Dazed Digital

Rome

Mrs. Aryana Is Everywhere

April 22, 2011

Italy's most well traveled photographer catches up with Rome

  • Text by Satellite Voices

Guest feature by Riccardo Lionello

Aryana Francesca Urbani was born in 1991, in Tehran, and grew up in Algeria, Uganda, Rwanda, North Korea and China, and has spent the rest of her 19 years in Rome. You can talk with her for hours on policy of Shah Reza Pahlavi of Iran, or just eat an ice cream in Piazza Vittorio and watch her hair. The fact that Aryana has been everywhere obviously characterizes her photography. It's about that strange force that makes you feel like a scared housewife. Now, as stated in her Skype profile, she often finds herself involved in exotic adventures, and her parents are still convinced that she is attending medical school.

Satellite Voices: Tell us about your life in Rome, using all the epithets you can use.
Aryana Francesca Urbani: I always get a sweet and sour feeling whenever I am questioned about my years spent in Rome. It's imperious, it's fierce, it's glowing, it's ardent, it's effusive, it's intense, it's austere, it's vigorous, it's warm, it's passionate, it's empathetic, it's massive, it’s loving, it's dogmatic, it's overwhelming, it's absolute. On the other hand, it's discouraging, it's disheartening, it's oppressive, It’s desolate, it's torrid, it's dispiriting, it's suffocating, It’s tiresome, it's agonizing, it's afflicted, it's narrow-minded, It’s unsatisfactory. And that's to be honest, because otherwise I would not have moved away.

SV: Is there anything that youlike to photograph in particular here?
Aryana Francesca Urbani: What I am most bewitched by, and have taken many pictures of, is the Villaggio Olimpico (a set of accommodations dedicated to athletes and coaches participating in the Olympic Games). It was built in the late 50s, and I profoundly love how its architecture and atmosphere are completely detached from the rest of the city. It's unusually grey, mysterious and silent. The actual inhabitants are old and grumpy people that moved in the apartments left empty after the athletes' departure, 40 years ago. I like taking pictures there late at night.

SV: What camera do you use?
Aryana Francesca Urbani: Analogue Canon bought in a charity market in Kabul.

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