Inside Issue 7: Ronni Campana and the beautiful but battered cars

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Each object has a soul, each object carries incredibly important and unique stories. There are things that remind us of indelible memories of our youth and adolescence, objects that have a particular scent or that allow us to return to the past with a crooked smile.Cars are not just vehicles on four wheels and with a motor, they are a metal box full of memories, travels, songs, smiles and tears. Car is that object that in difficult moments allowed you to escape, which allowed you to sing loudly embarrassing songs. It is that object with which you bring home the first love. Each car has its own story, its own smell, its past that deserves to be remembered and told.

The Italian photographer Ronni Campana with his project on cars is able to draw our attention to the wonderful defects present in everyday life and the importance that everyday objects have.

“I still recall the rumbling sound of its wheels on the concrete. Every time I steered, I left lasting traces on the ground, as I was balancing the turn with the weight of my body. When hitting top speed, I used to squint my eyes, as if that helped me focus.

Bright red, carefully polished after every use, without bothering too much about the scratches on the surface: beautiful scars of our adventures and our deep bond. I was six years old, and that was the very first car I owned, barely as big as my hand.

My dad’s car is ugly enough to be considered beautiful. He has been driving the same one for fifteen years, because “the cars made nowadays are not me- ant to last. They break too soon.” His car is actually still functioning properly, even though the sounds it does are nothing but reassuring. When we drive back home and it’s getting late, I usually fall asleep, cradled by the waving sounds of the highway.

Oddly enough, I owned my first (petrol powered) car even before getting my license. All my friends had theirs bought by their parents, but mine didn’t have to. I started saving for it when I was thirteen. After three years I had put aside the astonishing sum of seven hundred and twenty-three euros. Luckily, I managed to find a proper job the year after, since pocket money was clearly not enough. I spent two years working as a lifeguard, and believe it or not, that was enough to buy a proper car. Not the one everybody gets when they turn eighteen. It was not secondhanded. It was not inherited by some forgot- ten great uncle. It was the precisely the car I wanted. The model I wanted. The color I wanted.

Ten years later I am still driving that very car, which looks the same, except for all the little pieces held together by bits of tapes, and paper wrapped to create the needed pressure to avoid joints and covers to fall down. I gave my first kiss on its hood.

Cars might just be vehicles to many people, but beneath those bended metal plates there are hundreds of stories that stay hidden and undisclosed to every- body, but their owners.
I loved every car I owned, and each of them was somehow incredibly beautiful.”

“words by a storyteller — Alessandro De Agostini”

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Time to read
3 min
Words by
Published on
27 December 2018
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