Text by Gaia Vendettuoli.
Edition of 500
110 x 190 mm
Andrea Alessandrini’s photobook Piccola Russia sets its roots in the neighbourhood of Valle Aurelia, just west of Vatican City in Rome. Its ancient clay deposits once formed the basis of a thriving brick production district, with sooty kilns tempering what became the building blocks of the wider city. The kilns soon attracted a small workers’ village, which was later engulfed by the growth of Rome. In more modern times, those same blackened kilns closed up, and as the workers and their families drifted away, much of the old village was bulldozed to make room for apartment blocks; in recent years, the redevelopment has continued, with more bulldozers making room for a new commercial district, to be filled with shops, restaurants, and a supermarket. The unlikely nickname of the neighbourhood (and Alessandrini’s book) comes from a speech by Lenin, who apparently once found the valley to be a model for communal life.
About the Artist
Andrea Alessandrini is an Italian artist born and based in Rome. He studied documentary photography at the Roman School of Photography, at LUZ and at D.O.O.R. Academy. He works on long-term personal projects and is one of the photo-lab coordinators at the CivicoZero centre for young migrants in Rome, founded by Save the Children. His works have been exhibited at the SI FEST OFF 2017 in Savignano sul Rubicone and at the Gibellina PhotoRoad 2019. His book Piccola Russia was shortlisted at MACK First Book Award 2020, Fiebre Dummy Award and PHOTO 2020 x Perimeter International Photobook Prize.
About the Publisher
Witty Books is an independent publishing house that aims to promote contemporary photography and visual arts. Our mission focuses on the diffusion and education of the images. Witty Books was founded in 2012 with the name of Witty Kiwi by Tommaso Parrillo.