We are in conversation with Cecilia Becatti, a 22 year old artist with a passion for photography and fashion and a great desire to express herself. She grew up in Cologno Monzese, a small city near Milan, where she attended the scientific high school. After that, she decided to pursue her dream attending a course in Fashion Design at AFOL Moda, and then a course in Photography and New Media at the Bauer School in Milan.
I wouldn’t do any job that doesn’t represent myself, I’d like my passions becoming my future job.
What is the most colourful memory you have from your hometown? How was it like growing up there?
I think I haven’t got a specific colourful memory from my hometown. Surely, one of the most beautiful and purest times of my life is my childhood. I miss that light heartedness and sincerity that children have. Growing up in Cologno was not very satisfying. I never felt belonging to this city; I think that there are limited opportunities and most of the people, who grow up there, feel trapped in the suburbs. In addition, there is no space for creative people. Luckily Milan is very close, and outside there is a world.
What led you to choose photography as a profession? What was that initial moment that made you realise that this is what you want to do?
Everyone chooses their own way to express their creativity, and I chose fashion and photography. I wouldn’t do any job that doesn’t represent myself, I’d like my passions becoming my future job. And I realised that when I finished the high school.
How have you seen yourself grow in the past few years? Personally as well as professionally.
During my studies I had some work experiences in the fashion industry that have been important to understand what my path was. Thanks to these experiences I definitely became more aware of myself.
I am very shy and often insecure, but I am learning to be less hard on myself and not to be afraid to expose myself anymore. It's very important, in the field of photography and fashion, to be able to be noticed.
Professionally, I still have a lot to learn, but the experiences I made so far have given me a good basis on which I hope to build a good career one day.
What do you want to communicate through your photos?
I've never been good with words. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a hard time talking about myself or about what I feel. Through the photos, and the other media that I use to express my creativity, I somehow manage to better express my vision of things. I feel more confident in communicating in this way rather than using words.
"The real uniqueness of the evening was the freedom to be and to express yourself, the freedom from any judgement."
Among all your projects, is there a favorite one that you particularly care about? Tell us about it.
The project that I particularly care about is the first one: “ARIZONA 2000”.
I developed it during my year at Bauer, for the documentary photography course. A project that was born in a completely instinctive way. They asked us to document Nolo, the new district of Milan. I had never dealt with a documentary photography, if not naively, but one night I found myself in the most suitable place to bring out this project.
Maybe that's the point. We are and we will always be the ones who set limits to ourselves.
La Boum is a gay event that was born 5 years ago, in a club in Milan called Arizona 2000, which became a fixture of Nolo. No other disco had ever fascinated me so much before. The main attraction was the Drag Queen parade on stage, but the real uniqueness of the evening was the freedom to be and to express yourself, the freedom from any judgement. That is a world that is still not completely accepted today.
So I wanted to take some of this reality outside and share it with others, reporting it from my point of view. The mission was to experience the evening in the first person with my friends and to catch a moment with the camera as soon as I was in front of what aroused my interest and my malice.
I forced myself, as I always do, not to force things, but rather to wait to meet along the way a stolen kiss or the Drag Queen running towards the stage ready to perform.
The free expression of yourself should be the basis of everything; being unaware of what judges us according to a criterion created by us. Maybe that's the point. We are and we will always be the ones who set limits to ourselves.
We have seen that you are working on a new project called “Pandemia in periferia”, what is about?
I never left the house during quarantine, not even to go to the supermarket. Perhaps I was afraid of facing a reality which was too different from the one I left.
When I went out for the first time to take a walk in the park near my house, I found the grey sky, and all the people around me were totally inexpressive, because of the mask. The buildings in the suburbs were even sadder. As I said before, I never felt belonging to Cologno, and at that moment I felt completely estranged.
I wanted to document the effect that the pandemic had on the suburbs, portraying some of these inexpressive faces.
What contributes to your feeling of happiness or what makes you happy?
If I had to make a top ten, I think it would be this: summer, escapes from reality, lightness, travel, the sea, learning new things, moments shared with the people I love, passion, achievements, beginnings.
As soon as it is allowed, I'd like to spend a year or two in Australia: I've been there and I loved it.
Then I definitely want to work hard in order to pursue a career. I'd like to live as an artist. One of my dreams is to be able to organize and set up my own photographic exhibition.
To view more of Cecilia's work, follow her on instagram
Interview and Article by
Photos Provided by