities, trying to figure out their needs, emotions and problems.

Prisons are the mirror of society: in Italy there are 190 prisons of whom 55 are female. He has been in 10 jails for four years and realized all the problems about overcrowding, and unemployment for prisoners insecure structures. In last years there has been a little improvement in some jails, but prisoners’ conditions are still extremely hard. In these “not-places” people deprived of their freedom try to restore their patterns, affections, finding an alternative for the future but it doesn’t exist because the State doesn’t make an effort to help prisoners outside so most of them come back to jail.

He has been in maximum-security facilities were mafia and camorra men are (Poggioreale in Naples and Ucciardone in Palermo). He has visited penal colonies where prisoners are partially free and can work out from penitentiary, as Isili in Sardinia. He has visited female penitentiaries for example the ancient convent in Venice, San Vittore in Milan or female Rebibbia in Rome. He has been in little jail dimensions and in enormous penitentiary institutes . He has had the opportunity to observe new buildings as Capanne prison in Perugia or little institutes as S.Angelo dei Lombardi. But he has mostly been in close contact with prisoners: he has had lunch in their cells, listened to their tales, he has shared their tears and their laughs. They has lived the daily moments. These images are the result of those experience. So he’s sure that the prison couldn’t be only a punishment but also it could give a new possibility. In these years he has had the opportunity to know this world that has given him the idea of great loneliness. Prisoners are always in contact but alone at the same time in every moment. “Prigionieri” is a project that wants to find the soul of these human beings without freedom. It is a work of anthropological, sociological and photographic analysis about man and part of a greater research about the world of invisible men. Those ones who are forgotten and outcast.

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