«Displacement is a journey through cities that change after being abandoned, lost to reconstruction. It’s a journey through loss without disappearance. The loss of the city-body, which we don’t want to grieve, but rather recover in the ways a community spontaneously rebuilds a sense of intimacy with its own surroundings.

We came to L’Aquila to recount the city’s new life after it lost its historic centre, and its inhabitants were relocated to the outskirts. We found a city made up of empty streets, new properties on sale, old buildings reemerging from the ruins as hotels, banks or shops, whose population lives in the remote New Towns, a suburbia of dormitories where shopping centres have replaced the old piazzas.

The result is a cartography of change, where words and images strive to delicately and intimately approach the abandoned and almost disarticulated city. Here, what seems peripheral becomes central, and disorientation is tangible, as in other suburbs around the world: inside and outside overlap, blend into each other and fade in the dark. The same darkness where souls search for themselves and for each other.

It’s the dead of night, and L’Aquila is shrouded in darkness. We can’t hear anything. We can’t see anything. We are scared, but also slightly excited. It’s those houses, hollow, empty. Life rushes out coarsely, haphazardly, out of those bleak holes. The darkness of an unlit city is thick, deeply sunk into the walls. It is unlike any other. The loss of L’Aquila’s identity contributes to our feeling of displacement. The city is unrecognizable. Old streets have retained their names, but they are no longer what they used to be. Never mind those street names, we say to ourselves. It’s where they lead to that matters now. After the great mass exodus, the displacement, the dispersion. We’ve become lost too.» — Caterina Serra

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Giovanni Cocco
(Sulmona, 1973) In 1998 he began a long-term project on the life of his sister Monia, disabled from birth. For this project he is awarded the second prize at the Emerging Photographer Grant of Burn Magazine - Magnum Foundation and recommended by the jury of the Roger Pic Award from Scam in Paris, which dedicates him an exhibition at the Mois de la Photo in 2012. In 2016 Monia wins the PDN Award and receives the Grant from the Reminder Photography Stronghold Gallery, awarded with a personal exhibition in Tokyo. With the same work he creates a self-publishing book and is awarded the TOP Fedrigoni Award in 2017. From 2007 to 2010 he completes Burladies, a series of portraits on the life of women in the world of Burlesque, exhibited at the MART in Trento and Rovereto in 2010. With the same work he is selected by the VII International Agency, where he will remain for two years, covering numerous reports for international magazines.
Since 2013 he has been collaborating with the Italian writer Caterina Serra on the projects Displacement, and A che ora chiude Venezia, analysis and investigation of photography and writing on the transformation and homologation of historic cities in Italy exhibited at the MACRO of Rome on the occasion of the International Photography Festival in 2015 and published by Postcart Edizioni (2021). In 2018 he won the public tender of the municipality of Rome Contemporaneamente with the project Plantarium - piccolo atlante botanico della Garbatella within the Garbatella Images program. The work is exhibited at 10B Gallery and Page Blanche gallery during Paris Photo.

Caterina Serra
Writer and screenwriter, in 2006 she won the Paola Biocca prize for literary reportage with Chiusa in una stanza sempre aperta, from which the reportage novel Tilt (Einaudi, 2008) originated. Her second book Padreterno was also released in 2015 by Einaudi. She is the screenwriter of documentary films such as Napoli Piazza Municipio (Bruno Oliviero, Award for the best documentary film at the Turin Film Festival, 2008), of Parla con lui (Elisabetta Francia, 2010) and author of the subject and script of Piccola Patria (Alessandro Rossetto, Venice '70 Orizzonti section, 2013). With the same director she worked on the film presented at the '76 Venice Film Festival The Domino Effect based on the novel by Romolo Bugaro, Einaudi. She collaborated in the design of Immemoria with the choreographer and dancer Francesco Ventriglia, Teatro alla Scala, Milan, May 2010. She is the creator and playwright of the performance Somapolis, MACRO, Rome 2019. She is the author of Displacement - New Town No Town, (photographs by Giovanni Cocco), a writing and photography project, exhibited at the MACRO in Rome as part of the 2015 International Photography Festival and of Displacement published from Postcart Edizioni, December 2021. She is the creator and co-author of Quello che vede l’acqua, an editorial project in collaboration with LAC Arte Cultura Lugano and IUAV Teatro and ArM Performative, Venice, May 2021. She is the author of Intravista, in In fiamme, La performance nello spazio delle lotte (1967-1979), Bruno editore, September 2021. She collaborates as an author with various publications including Il Manifesto and Domani, and online magazines as OperaViva and Minima et Moralia. She is the creator and author of the Viral magazine Alcol/:id19. She is writing her third novel.