Rome Study Abroad Students Encounter “People as People”

Author: Costanza Montanari


Students studying abroad in Rome during spring 2015 curated a photo exhibit entitled Negli Occhi dell'altro: Cinque americani raccontano le periferie di Roma (In the other's eyes, five Americans portray the Roman peripheries), which was organized in collaboration with Centro Culturale Roma at Il Cantuccio al Senato and opened May 5, 2015. Notre Dame collaborates with several organizations in Rome, including the Community of Sant’Egidio, Tevereterno, and Comunione e Liberazione.

In the words of student Antonio Marchi:

In its inaugural year, “All Roads Lead to Rome,” the interdisciplinary course for Notre Dame students studying abroad in Rome, sought to encourage an authentic encounter with the rich past and present of the city, both inside and outside the classroom. As part of this mission, the course includes a civic engagement component that allows students the opportunity to experience the life of the city on a deep and personal level. For me and three other students and friends in the class, this encounter has come in the form of working on Rome’s periphery with Comunione e Liberazione. Our mission was simple: exposure as a means of encouraging compassionate eyes and hearts.

As a team, we venture out to some of the more impoverished outskirts of the city, and we photograph the mysterious and the intriguing. Whether we are capturing moments of the life of people on the streets or laundry in the wind, at the heart of each image is a story that needs to be told. Though we are working toward a final goal of putting together an exhibition, the process along the way has proved to be the most invaluable aspect of this experience. Every shot we take gives us an opportunity to reflect on who we are in terms of whom or what we encounter. All the while, we are left with a deep awareness of the fundamental value of the individual and a striking appreciation of what it means to see people as people.

Antonio MarchiAntonio Marchi, Class of 2016
Majors: Theology and psychology
Minors: Art studio and Italian