I always feel something working powerfully inside me when I’m walking in Centocelle; it’s a feeling I cannot name. When I reach the Forte, I meet Gabriele Pulcini, who holds a degree in Public and Business Communication. His eyes bright, he tells me about Forte Prenestino, built in 1880 as one of the fifteen outposts located along the major Roman roads for defence. By the end of the nineteenth century, the fort was no longer in function. It became a barracks and was later abandoned until the occupation of 1986, when it became a CSOA (self-managed occupied community centre). His eyes sparkle suddenly. Gabriele has a story to tell. It has all the markings of a physical journey because it leaves a memory and a certain sensitivity that only photography grain can offer. Two traintracks stretch off into the distance in search of authenticity, the weave of the photography project Gabriele wants to realize on the spot he attended as a boy, and which he rediscovered in 2013, returning home after an interrail travel, alone with his Nikon D60.“To find fantastic things you need to have the ability to see past your own nose,” he tells me. And the Forte is a coagulation of stories, penetrated by that authenticity that he had been able to glimpse only in the backwardness of Eastern Europe countries. “In contrast to the disneyization that neutralizes places and the human presence there, where the added value surpasses the value of the place,” the Forte and its neighbourhood (Prenestino-Centocelle)continue to see human presence as added value, despite the changes over the decades. The old-fashioned rotisserie, the ancient trattoria, the little coffee bar. On Sundays, from one o’clock on, the streets are deserted except for the smell of lasagne and oranges. An authentic childhood place - that is the powerful feeling that until now I had not been able to name.
The story has been written by Maria Teresa Sammarco, writer.
Gabriele’s sensibility for photography tells stories that pervade the self-managed community centre of Forte Prenestino.