Two or three times a week Giuseppe Micciché would accompany his father, who was suffering from dementia, on his cento passi, his habitual postprandial stroll of a “hundred steps” or so. The son captured these fleeting moments with his father in photographs, whose documentary precision is tempered with a soft tenderness that nonetheless never lapses into sentimentality. Their radius of movement was confined to the neighborhood in which his father lived and worked after moving to Winterthur from Sicily: where once stood the Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works, for which the father had worked for over 30 years, is now a gaping post-industrial wasteland. Where the father used to live now stands a gas station, and where he once tended his cherished garden plot is now a McDonald’s drive-thru. The photographer projects memories of his father onto this changing neighborhood, whose landmarks are vanishing one by one along with the industrial estates in this Swiss town. Cento Passi is an intimate father-son and immigration story embedded in a slow farewell to a beloved family member — and to industrial Winterthur, at whose blind spots old and new stories alike are taking shape.
“It gradually dawned on me that this was an attempt to stop time, to pit something against forgetting and to record a moment that would never come again.”