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A visual research of the italian industrial landscape
A visual research of the Italian industrial landscape which, in the early 1900s, was strongly marked by the human presence. In Italy there are 12 482 potentially contaminated areas awaiting reclamation; 45 were considered highly polluted. Indeed in 1997 the Ronchi decree established to distinguish and declare them "Sites of National Interest" (SIN).
The project concerns three SINs of central Italy: Terni - Papigno (Umbria); Bussi sul Tirino - Piano d’Orta (Abruzzo); Orbetello (Tuscany). These sites, although located in different regions, have analogies. In all of them there are naturalistic and tourist areas nearby: Cascata delle Marmore, Parco Naturale del Gran Sasso, Monte Argentario. However, the fundamental knot that binds these areas is the kind of pollution. All have former factories of the Montecatini mining and chemical company (1888-1966), active or abandoned chemical poles, asbestos in a dusty state that prevents reclamation and huge waste dumps that rise in the valleys or are stationed under citizens' houses.
The work is also articulated as an historical research, realized to analyze the differences between past and present. Indeed these places have experienced industrial glories promised by Montecatini, which today has been leaving some carcasses on the back of the territory now incorporated into nature. The aim of this project is to criticize the economic and social immobility that can have a better future, providing justice to the people who continue to live in these suspended and scarred places.
Montecatini was an important and historic italian chemical company founded in 1888 in Florence. It mainly made chemical fertilizers, ammonia and sulfuric acid. It ceased its activity in 1966 following its incorporation into Edison, with the consequent birth of the Montecatini Edison group, later Montedison.
These advertising campaigns have been carried out in the first half of the 1900s, so people wasn't yet 100% aware of the consequences on environmental impact. Indeed they help to understand how ignorance is one of the most negative conditions that people can assume and how the media can often confuse ideas rather than clarify them.
BUSSI SUL TIRINO - PIANO D'ORTA
42° 13’ N 13° 49’ E
Bussi sul Tirino and Piano d'Orta are two municipalities in the province of Pescara (Abruzzo), which arise near the Gran Sasso Natural Park. They present toxic waste dumps, active chemical poles, former Montecatini factories and a power plant. The soil, the subsoil and the aquifers are particularly polluted due to the spillage of mercury, lead, hydrocarbons, arsenic, etc.
42° 26′ 22″ N 11° 12′ 45″ E
Orbetello is a city in the province of Grosseto (Tuscany) which rises at the foot of Monte Argentario. It has former Montecatini factories which produced chemical fertilizers. The company's waste was buried during its underground activity; asbestos in the polvirulent state instead prevents the reclamation.
TERNI - PAPIGNO
42° 34′ N 12° 39’ E
Terni and the small hamlet of Papigno rise a few hundred meters from the famous Marmore Falls. Terni is a city founded on industry, in particular on the Steelworks, which is still active today. Papigno has former Montecatini factories, where chemical fertilizers were produced, and a huge landfill where the waste from the Terni industry is collected.