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The "House of Rights Don Gallo"

Mara Scampoli | Italy

This report was produced over several months at the "House of Rights Don Gallo" an occupied building in the center of Padua from December 2013 until March 2017. At Don Gallo House live over 50 African migrants. Most of the people at Casa Don Gallo have a permit to stay in Italy, but after the time needed to obtain documents, they are due out of the protection system. Formally, they are non-residents and therefore are not eligible for accommodation or economic aid and are in a "gray limbo" of irregulars, without civil rights. In the House there is no hot water,  electricity, or gas. Despite the precarious conditions, residents are still organized to live in the most dignified way as possible.

For several months there was negotiations with municipal offices to enable a path for integration.Casa Don Gallo is now closed -- most of the residents have been relocated in cooperatives that offered  accommodations and a job. However, some of them were not accepted in the inclusion paths and are back on the road again.

I live in Padova, Italy where I work as psychotherapist, mainly dealing with clinical and community psychology. I began the study of photography as a means of personal expression and as new research tool in the field of human relations. I studied at the IRFOSS-Research Institute of Social Sciences of Padua learning the basics of documentary photography and visual anthropology. My works ranges from street photography to travel photography, with focus on social interaction and its representation; lately I'm engaged in documentary projects and long-term projects of social inquiry. My work "Women of Srebrenica" was selected for the 2016 edition of the festival "Mediterranean: photographs between land and sea" http://www.mediterraneofotografia.eu/web/ and exhibited in various italian cities. The reportage "The house of rights Don Gallo" was instead selected for the 2017 edition of the"Mediterranean: photographs between land and sea" festival. My works had been published in several on line magazines as Positive Magazine, SDN, Melting Pot, Winess Journal, The Post Internazionale.

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