The Queer Black Italian Experience

Melanys Figueredo Toledano  22, Bartender, Bologna
Melanys Figueredo Toledano  22, Bartender, Bologna
Melanys Figueredo Toledano  22, Bartender, Bologna
Melanys Figueredo Toledano  22, Bartender, Bologna

Melanys Figueredo Toledano

22, Bartender, Bologna

She/Her

« I think of myself as a free spirit in search of her place in the world. I like to rediscover myself through new knowledge, new environments and new dynamics. I avoid labels so as to avoid the expectations of conforming to anyone else’s expectations but my own and even then I prefer allowing myself the freedom to change over time. I enjoy newness, a departure , the thrill and fresh enthusiasm of the beginning of a journey. 

I moved to Italy from Cuba when I was seven, and I remember upon arrival I found it difficult to find my space mainly because of cultural differences, which led me to seek refuge in the local Latin community, but somehow even there I wasn’t able to fully express who I was, so I eventually found myself between there and the Italian LGBTQ+ community which has allowed me to express myself in a more truthful way. It’s something I'm constantly working through, I’m someone who believes that as long as I’m alive I can always grow and work on myself. I still do feel far from my goal of where I'd like to be, but I can’t deny that I've come a long way, and one of my greatest joys is being able to afford that freedom. I move freely and frequently through the different communities which I am a part of, be it the LGBTQ+ community, the Latin community or the black/white communities. I feel at ease because whenever I witness the local racism, homophobia and the other forms of hatred that exist I see them as a reflection of the people who are in front of, not me. I never question my being or my lifestyle especially knowing that it  makes me happy and capable of infinitely loving. » - @melanyssss

 

Creative Direction by Jordan Anderson
Photography by Silvia Rosi 
Photo Assistant Gabriele Cialdella
Styling by Thais Montessori Brandao
Hair by Latoya Amsdorf
Makeup by Manuel Montanari 
Set Design by Davide Ladini
Movement Direction by Macia Del Prete
Production by nss factory 

 

Francesca Zanardo

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Dario Murillo