Ludovicu by Mariano Silletti


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Ludovicu’s disappearance. He arrived in Montescaglioso ( Italy ), with his family, from Romania . Ludovicu was 57 years old and he was suffering from Alzheimer.

One day in December 2013, he went out from his home and he never came back. Veronica, his wife, waited for him for hours.  She  finally  came to our police station.

Ludovicu’s story has touched my heart. I am a police officer and I have a passion for photography .  I did not want this story to be forgotten. In the Winter, it becomes dark very early. Ludovicu’s home is located in the town center. Everything had the taste of poverty. The walls were damp with peeling paint. Veronica was very heartbroken and tired. We needed her husband’s clothes: she slowly gave us his trousers and some of his underwear. The dogs had to sniff them so as to find a trace of the man.

We would  like to give some hope to Veronica. We would like to fight the evil premonitions and try to find her husband. We tried to find him in the countryside, we entered the abandoned cottages. Where we found other stories, we came across  other women and men’s lives. It was such a melancholic winter. While we were trying to find him, we stumble in so many different lifestyles. We came across other emigrants, the shepherds, the peasants and the citizens from our town. I looked at them with different eyes. Our  search was persistent, my goals were out of focus. I had come across a mystery and suddenly I realized it. I saw fear and pain. A man suddenly disappears without any trace. I was surrounded by shadows and I wanted them to vanish. After  winter, spring came. I wanted to find some encouragement even in these obscure months. Uptil now, no traces have been found of  Ludovicu’s  disappearance.

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Outside the police station, surrounded by fog.

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It was possible to breathe the poverty in the air.  Just like the dust , lying on the furniture and ascending the wet and  peeling walls. It was similar to a thin cloth that covered the whole home.  Nevertheless, everything was tidy. Austerity wasfought  by the meticulous, even if little, details and the almost exasperated dignity: the bed was made, there were some materials covering the holes in the wall, the clothes were all pleated and tidy.

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We have worked with our colleagues from the canine unit. We had to have some of Ludovicu’s clothes.

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During the winter, it becomes dark very early.  During the search it seemed to darken even  earlier. I suddenly discover a melancholic and austere winter landscape. But we are stubborn, every detail is precious for our search.

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Information from one of the  many car drivers stopped during the searches.

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One of the so many abandoned cottages that we  controlled.

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Inside these abandoned cottages we come across other stories, it seems a novel with a lot of chapters. Other Rumenian people try to hide themselves from us. We realize how  each one of them have their own misery. We start our searches again.

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One of my colleagues  has to get ready for the  roadblocks inside and outside the town.

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The stories in this novel are not finished. During the searches we found many other stories. We found other  emigrants, other shepherds, other peasants…

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To tell this story I usually used the blur effect. I wanted my lens to be more faithful as possible. We were surrounded by shadows that did not want to vanish. I was trying to find the light, so  as to enlighten these dark months. A real comfort from night and darkness. Ludovicu is still hiding. Somewhere the darkness is still surrounding him.

About Mariano Silletti

I was born in 1972 in Pisticci, i live in Matera (Italy). My personal photographic research explores issues such as street photography end reportage documentary. I am part of the group of italian street photography InQuadra. [Official Website]


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