NOTES FROM THE MOUNTAIN - Earthquake in Central Italy
“Notes From the Mountain” is a project started in 2009 when I arrived in L’Aquila a few hours after the terrifying earthquake that hit the Abruzzo region on April 6, at 3.32am. I belong to my mountain, it was almost the beginning of my career as a photojournalist. It was emotional, tough, painful, unbelievable. Almost quoting Susan Sontag, I was literally standing in front of people's pain. It wasn’t my first time, nonetheless, it was the first time when suffering people were so close to my culture and environment. They were -and they are- my folks.

In 2016 -again- several ares of Central Italy were hit by a sequence of strong earthquakes, where -again-  hundreds residents died and scores of people were wounded. Towns and villages were destroyed, flattened: thousands of people lost all they had, houses and prosperous communities were erased from the map. The earthquakes hit mostly the mountainous areas of Lazio, Umbria, Marche and Abruzzo, along The Apennine Ridge.
Central to the history of this area of The Apennines, is the relation between its residents and the mountain. Medieval villages are nestled on its ridges: churches, houses , watch towers and city walls are anchored on its flanks; the economy depends mainly on the forests and the large belts of grazing land surrounding the residential centers.
“Notes From The Mountain” is an homage to this land, to my people. To the mountains of The Central Apennines, to their stones and woods. It is an homage to their silence.
STIMELA / Southern Africa Migration Project - Ongoing

  The term Agone can be translated as 'the field' i.e. the field of conflict or the physical location where a competition or duel is held. As such, the word itself can be viewed as a boundless battlefield in which opposing forces collide. One of the most significant and dangerous of these conflicts is the one that moves the different equilibriums between North and South. It establishes the line between possibility and uncertainty, health and disease, freedom and slavery as well as wealth and poverty. In this instance the 'field' is a place where these distinctions collide, an arena of confrontation and migrations. Sometimes North and South can overturning.

  Stimela, in Zulu, means steam train. South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela wrote a song entitled Stimela, which references the train that brought thousands of people to the gold and platinum mines of South Africa in the early 1900's. Stimela is also the name of this project which seeks to describe the Southward journey many migrants (most of whom are from Central Africa) choose to take rather than head north to Europe. Opposite direction. Same reasons. Same risks and difficulties. Same pain.

  The overexposure to a stimulus often undermines its effects. We have long been bombarded with articles, proclamations, declarations and theories about the migration 'problem.' To describe it as a 'problem' is incorrect and the over use of the word migration has rendered the word almost meaningless. It erroneously transformed an enormously vast phenomena into something more prosaic. Something with the same nuance of "us and them". We have just a partial point of view. And most of the media, along with policy and finance, proliferates this.

  Stimela is an occasion to reflect and observe the phenomenon of migration from another point of view less linked to an Eurocentric vision of the word. A point of view that is not so easy to simplify into "us and them." Because, reflecting on the importance of the word "we", it is clear that one of its meanings represent the very human desire and the very human illusion to deserve a better future.

MEDITERRANEAN#003 - Marseille / Izzo - Ongoing


Ho praticato la speleologia per molti anni. A volte come rifugio. Più spesso come forma di esplorazione. E non nel senso più intellettuale o introspettivo del termine. C'è un muro. Voglio vedere cosa trovo dopo.

Tra le tante persone incontrate, un docente di fisica dell'Università di Torino. Un grande esploratore. Aveva, e suppongo tutt'ora abbia, una singolare abitudine. Nella tasca della sua tuta portava alcuni pezzi di carta sui quali stava il XXVI° Canto dell'Inferno. Quello di Ulisse, per intenderci.

La vita mi ha purtroppo allontanato dalla speleologia, dall'Arte del Silenzio, come la chiamavamo noi. Ora pratico questo mestiere di far foto. Ma l'abitudine mutuata da questa persona, Giovanni Badino, è rimasta. Il XXVI° Canto. Ulisse. Lo porto anche io. Anche ora. Perché in fondo, la differenza tra le due discipline, non è molta.

Marsiglia è una porta. Questo è un suo piccolo pezzo. Come l'ho vista io. Anche se per una città del genere sarebbe più indicato il termine brandello.

Marseille è la terza parte di un progetto sul Mediterraneo. E il Mediterraneo è un'illusione, una categoria di noi altri. E' un puzzle che vorremmo unito per comodità di pensiero e -per chi può- d'intenti. Categorizzare aiuta. Tranquillizza.

Ho scelto di provare un racconto del Mediterraneo città per città. Per ognuna un autore da accostarci come stampella e privilegio per arrivare un passo più in la. Con Marseille Jean-Claude Izzo.

Chi lo ha letto forse non troverà nulla dei suoi romanzi in queste immagini. Io invece spero di aver reso quello di cui ha sempre parlato.