In ROME 1970s, published by Daylight Books, North Carolina 2019, photographer Stephan Brigidi captures everyday life in Rome, the core of Italy, during turbulent times. The 1970s were difficult years for the country, full of violence, political unrest, social challenges, and economic instability.
Through portraiture, street work, urban views, and details of Rome and its surroundings, Brigidi’s images tell a story of how modern-day Italy came to be during a decade that challenged the progressive care free, “dolce vita” lifestyle.
Brigidi, who experienced firsthand the tension and events shaking Italy to the core, writes: “I think of the 1970s as a turning point in Italian life. The natural optimism inherent in Italian society was threatened. I could see it in the eyes of the people I passed each day on the streets.” Brigidi captured the shifting and uncertain moods of Italy by photographing his neighbors, fellow citizens, graffiti and architecture.
Domenico Dodaro writes in his introduction, “The photographs in this book tell of a young man becoming Roman by his own choice in exploring the streets and the people with undaunted curiosity …” Brigidi was confronted by some harsh realities, including his own arrest during a demonstration in the city. His choice to become Roman was made with little voluntary opportunity.
In her essay in ROME 1970s, curator and art historian Martina Tanga writes: “Brigidi’s camera lens penetrated Romans’ daily existence, recording the complexity of a decade that has since wished to be forgotten.” ROME 1970s offers viewers a chance to rediscover a far-reaching piece of Italy’s past.