San Luca is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Reggio Calabria in the Italian region „Calabria“. San Luca is considered to be the stronghold of the ‚Ndrangheta, a Mafia-type criminal organisation based in Calabria. According to a former ‚ndranghetista, „almost all the male inhabitants belong to the ‚Ndrangheta, and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Polsi has long been the meeting place of the affiliates.“ At least since the 1950s, the chiefs of the ‚Ndrangheta locali have met regularly near the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Polsi during the September Feast. In 1969 the police raided a meeting near the sanctuary and captured more than 70 ‚ndranghetisti, while others managed to escape.
The historical preeminence of the San Luca family is such that every new group or locale must obtain its authorization to operate and every group belonging to the ‚Ndrangheta „still has to deposit a small percentage of illicit proceeds to the principale of San Luca in recognition of the latter’s primordial supremacy.“ San Luca, in the words of a study published in 2005 by Italy’s domestic intelligence service, is „the cradle of [the ‚Ndrangheta] and its epicentre“.
The San Luca feud, a war between the two ‚Ndrangheta clans Pelle-Vottari-Romeo and Strangio-Nirta from San Luca that had started in 1991 and resulted in several deaths carried into Germany in 2007; six men were shot to death in front of an Italian restaurant in Duisburg on 15 August 2007.“ (Source: Wikipedia)
Gianluca Tamorri about his ongoing project:
„These photos represent the early first stage of the project focusing on the environment of San Luca, my approach does not want to be documentary but more personal and intimate.
This part of the project is the result of only one week spending in San Luca as a guest of one of the families, for that reason the project is still ongoing because it is very difficult to access, and it is not easy to gain their trust.“
Gianluca Tamorri was born 1971 in Rome, Italy. From 1998-2001 he studied political science at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. He received his degree at the Rome School of Photography in 2001, then assisted various photographers in Italy between Rome and Milan. In 2005 he moved to Paris where he began to work and travel intensively with artist Michael James O’Brien, who is also known for his collaboration with Matthew Barney during cremaster series 1, 2, 4, 5. Since then Gianluca has been focusing on his personal research, especially in landscape, portraiture and street photography.
Gianluca’s work has been exhibited around Europe and was published in various international magazines.
If you would like to support Gianluca in publishing his second photobook „That’s Brighter Still„, please have a look at the project details over at the wonderful Crowdbooks platform. Crowdbooks also currently presents an interview with Gianluca about his approach to photography.