Let Our People Grow

A photographic book of portraits of cannabis consumers in Barcelona.
by Pietro Milici
copie al goal

Project Description

“Let Our People Grow” is an ongoing project and as such its idea lives constantly through change. The project aims to investigate the cannabis world. “Let our people go. Let our people grow “, was a slogan that the American government circulated during the Second World War. This message, aside from encouraging the population to fight for its country, had the secondary aim to encourage the farmers to plant cannabis; the use of the word “grow” allows this double reading. It refers to the growth of a plant that years ago was outlawed, the growth of the people that had to defeat the German navy. The idea to research this world was born in January 2013, when after living in Barcelona for a few months, someone brought me to a social cannabis club. The first club that I approached was in the neighborhood of “Gracia”, there is where I had the idea of photographing the members of the club to immortalize them during the typical action that you do in a cannabis club, smoke. I wanted to register the exact moment of symbiosis that is established between the subject and the object. They, the consumers, on their long and immense stage, are the most important and most affected part of what is happening in the world of cannabis. Association, cultivators, seed banks or grow shops, would not exist without the consumers. The number of people that approaches this reality is massive. Not all of them smoke and not all of them agree to be photographed. But they are all waiting for a regulation or legalization, as the weapon to defeat the black market and the delinquency that surrounds the drug world. They appreciate and defend the big improvements obtained since 2011, but they still do not understand the controversy and rejection that surrounds this plant. There is no appreciation for the medical qualities or the eco-sustainable changes that could happen if the use of the plant, and consequently the actual plant, were legalized. A plant is a symbol of fertility, of growth, of abundance… but in some cases, the plant is a pretext to affirm a denial, a prohibition, which is born only to deny and to speculate on it. Today cannabis is the substance that generates the most illegal and legal income, the number of people that approach cannabis continues to increase, in this historic moment that we are living, a phase of change, of legislative modifications, of disintegration of the old social identities.

Specifiche libro


Author Informations

NomePietro Milici
Paese United States of America
Sito web


My name is Pietro Milici, I am 33 years old. Based in New York. I was born in Palermo. I graduated in Marine Biology in Palermo (Italy). Through different jobs with an Italian company called “ Gruppo Digitale”, I had the possibility to discover a great gratification when using the camera. I took a master degree in “Photography and Design”, at Elisava University in Barcelona (Spain).
In Barcelona I worked with a photographic collective called “Piel de Foto”; that period of my life was very important for my photographic career – I started to see how a publication takes form, why a photograph is more important than another, how to manage contacts, get investors, etc. I also collaborated for one year with Jordi Bernadó, a Spanish photographer that works in the field of architecture and art. It was an interesting year, full of great satisfaction, but above all, it was a year of growth in dedication, rigor, unattainable perfection, in communication and in creation. An experience that has made me understand which are the practices to employ and, above all, the mistakes that are not to be committed.
I then started working as an assistant and a freelance photographer in Spain and Italy, where I had the chance to exhibit some of my works in different galleries such as The Gallery of Modern Art in Palermo, the H2O art gallery in Barcelona, etc.. and also collaborated with different companies such as Microsoft, Münchhausen, Actar, Fondazione Telecom Italia, etc…
In my photographs I work on different types of photography and with different styles using both digital and film. But what I like most is doing portraits. I always try to get there, both if I am doing a commissioned work or a personal project I need to sit down and let the silence speak, let the eyes speak as if they were alone within themselves. I need that personal touch and connection with people, I need to have some time, 5 seconds or 10 minutes, to get to that final look I need to show my personal view of the person I am with. I love the image itself, the non-subject photo and structures that are not confined in a narrow and marked typology. Feeling doesn’t have limits. I have learned to love the evocation and the sublimation of it. The circulation of the images allows us to analyze the social and aesthetic change of the world. But photography is not born as an objective form to perceive what surrounds us. It is a subjective run of looks, of interpretation, of knowledge and also of pretense. It is a path that encourages us to interact with life and with the potential to create images or concepts. Every created image constitutes a step in my culture and belongs to my cultural and professional baggage: which I want to share, to criticize, to demolish and to improve.

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