Mary poses for a portrait at the Sacra di San Michele. A place I absolutely wanted her to see given its strong spirituality. Sant'Ambrogio di Susa, February 2020.
Mary and Kate are getting ready for a friend's birthday party. Chivasso, July 2018.
Mary and her roommates during a birthday party for their friend's daughter. Chivasso, May 2018.
Mary shows signs of Libya on her body, of the exploitation she was subjected to and the voodoo ritual she underwent before leaving for Europe. She has a story no different from the thousands of other girls imprisoned in hotspots and forced into prostitution to pay off the debt contracted for the journey. A debt that strangles them and forces them to be trafficked. San Sebastiano Po, May 2018.
Kate suffered several tortures in Libya for trying to escape from her jailers. She carries the still painful wounds on her body. Broken bones and scars that have cost her numerous surgeries in Italy to be able to even walk again. Chivasso, June 2018.
Mary loves to cook traditional Nigerian and Yoruba dishes. Chivasso, April 2018.
Mary spends hours on the phone chatting. Her best friend still lives and works in Florence and they talk if possible after work every day. In addition, her son still lives in Lagos with Queen, a close friend who takes care of him. Chivasso, May 2018.
Mary would like to open a beauty salon, she's saving up money to be able to attend a school that can prepare her and get her into the world of cosmetics. She loves doing braids and taking care of her nails. Chivasso, June 2018.
The 2019 has been a very bad year for Mary. Accused of online fraud for supporting a friend of her who asked to open an online account into which money of uncertain origin transited, Mary is arrested. She loses all her documents, her Visa, and her job. She enters prison before Christmas 2018 and is released after 7 months. Here our contacts break down. Turin, January 2020.
Birthday party in one of the houses dedicated to hosting refugees of the Mary Poppins Cooperative. Chivasso, July 2018.
Mary in prayer during our field trip to the Sacra di San Michele. This is the last trip we'll take for quite some time. We lose touch again due to the arrival of the Covid19 pandemic. St. Ambrogio di Susa, February 2020.
With the arrival of 2022, it has been more than two years since Mary has been undocumented, officially illegal. So we decide it's time to begin to find a way out of this state of slumber and malaise. Through old contacts, Mary is hosted in a new project. Turin, March 2022.
Mary jealously preserves this photo. It's the only photo of her mum with her and her brother. Her mother unfortunately died when she was still a child and Mary grew up with her grandmother in a house outside Lagos. Chivasso, May 2018.
The first trial period, the first activated internship is officially over. It lasted six months. The tailoring job currently is the only way she can afford money to help pay her rent and everything else. Turin, February 2023.
Mary has a thousand dreams, desires, hopes. she imagines a future where she can have her son join her and take him away from Nigeria, which she says is a very dangerous place. Chivasso, May 2018.
In March 2022, after several meetings with Paola, the lawyer who follows her and deals with her criminal and bureaucratic proceedings, Mary manages to obtain a replacement residence permit valid for 6 months. Turin, March 2022.
Mary poses for a portrait inside the Cinema Museum in Turin. Turin, September 2018.
In October 2022 Mary entered the Istituto Istruzione Superiore Paolo Boselli in Turin, where she attended evening classes with a social-health address. Turin, November 2022.
Mary has led a difficult life. She often tells me that there is not much to say about her, she thinks often, sometimes too much, about the mistakes she has made. Turin, August 2022.
Mary poses for a portrait in her room. Turin, March 2023.