M. is the story of a woman who until her death, at the age of 98, has never left her small village in the countryside of northern Italy.
But her hair travelled across the world, from Italy to China, and back.
In her day, girls used to cut their hair at thirteen or fourteen, and they were no longer children.
Sometimes, before they did it, they went to town to have their picture taken by a photographer.
The cut hair was then jealously guarded and soon forgotten, sometimes sold.
Her hair went all the way to Peking.
Rumors went around about a competition for the most beautiful tresses in the world, and her won.
Tresses went to Peking and came back with the money she won.
The money was used for her trousseau and she married well.
That woman was my grandmother. I was always obsessed with the portrait of her with long hair.
When she died, I found a box with her hair and a letter from Pecking, and I knew this story.
My hair is entwined with hers.
Through the journey of her hair, I retraced mine.
I tied again the threads of my identity, building new plots.