|Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood is one of its most characteristic, for its tradition, history, and beauty. However, starting in the 1970s, the area’s ongoing gentrification has caused it lose part, if not all, of the tradition that made it so unique. Currently, most of it’s older residents no longer live in Trastevere and return only for the historic Festa de’ Noantri (celebration of “Us Others”), that is held every year. |
In occasion of the exhibition and the presentation of his book, a number of photographers, both amateur and professional from Trastevere were invited to partecipate, photographers, that have captured images of the feast over many years, with the intent of reviving attention around this historic event that is eroding over time, as well as creating a network of photographers with whom to exhibit yearly a collection of work on the feast.
Should a tourist venture into Trastevere in mid-July they would find themselves surrounded by a unique, ancestral spectacle: the feast of the Madonna of Carmine. Historically, the feast was one of the most important of Italy’s capital with myriad events throughout the neighborhood, such as theatrical performances, concerts featuring traditional roman songs, boxing matches, as well as a race run by waiters from local restaurants and bars. The most important, though, and perhaps the only elements to have withstood time, are the processions of the Madonna of Carmine, also known as the Madonna Fiumarola or the river Madonna. There are two, one that snake through the streets of Trastevere and the other on a boat along the Tiber river..
If the procession has persisted through time, it is perhaps due almost entirely to the secular Brotherhood of the Holy Sacrament and the Holy Madonna of Carmine, which since 1543 conserves and passes on the social and historic memory of this highly significant event. The feast was first held under the direction of Pope Paul III Farnese and has endured for five hundred years, withstanding also the forced dissolution of the Brotherhood ordered by the Savoy monarchy after the capture of Rome in 1870, and continues to embody the essence of an entire neighborhood. The Brotherhood today is composed of about one hundred and forty men and women and it remains one of the largest secular associations in Rome. Its members represent the remaining autochthonous residents of the area and for two weeks a year are successful in returning Trastevere to its traditional past.
Written by “Ilventriloco” for the book “Noantri Oggi”