Who We Are


TOGETHER FOR THE COMMUNITY, SOCIAL CHANGE AND THE COMMON GOOD.

We are made up of students, activists, teachers, artists and migrants. Every individual takes an active part in the design, implementation and success of Talking Hands.

Sanryo Cissey

Sanryo Cissey

Born in Gambia in 1981, Sanryo has been living in Italy since 2015. He is a father of five who has worked as a tailor, a truck driver and a farmer. Sanryo participated in the creation of Talking Hands and is currently one of the tailors working on the design and creation of textile products.

Seiba Cissey

Seiba Cissey

Born in Gambia in 1990, Seiba has been living in Italy since 2015. He participated in the creation of Talking Hands and is currently an agricultural laborer in Foggia. Seiba has worked in various disciplinary fields, showing extreme versatility in his technical and artisan skills. Seiba worked in the Talking Hands studio for a long time.

Alagie Dampha

Alagie Dampha

Born in Gambia in 1995, Alagie has been living in Italy since 2016. Alagie is a skilled embroiderer who uses a unique technique that was handed down to him by his grandmother. In addition to having created numerous works of embroidery; cushions, jackets, tapestries and rugs, he always makes time to share embroidery techniques with his companions. 

Sheriffo Darboe

Sheriffo Darboe

Born in Gambia in 1993, Sheriffo has been living in Italy since 2016. He participated in the creation of Talking Hands. In recent years, he has focused on product design but has also shown extreme resourcefulness across different art forms. Sheriffo created many of the graphic motifs for the "Rifùgiati" and "Woven Stories" collections.

Ousman Janko

Ousman Janko

Born in Jakounda, Gambia, in 1996, Ousman has been living in Italy since 2015. He is a mentor figure who creates a sense of belonging for the whole community of Talking Hands participants. Ousman contributes to various tasks, from mechanics to carpentry, as well as participating in our shared garden and kitchen.

Ansumana Kinteh

Ansumana Kinteh

Born in Gambia in 1999, Ansumana has been living in Italy since 2016. Ansumana participated in the Riace experience with Mimmo Lucano and moved to Treviso in 2018. He attended English high school in Banjul, Gambia and as soon as he arrived in Italy, he resumed his studies at the Adult Education Centre (CPIA). Ansumana works as a tailor in the Talking Hands studio.

Anthony Knight

Anthony Knight

Anthony Knight is a patternmaker and designer. He was born to Jamaican parents in London where he studied Fashion Design at the Southgate Technical College and London College of Fashion. He has had the opportunity to collaborate with the Central St. Martins School of Art, the Middlesex Polytechnic and with international names such as Clavin Klein, Moschino and Victor Edelstein. Since 2005, Anthony has been teaching Pattern Making at the Faculty of Fashion Design at IUAV, Venice.

Yankuba Manneh

Yankuba Manneh

Born in Gambia in 1987, Yankuba has been living in Italy since 2016. He participated in the creation of Talking Hands, and in the two-year period from 2016-2017 he worked with Hurricane gym to deliver morning gymnastics classes. Yankuba participates in product design activities as well as the administration and management of our food counter.

Lauren McCarthy

Lauren McCarthy

Lauren is an Australian activist, student and creative being. She is completing her Masters in International Community Development by conducting fieldwork at Talking Hands. Lauren has worked in refugee settlement and community mental health in Australia. She is supporting us with marketing and communication as well as social impact reporting. Lauren is passionate about participatory action research.

Linda Pistrelli

Linda Pistrelli

Linda was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1961. She graduated in Foreign Languages and Literature with a thesis in Romance Philology. Linda wrote a PhD on Astridentism, an interdisciplinary, avant-garde movement made up of poets, writers, musicians and painters in Mexico, from the 1920’s. She has lived in Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico before packing her bags to come and live in Italy. Linda is an interpreter who speaks Portuguese and Spanish, she is a volunteer with Auser Cittadini del Mondo, and it is thanks to her that the Talking Hands Italian school began.

Lamin Seidy

Lamin Seidy

Born in Gambia in 1998, Lamin has been living in Italy since 2016. In Gambia, he worked as a taxi driver, a merchant and a tailor from the age of 15. Lamin began working as a Talking Hands tailor in 2018. He designs and creates clothing. In addition to sewing for the "Mixité" collection, he likes to modify and repair clothing garments for himself and his friends.

Lamin Senghore

Lamin Senghore

Born in Gambia in 1989, Lamin has been living in Italy since 2016. Lamin worked as a specialist carpenter for Talking Hands, a trade he also practiced in Africa. He now works for a specialized carpentry company in Italy. During his work with Talking Hands he coordinated product design activities. Lamin is a charismatic mentor figure for the Talking Hands community.

Kebba Sillah

Kebba Sillah

Born in Gambia in 1981, Kebba has been living in Italy since 2016. Kebba took part in the birth of Talking Hands in which he carried out tasks in different disciplinary fields. He also contributed significantly to the management of the studio, taking charge of material inventory, budget creation and mediation during team meetings. He currently works for a local Italian company. We are grateful to Kebba for his fundamental role in creating Talking Hands. 

Monica Tarzariol

Monica Tarzariol

Born in Vittorio Veneto in 1997, Monica attended a pattern making course at the European Institute of Design in Venice. She is currently studying fashion design at IUAV. Monica started working with our tailoring studio in the summer of 2019 and is mainly involved in the design and creation of garments.

Yara Toriello

Yara Toriello

Born in Treviso in 1990, Yara has been a lawyer since 2017. She resides in Milan where she works in a specialized Intellectual Property Law firm. This work has allowed Yara to combine her occupation with her passion for fashion. She has provided legal assistance to Talking Hands since 2018.

Zoe Toriello

Zoe Toriello

Born in Montebelluna (Treviso) in 1994, Zoe is an adventurer who packed her bags at the age of 18 to begin a journey that has yet to end. She's been to Copenhagen, Singapore, Lisbon, and Paris, where she currently resides. Her greatest quality is flexibility; in a week Zoe can go from volunteering in an orphanage in India to working for a prestigious fashion label. She loves cooking and social media, for Talking Hands she is the administrator of the Instagram profile.

Lamin Touray

Lamin Touray

Born in Gambia in 1986, Lamin has been living in Italy since 2015. Lamin has been working with Talking Hands since 2017 and mainly participates in product design activities. He is a skilled blacksmith who specialises in forging wrought iron by hand. Lamin worked with Studio Zanellato Bortotto to create the Woven Stories collection.

Fabrizio Urettini

Fabrizio Urettini

Born in Treviso in 1972, Fabrizio is an activist and art director. His area of investigation ranges from commissioned image design for public and private clients, to the curation of various social partners, cultural events and exhibitions. Fabrizio founded "Spazio XYZ" (2008-2012), a multifaceted exhibition space dedicated to the different expressive forms of applied arts. Spazio XYZ boasts over 40 exhibition projects developed through collaborations with international designers, illustrators and photographers. In 2016, Fabrizio founded Talking Hands – “Con Le Mani Mi Racconto”.

Studio Zanellato/Bortotto

Studio Zanellato/Bortotto

Giorgia Zanellato (Venice, 1987) and Daniele Bortotto (Pordenone, 1988) are designers who both studied Industrial Design at the IUAV in Venice. They also completed their Master’s Degree in Product Design at the Lausanne University of Art and Design (ECAL), in Switzerland. They collaborate with numerous Italian and international brands including: Moroso, Rubelli, Cappellini, Cedit, Louis Vuitton, Luisa delle Piane Gallery, and The Brussels Gallery. Their works have been exhibited in galleries and museums such as: MAXXI, Triennale Design Museum, and the Somerset House in London.
 
Matteo Zorzenoni

Matteo Zorzenoni

Matteo was born in Treviso in 1978. He is considered one of the most talented Italian designers of his generation. Matteo focuses his research on the discovery and unexpected potential of various product design materials. His projects have been selected for some of the most influential museums and exhibitions, including: the MAXXI in Rome, the Triennale in Milan, the London Design Festival, the Venice Architecture Biennale and the Pompidou Centre.