THU TO SUN 10.00 a.m. – 7.00 p.m.

Diambra Mariani

“Don’t think of an Elefant”

Location: ITALY

The number of crimes are decreasing in Italy. Nevertheless, one Italian out of four is afraid to be on the street in the evening and one in ten is terrified of staying home alone.

This photographic research, started in 2018 and concluded in 2019, aimed to investigate why Italy was so scared and how people reacted to this fear. 

The opportunity to approach the topic was the forthcoming discussion in the Italian Lower Chamber about the proposal to change article 52 of the Italian Penal Code. The new law has introduced the “presumption of legitimate defense” which is partially inspired by the USA “Castle Doctrine “. Its mission was to create an irrefutable presumption that an individual who kills or harms another within his or hers private property has acted in self-defence and cannot be prosecuted.

On the other hand the project was inspired by the CENSIS 2018 report about Italians’ perception of judicial system: a third of the adult population in the previous two years had renounced to undertake a judicial action because they thought Italian justice was expensive, slow and unable to guarantee the protection of rights.

It would be interesting to understand if this need of justice could be addressed (and re-framed) differently. If the political reaction was focused on the solution of justice inefficiency, would Italian feel the need to arm themselves?

To conclude: a country in which people can rely on judicial system is a country with less thirst for revenge and private justice?

These are open questions, on which it would be worth keep on reflecting, especially considering more recent datas, such as the 10% increase in licenses for the possession of weapons in 2020 compared to the previous year, or the fact that in the first month of 2023 three feminicides with legally held firearms have already been committed.


Diambra Mariani was born in Verona, Italy, in 1982. In 2008 graduated from Milan Law Statale University and in 2009 she obtained a master’s degree in photography at IED of Venice.

In 2011 Diambra joined Prospekt Photo Agency, in Milan. Her pictures were exhibited in Italy and abroad and published, among others, on The Sunday Times Magazine, Liberation, MarieClaire, D La Repubblica delle Donne, Internazionale, Sette, L’Espresso, Vanity Fair, Corriere della Sera.

Amongst her recognitions: Gomma Prize Finalist 2022, Tokio Photo Competition 2019, Honorable Mention at Px3 Paris 2019, Cortona New Visions Prize 2019, Streamers/Celeste Prize 2017, Inail Prospekt Award 2011.