ITALY 2008

This photographic documentation attempts to show the change undergone by the landscape in
the Italian region of Campania. During the most critical months in which the waste crisis reached
its peak, my effort was to trace and photograph the journey that brought tons of waste to the final
collecting areas and to portray the environmental impact caused by the landfills.
The many dumps created in Campania have radically changed the landscape. The
surroundings of towns such as Giugliano, Santa Maria la Fossa and Pianura has been transformed.
The land around the waste collection area of Taverna del Re resembles scenery from outer space.
During the waste emergency that ended in 2008, it became obvious that the face of Campania
had radically changed. The land that up to a few years ago in our collective imagination had been
the most beautiful place in the world, today looks very different.
The areas around Naples and Caserta have become a map of landfill facilities, a map which
clearly contains an image of the future and indicates the price we pay for our development.
The perception we have of the waste we produce and of the issues concerning its collection are
confined to a black hole in our conscience. Our waste disappears out of sight from every-day life
and enters a hidden dimension, freeing us of its presence.
The emergency situation that lasted a whole year in Naples and Campania spotlighted the
naivety of this attitude: waste does not disappear, it stays, displaying the amount we consume,
warning us of the non-sustainability of our life style. The waste we dispose of is added to more
waste, plastic bags are added to more plastic bags, forming heaps which together create mountains
and change the scenery.
The waste crisis in Campania has extended itself. Along with the landscape, it has changed
Italian politics and a consistent amount of funding has been made available to deal with the
situation. Temporary measures were taken to handle the emergency, such as the introduction of an
special commission and the power of attorney for the waste crisis, along with the despatch of
military forces to the waste accumulation areas. These ad hoc measures, however, diverted the
attention of the public from the essence of the problem, which is the need for a sustainable urban
waste management plan. For many, the temporary measures taken ceased to be merely the means
and became the aim. An opportunity to create awareness of our responsibility as consumers was lost
while heaps of garbage reached window level, to the point where all discussion was futile. The
waste was made to disappear back into the black hole and never surface again                                                                                                                                                                                    

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