Turin, Italy. “The People of the Baths” tells about a microcosm of stories, that intersects in one of
the most intimate and private aspects of life: the cleanliness of people´s bodies. A meeting place for social categories, once very distant, today much closer and having in common the same need.
Stories of italian citizens who have lived in fairly good conditions for many years, but in recent times have been catapulted in the category of the “new poor people”, whose average income is generally less than of 1000 euros pro months. They don t have any other chance than using this
service in order to cope with absolute poverty.
It's a place of clashes between shame and racism, where poverty often takes the shape of violence and anger. Despite this, public bathts are also place of integration that does not come from the acceptance but from real poverty. A precious space, because where poverty appears,feelings such as sharing, altruism, listening, become the principles for a new renaissance.
For us is an urgency to talk about the present and tell stories that are close to us, that belong to us. One of us, recently living in Turin, she wanted start from where she lives, her research on “new poverty”. From the beginning the place of the bathrooms was a revelation for both of us.
An important place, now rare, a veteran of past history, but which carries in itself preciousness. It was upsetting to discover all the news contained: one slice of Italians that because of the crisis are forced to make use of this service. Then took over the fascination with stories of the microcosm of humanity and integration. The bathrooms are in fact a place of conflicts, closeed in a forced encounter between poverty and different cultures, but space to gather and exchange, which borns from one of the most intimate aspects of personal care, washing and at the same time from the economic poverty . So we would like to talk about the complexity of this space with carefulness and sensitivity.