Vicino a noi
a production by Comitato di Reggio Emilia della Croce Rossa Italiana for Fotografia Europea
If I were to think like a child thinks, the volunteers of the Red Cross might seem to me to be real superheroes, with their reflective red uniforms all full of pockets.
There are the men, tall and burly, sturdy, strong, that give you a sense of security, but also lean and small-built, who almost disappear in their uniform, who move around quickly. There are the women, who assist you, who take care of you, who stay by your side. Young, less young, elderly, all of them together for us. The volunteers certainly don’t see themselves at all as superheroes but as ordinary people, who do not want to stand out, who stay behind the scenes, who intervene only when it is necessary and disappear soon thereafter into their everyday clothes, their jobs, their private lives.
I think the word “hero” is often used in a way that is inappropriate and out of place, and then, as we necessarily have to think like adults, we see in these people a natural energy, nourished by friendships, by living together and by affection, that arises spontaneously from the need to be together and by the desire to do something for others.
Then there is us, all of us, who every now and then need help, though we would never wish it, it sometimes happens, to be in trouble, to need someone to come to our aid, to save us, but also just a person who talks to us, who consoles us, who spends a bit of their time with us, even if they don’t know us, even if their lives are very distant from ours.