In the countryside near Foggia, Italy there is a cluster of dilapidated shanties called the Grand Ghetto. These slum-like structures are inhabited by African immigrants who work as tomato pickers. Dario Bosio set out to document the harsh living conditions of these tomato pickers.
Bosio lived in the Ghetto, making friends with some of the workers. During his time there, Bosio faced confrontations about his right to document this group.
In an interview to privatephotoreview.com, Bosio said, “Many others have been here before me, they said, shooting and distributing pictures that – according to the workers – were largely unrelated to the image that the people portrayed have of themselves. It’s an image that hurts, an image that is far from their identity. I am not what I look like, was the key concept of [these] long speeches I had while I was trying to understand why people were so reluctant to be photographed.”
This, however, did not deter Bosio from meeting and interacting with all kinds of people – students, teachers, electricians, musicians, rebels. He came across people who saved money for years in the hope of a better future, who had been deceived by Europe’s prosperity and ended up in the Ghetto. “People [who] had to lose their identity to become tomato pickers,” Bosio goes on to say in the interview.
Bosio’s intent was to preserve the people’s right to represent themselves the way they wanted. “I did not want to exploit their appearance again, but rather collect hints and traces that could help me create an open narrative about their struggle to identify themselves with the pictures,” he said in the same interview.
Born in Italy, 1988 Bosio completed a course in Journalism and Media Studies at Florence University in 2013. In 2010, he volunteered for several months with an NGO in India. He interned at the NOOR Images office in Amsterdam. Bosio is currently based in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, where he works as a photo editor at Metrography the country’s first and only independent agency.
On The Identity Of A Tomato Picker is part of the exhibitions line-up for this edition of the Delhi Photo Festival starting on October 30 at the IGNCA, Delhi.