KT: How did you get into photography?
MT: Both Maria and I have studied photography, so it was a bit of a successful event. She does art direction now, but she comes from Architecture and Design background, and I from International Relations studies, but we had the feelings that through images you can tell much more than through just words (e.g. academic papers, articles, etc.).
KT: You published a brilliant yet political book called ‘Immorefugee’ which sheds light on the refugee situation at a migrant camp in Calais, France also called as ‘The New Jungle.’ Why did you start photographing theme-shift tents of the migrant? When and how did you have your first encounter with the migrant situation?
MT: We already had some experience with the migrant situation in our town, Ravenna, because we both collaborated and worked with Caritas, but I had my first encounter with the migrant situation in Lampedusa, where a couple of years ago I worked on a documentary about the population of the island. Then, living in Brussels, I wanted to visit Calais to see what the situation was and I realized that there were already many journalists, photographers, etc. working there and often with the same perspective, namely the “breaking news/newspaper” one. This reason was why, together with Maria who is trained as an architect, we decided to turn the camera to something that is not usually shown, to try and give a different perspective.
KT: In one of your interviews, you have quoted that “I wanted to talk about migration in a different manner.” Can you please comment?
MT: Well, that is a bit related to the previous answer. Except for our work and the one from Henk Wildschut, we haven’t got a lot of perspectives from inside the camp. Most reports and projects were about the awful living conditions, children and the attempts to cross the Channel. I don’t want to be misunderstood, these reports and projects are critical, but they aren’t the only things that needs to be shown. This reason is why we wanted to show another feature of the camp. Also because visiting it quite often, that it wasn’t just a camp but a real city popped out from nowhere in the middle of Europe, where different ethnic groups cohabited. And then the real estate catalog had been the last twist we wanted to out to make the project stand out, even among the huge amount of documentary projects on migration.
KT: A lot of your initial project got in shape at Fabrica Workshop. Did you always want to make a book about your project? We love how you have done your project very interactive on the website. How did you initiate the idea to ‘Take the Test’ for the most suitable house?
MT: In the beginning, we weren’t thinking of publishing it, but once I had taken the majority of the pictures (just after FABRICA), the idea of a publication became much more attractive. And the idea of the catalog came a bit later. The test on the website it’s a bit of a joke in the end. We wanted to have a bit of fun while making everything, but it remains something realistic because the questions are made especially to underline the traits of the different communities and their way of living in the camp. So let’s say it was something funny but also thought to give some more information and a light way to make a reflection about what home is.
KT: You published your book in collaboration with Maria Ghetti, at your collective studio called ‘Defrost.’ Can you share how easy/difficult it was working together?
MT: The work on the book went quite smoothly, even if of course we shared some different visions on the section of the book that we had to work out. We then made the final layout with graphic designer Emilio Macchia, who helped a lot to put everything together.
KT: Now that you are also the winner of the Kassel Photobook Award 2017, what was the collaborative process between you as a photographer and you as a publisher?
MT: Of course being selected among the best books of the year at Kassel has been a great result, since this was our first book. Having taken the pictures and then having to edit them wasn’t simple. That’s why I worked with Maria in the first place, who helped me choose the photos and art directed the book; and then with Emilio who helped us both with the final design. When you know your pictures too well, it is sometimes difficult to see them with objectivity, and that’s why I try not to have too many feelings for my pictures.