Gianluca [dʒanˈluka] was born and raised in a sunny seaside town in Tuscany. After eternal years gone by in the sweet languor of seemingly endless summers he moved north to study Slavic Languages in Berlin and Photojournalism in London. He spent the best time of his university years travelling and photographing around four continents and more than seventy countries.
During his journeys Gianluca fell hopelessly in love with the complex geopolitical and cultural heritage of a vanished land that used to be called Soviet Union. After many a trip to almost every corner of the former Evil Empire he is now loosely based between Berlin and the Caucasus, where he spends most of his time engaging in photographic, linguistic and gastronomic discoveries.
About ‘Living Rooms‘:
Living Rooms is a project focusing on the relationship between space and culture within Romany communities in Eastern Europe. The following images have been taken in Hungary and Slovakia over the course of four years and represent a segment of a larger series about the current status of Romany settlements in the Visegrád countries: Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Once quintessential nomadic people, Eastern European Roma have to face today the cultural constrictions and the practical hardships of a sedentary life. During the cold autumn and winter months the malfunctioning electrical infrastructures and absolute absence of a centralized heating system force most families to confine their lives into a single room of their homes.
This room is usually the only one to be furnished, painted and decorated and it is a symbol both of shame and pride: shame as a reminder of their misery, pride as a sign their resilient spirit and creativity.