• Marta Sarlo


OPG Aversa Judicial Psychiatric Hospital: prison and identity

Is it possible to protect the right of health to a person in detention?: The words of Basaglia have accompanied me constantly during my journey in the judicial psychiatric hospital (O.P.G.) of Aversa. I tried to make visible the paradoxical condition of the inmates dragged into the ambiguity of these structures, half prison and half asylum.


Angela started swimming at the age of four. By the age of fifteen she was a professional swimmer, making herself the protagonist of feats such as crossing the Strait of Messina. Her obesity is due to psychological issues. At the age of eighteen, Angela’s weight was over 70 kilos and from that point onwards began what would become a state of perpetual suffering from the intimate and social point of view. As I approached her world, I realized how many obstacles such a large body imposes on you.


Carmela was born on 3 July 1959 in Delianuova, a small town closed to Reggio Calabria. She spends a few years in Leverkusen, Germany, and then moves to Acqui Terme after her marriage. Her two children Francesco and Marisol were born there. In 1986 Carmela contracted the HIV virus following a relationship with her brother-in-law, with whom she will spend the next ten years of her life.


Marta Sarlo was born in Trani (Italy) in 1983.
Between 2006 and 2007 she realizes the reportage “OPG Aversa: Prigione d’identità” (“OPG Aversa: Prison of Identity”) at the Judicial Psychiatric Hospital in Aversa. The work is exhibited during the International Festival of Photography in Rome and receives a special mention in the photography contest “Attenzione Talento Fotografico FNAC” (“Attention to the Photograpy Talent FNAC”) in 2007.
In the same year, she concludes the three-year master’s degree from the Roman School of Photography, joining the agency “Contrasto”.
Since 2008 she is among the photographers selected from the Reflexions-Masterclass, the international seminar for the professional training to contemporary photography.
In 2009 she wins the award “Canon Giovani Fotografi” (“Canon Young Photographers”) with “Angela”, a work on obesity.
In the same year she participates in the exhibition “ore 3 e 32” (hours 3:32), within the first edition of “Reportage-Atri Festival”.
In 2010 she realizes for Cesvi a work on the emancipation of the women in Morocco which turned into the exhibition “Femmes, il Marocco che cambia nelle storie delle donne di Larache” (“Femmes, Morocco that changes in the stories of the women of Larache”) at the “FORMA”, the International Center of Photography in Milan.
In 2011 she participates in the exhibition and in the book “Altagamma. Contemporary Italian Excellence”, which offers a portrait of author of the most significant companies of the made in Italy, working for Valentino, Bulgari, Ferragamo, Danese and Isaia.
In 2015 her work on the 2009 Abruzzo earthquake is displayed in the exhibition “Italy INSIDE OUT” in Milan.

Rome, Italy

More info




  1. Canon Young Photographers prize
  2. Attention to the Photograpy Talent FNAC

Exhibitions & Screenings

2015. “Italia INSIDE OUT “. Palazzo Lombardia. Milan, Italy
2010. “Femmes, Morocco that changes in the stories of the women of Larache”. International Center of Photography FORMA. Milan, Italy
2009. “hours 3:32”. Reportage-Atri Festival. Atri, Italy
2007. “OPG Aversa: Prison of Identity”. International Festival of Photography. Rome, Italy