Books in da ‘hood – Pietro Bernocchi

Books in da ‘hood – Pietro Bernocchi

I walked the streets of Milan Isola neighbourhood with a bag full of photobooks in search of some intriguing encounters and images to take, letting appearances guide me – after all, they are how we present ourselves to the world,  in the eyes of others. Even if we don’t always realise it, they tell a lot about us.

So, wandering around with my camera slung over my shoulder and my bag under my arm, when someone inspired me I would ask if they would be interested in having their picture taken while flipping through one of the books I had with me. Some were offended (I wonder why!), others welcomed the unexpected suggestion and gladly participated. 

I never had a specific image in mind and experimented. I liked the idea of making new connections between people in the neighbourhood and places, photography, books.

So I spent a few days doing this and these are the final images: photographs of people with their faces covered by books; looking at them, I enjoy imagining the hidden faces, the eyes hidden by books … will they have changed their mind about photography?

– Pietro Bernocchi


Pietro wanders around our neighbourhood guided by his sensibility for color and composition and the good vibes of passers-by.  When inspired, he asks someone to pose with an open book covering his or her face. This, plus a pinch of randomness.

Very likely, Pietro documented the first encounter of our faceless subjects with photobooks. We know these books well, and smile wondering what kind of expression is hiding behind the covers:  what did  the elderly gentleman in front of the newsstand think seeing the photographs of half-naked young men collected by Vince Aletti and published in SPBH’s book? What about the construction workers, did they nod at each other looking at the buildings photographed by the Becher? And did the lady sitting at the hairdresser’s try to find inspiration for her next haircut?

We will never know. But Pietro has used the photobook as an instrument to establish a relationship -even if only for a few minutes – with other people, at the same time bringing his (and our) passion for photography to the streets of our neighborhood, prompting people to briefly immerse themselves in worlds they may not have imagined before.

– Eugenio Tonoli

With this project, Pietro Bernocchi, a Brera Academy student temporarily collaborating with Micamera, ends his curricular internship. Thank you Pietro and good luck!