THE WOLFSBURG PROJECT.

Since 1955 thousands of Italian men worked in Wolfsburg, the city of Volkswagen. Many of them were employed in the car industry
for a limited period of time. Others married German women or were joined there by their wives.

The anecdotal past of those who stayed is preserved in the family photo albums of these retired workers, in the picturesque interiors of some bars
reminiscent of southern Italy, and in the towering chimneys of the old power station dominating the town.
The memories of the past and the chronicles of the present reverberate in the slang of the German-born Italian youths
and in the timeless aspirations of recently arrived relatives and friends who once again seek fortune in the ‘biggest Italian village beyond the Alps’.

I arrived here with my own purpose as well. I started undressing this industrial city erected upon a modern alchemy that transforms metal into cars,
fosters consumerism, and praises wellbeing, so as to unveil the hidden emotional and identity dilemmas of its inhabitants.
I tried to capture the town’s aesthetics, symbols, and mythology.I wrote down others’ phone numbers, aspirations, and disaffections. And while on this exercise
of voyeurism, I gradually became a part of this narrative.

PROYECTO WOLFSBURG.

Desde 1955 miles de italianos pasaron por Wolfsburg, la ciudad de Volkswagen. Muchos de ellos trabajaron en la industria del automóvil
por un periodo de tiempo limitado. A otros, sus familias les siguieron o se casaron con mujeres alemanas. El pasado picaresco de estos trabajadores
está preservado en sus álbumes familiares, en los interiores de algunos bares típicamente italianos
y en las imponentes chimeneas de la antigua central eléctrica que aún dominan la ciudad.

La memoria del pasado y las crónicas del presente reverberan en la jerga de los jóvenes italianos nacidos en Alemania y en las renovadas aspiraciones
de familiares y amigos en búsqueda de fortuna, otra vez más, en esta colonia italiana más allá de los Alpes.

Yo también vine aquí con mi propio propósito. Empecé a quitar las capas de esta ciudad erigida sobre una sobria alquimia que transforma
la materia en automóviles, fomenta el consumo y alaba el bienestar. Traté de desvelar el sentimiento de sus habitantes, resolver sus dilemas
e interpretar sus símbolos.  Anoté sus números de teléfono, sus aspiraciones y sus desafectos.
Y, en este ejercicio de voyerismo, me convertí gradualmente en una parte de la historia que quería contar.

 

Born in 1985 in Turin, Italy. Graduated in International Political Sciences with a Dissertation on the Italian immigrant
community living in Wolfsburg, the town of Volkswagen. He hold a Master Degree in International Migration and
Intercultural Relations from the University of Osnabrück (Germany). Stefano likes to take pictures since his childhood.
During the last years his dedication to the photography grow progressively: in 2009 he led a photographic project
involving youngster living in a centre for asylum seekers in Germany; one year later he attended a workshop on
documentary photography 
in Granada.
Since then he is trying to devote more time and labor to his favorite pastime.
He is currently living in Barcelona and the TOET is his first photographic project.
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