Rome. Winter, early 21st century. Population, apparently near zero. At least that's the impression your get from the photographs South African Guy Tillim has assembled in Roma, Citta di Mezzo. Tillim does spot the occasional figure walking the wet, wintry streets. They are usually seen from behind and often hard to spot in the largely unremarkable urban landscapes. In a city filled with world-famous monuments, Tillim trains his camera on nondescript apartment blocks, intersections, construction sites, and the occasional oblique view of someplace with a name that sounds somewhat familiar. Tillim represents Rome's famous bridges by whatever grimy sculpture sits unnoticed at their terminal points. At the Villa Medici, Tillim chooses to photograph only the bunker-like wall that surrounds the back of the property. Via Giuseppe Acerbi is unlikely to be found in any guidebook. It is a narrow passage along the backside of industrial buildings that have been haphazardly defaced by uninspired graffiti. Parked cars line one side of the street that dead ends into a wall surrounding a gasworks.
As he has done with such previous books as Jo'Burg and Petros Village, Tillim has produced a compact, accordion-folded volume on heavy paper, a format that allows each double-page spread to be seen with no image loss to the central binding. Tillim's African work is steeped in the evidences of postcolonial history and employs portraiture to explore contemporary society. Roma, Citta di Mezzo is neither the tourist's nor the historian's Rome. It is a modern metropolis explored by an outsider determined to find what seems most transient in what we still know as the Eternal City.
—Charles Dee Mitchell