Breach of the Peace

by Lorenzo Meloni



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We’re in Europe, hippies have become parents, punks have put their leather jackets away, and clubs are old-fashioned. Music and drugs though are still all the rage.

During the industrial boom, with its periodical crisis’ has left us with big abandoned spaces. Once inside them, it is easy to wonder if these unkempt places will be considered our ‘colosseums’, if this is what will survive of our current society.

Rave parties were conceived in England during the social and industrial changes of the 80s and spread throughout Europe shortly after. The birth of rave parties can be associated to a number of economical and political factors: the entrance is free and it is practically impossible to establish one. But above all, for one night, you become a part of the place, you contribute to its illegal occupation, you’re not just a guest having fun.

 With each generation, youth from every social class with interests outside of raves, has found itself at one of these parties.

Drugs have changed during the years: from trips with hallucinogenic acids, to the desire of loving with ecstasy and finally the wish to anaesthetize oneself with ketamine. The music is more or less the same: 180 beats per minute, just like the beats of the heart at its maximum effort. These sounds are associated to those of our cities: sirens, hammers, car horns and voices.

This photographic story wants to give a chance to the people who have never actually been to a rave, to feel those emotions: the looks, the feeling of what happens in a few hundred square metres, in an isolated and unique night, each time in a different place, accompanied by twenty thousand KW worth of amplifiers.


Editor’s Note – Antonio Marques

The culture of an underground scene that survives time –  as with hippies and punks (mentioned by Lorenzo on his essay description), the ravers choose to express their options in a frowned-upon way, but keeping true to a mind of carelessness and freedom, letting go for a few hours.
To the beat of fast music, it is life in a night, a tribe fueled by drugs and excess, a return to a feral state for a few hours, only possible when thoughts, ideals and principles are shared, and inhibitions are forgotten.
For many, the next day might mean a return to an office job, but on this night it is all about release.Lorenzo documents one such night, with powerful images that unveil what is to be part of that gathering. Each frame has all the components: release, excess, carelessness and intimacy.
Going through the essay is like being transported to a sideline of a rave party. One almost hears in the background the fast beat of the music mingling with the screams and laughter, characteristic of the ritualistic gathering of a modern tribe.
About Lorenzo Meloni
Lorenzo Meloni was born in 1983 in Rome, studied at the “Scuola Romana di Fotografia” for three years, focusing his interests on the Middle East and the Italian youth underground scenarios. He has reported on major world issues such as those regarding Palestinan refugees and Yemen. Other works include retrospectives on the Italian techno-rave and hip-hop youth scenarios.


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