Raising a man

“Children don’t stay children forever; they have to grow up eventually. And yet, their childhood will always stay ingrained in them”, asserts Graziella. That conviction makes her cherish every moment she spends with her son.

Gabin Dante is 9 years, he’s visiting Arles for the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival. Graziella: “Gabin, you’re 9 years old now, you’re a big boy. Is photography something you would like to do? In order, to capture the world, capture the things you discovered, capture what you experimented so far?” Gabin Dante: “Yes, mummy. But it’s a lot! Every single moment I feel like I learn something new. Knowledge is water and I am a sponge, I absorb everything”

Gabin Dante and his mom are in Marseille for vacation. In a park, Gabin Dante stumbles upon a baby sparrow. It looks like it just fell down from its nest. The boy wants to adopt and nurture the baby, but first he has to convince his mother to agree to take it home. “Mum, I want to take care of him the same way you care for me. He just lost his mother. I can relate, I know I would be completely lost without you. Please, I want to assume that responsibility”.

Gabin Dante and his mom are in Marseille for vacation. In a park, Gabin Dante stumbles upon a baby sparrow. It looks like it just fell down from its nest. The boy wants to adopt and nurture the baby, but first he has to convince his mother to agree to take it home. “Mum, I want to take care of him the same way you care for me. He just lost his mother. I can relate, I know I would be completely lost without you. Please, I want to assume that responsibility”.

Gabin Dante: “Mum, am I a freak? I feel like time passes very slowly. My brain is so confused, it’s like mashed potatoes. I want to run away, disappear, Mum. My peers consider me uncool. Why do the other kids always steer away from intelligent children? Why did you make me like this?”

Gabin Dante remembers the conversation he once had with a classmate: “Alfredo, I don’t understand. Can you tell me why I am rejected by all the other kids in the class?” Alfredo: “That’s obvious ! They think you’re weird because you have such a different and difficult way of speaking. If you want to be accepted, to be like us, you have to talk like us!”

Gabin Dante stops to “pay the entrance fee” for the act of a street performer in Naples. “Mum, they provide us with happiness, they deserve my contribution”, states Gabin.

“Children don’t stay children forever, they have to grow up eventually. And yet, their childhood will always stay ingrained in them” says Graziella, mother of 11 years old Gabin Dante. Raising a child is a tremendous daily challenge, because the relationship they foster early on determines the way they’ll interact in society later

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“Children don’t stay children forever; they have to grow up eventually. And yet, their childhood will always stay ingrained in them”, asserts Graziella. That conviction makes her cherish every moment she spends with her son.

Gabin Dante is 11 years today. Here’s a portrait of him at home, in front of his mother’s library.

Gabin Dante started taking pictures in Paris a few months after going to Arles. Here he is close to the Canal de l’Ourq, in the XVIII arrondissement, his fist clenched around his new camera.

© 2021 by Stefano Lorusso. 
 

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