Roma. Never Walk On Crowded Streets – Giovanna Silva


Nero Editions, 2021
Hardback, 12×16 cm
640 pages, colot photographs
English and Italian text

Available on backorder

Waiting Days: 7

In Never Walk on Crowded Streets there is no trace of the crowded, touristic Rome we are used to. Very few people are portrayed, swallowed up by all that material and detritus that is Rome’s urban make-up. Removing the crowds in Rome is an extreme gesture that creates a neutral zone in which it is easy to get lost.

“In the neighbourhoods where Rome is Rome, I would soon become Romanised. And I don’t want to become ‘romanised’. I am afraid of becoming ‘romanised’. Always”, writes Savinio in the text accompanying the images, taken from Scritti Dispersi (Adelphi, 1949).

Here, there are no architectural, street photography or reportage photos, here the camera – an iPhone – is reduced to a pure means of socio-anthropological knowledge. Giovanna Silva, probably overcome by the same fear as Savino, decided to take part in a call for proposals from the American Academy in Rome, to have artists and experts tell her about the city. Then she took a map, divided Rome into quadrants and started walking for months. She cared about seriality.

It is a phrase from Alberto Savinio’s short text, at the centre of the volume, that gives the book its title: ‘never walk on crowded streets’, quoted by Pythagoras. Also in the insert, a vivid description of the Parioli: “Nothing reminds one of Rome. This same district, as it is, could be detached from Rome and stuck to Montevideo, Barcelona, Auckland. Proverbially it is said that in Rome you don’t work. I deny this proverb. But if I work in Rome it’s because, although I’m in Rome, I’m not in Rome: I’m in Montevideo, I’m in Auckland: I’m in the Parioli district”.

Weight 1,5 kg


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