Skip to main content

The story of a life split between two cultures 

5 years ago

Kicia Randagia was born in Poland and has lived in Rome, Italy for many years. Her heart and soul are divided between the two countries. Whichever place she is in she uses photography to fill the emptiness inside her. Her series called “Scelte” was shortlisted in the 2018 Zeiss Photography Award.

“I discovered my passion for photography when I was a child. I could not help but compose perfectly all the objects that were on every table that I saw. From there, I understood that photography was what I wanted to dedicate myself to,” Randagia explains.


Can you tell us more about your series Scelte, shortlisted in the 2018 Zeiss Photography Awards?

“‘Scelte’ tells the story of a life split between two cultures – the life of my daughter Siria. Siria doesn’t just live between two different countries, she lives in two different worlds. She feels very much at home in the big city of Rome, a place filled to the brim with technological advances. But every year, we spend two months living in an out-of-the-way village in Poland. It’s like a different world there: from the food and the traditions to the nature, nothing there can be compared to the ‘mod-cons’ of big-city life.
As a mother, it was incredible for me to see how quickly Siria, an ambitious, high-tech girl, transformed into one who loves the countryside, walks around barefoot, lives among animals, appreciates simple, natural food and plays with everything she finds. I realized that my daughter was able to find happiness everywhere, and when we returned to Rome I came up with ‘Scelte’. For Siria, both worlds seemed perfect in their own right. Meanwhile, I wonder which one she’ll choose when she grows up.
I’ve selected photos that capture a life that could belong to any child in today’s world. I decided to take my photographs in black and white to present both worlds as equal. Colors would only have taken attention away from the matter at hand – and I didn’t want that. Through my series, I’d like to show the world how children who grow up between two cultures live, and how it feels to do so. What some may see as a disadvantage is actually a great opportunity for a lot of people – the chance to see the world with new eyes.”

The series captures the double life of your daughter Siria, living between two countries, Poland and Italy. How did you come up with the idea?

We live in a metropolis, Rome, but we spend few months of the year in a remote village in Poland. Everything is completely different there from the usual metropolitan life, starting from the language and continuing with food, customs, nature etc.
Seeing my little girl who was changing in a moment, from a precise and perfect little girl - very technological, to a really countrified child, who walked barefoot, who lived with animals, who ate raw and genuine food and played with everything she found.
I saw her so happy that in 2011 I started a series, still ongoing, entitled "Felicidade". Then I noticed that she was just as happy as soon as she returned to Rome, to this perfect city life, even if she did completely different things. Here was born the idea to make this series: "Scelte" (Choices).      


How was the experience of taking pictures of your daughter? Did she enjoy it?

Syria is used to being photographed since she was born, so for her to be photographed is a normal act ... like to eat or drink. She really likes seeing my / her photos during the exhibitions- it's the moment she prefers the most.

What was the most interesting thing for you?

The most interesting thing for me is the fact that working on an intimate project like this is actually something that also concerns myself, my dreams, desires, fears etc.

What are you currently working on?  

Like almost all photographers I do not reveal my next project until it is finished. I can only say that it concerns people. I will need some more time to finish it.