A photographic project for “Arcipelago Italia”
How Italy’s internal areas look like? What kind of image do we associate to them? How can photography contribute to nurture the collective imaginary of these places and become a working method coming in support to the other disciplines in the ambitious task of reviving these territories?
Urban Reports took part to the interdisciplinary team coordinated by Mario Cucinella, curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, for the realization of the project “Arcipelago Italia. Projects for the future of the country’s internal territories”. The team gathered together architects, urban planners, historians, experts in participatory planning and different other disciplines, who have been asked to work together and give birth to 6 experimental projects, in 5 strategic areas, conceived as potential opportunities for growth and development for the territories of the internal areas of Italy. The strategic areas are: Appennino Tosco Emiliano and the Casentine forests, Gibellina and the Belice Valley, Camerino and the crater of the 2016 earthquake, Ottana and Barbagia, Matera and the Basento Valley.
The architects who have designed the 6 experimental projects are: MODUS Architects, AM3 Architetti Associati con Vincenzo Messina, Simone Solinas, Diverserighestudio, BDR bureau e Gravalos Di Monte architects.
For this project, Urban Reports has proposed the use of photography as narrative tool. Moving across the ridges of the country, from the Alps along the Apennines towards the Mediterranean Sea, the collective has been seeking for the emblematic images capable of summarizing the eight itineraries described on the gigantic books of the Tesa 1 opening the Italian Pavilion: a journey through upstanding quality architectures combined with historical routes and valuable landscapes. For Tesa 2, instead, several photographic campaigns were realized, across the five strategic areas, with the aim to build a territorial narrative supporting the reflection on the present and the future of these places.
Photography as a medium to observe and understand the territorial dynamics, support the architects creative path and encourage the reflection on those features of places and the future scenarios of transformation; photography used to inspire new perspectives and visions; a powerful means of communication capable of fueling a new collective imaginary. A six-month work which has enabled the photographers to go back to the territories several times, “metabolize” the landscape and turn it into something which has become part of them (as Gabriele Basilico used to say). It has been a journey through various places, made of words, readings, walks and particularly positive encounters with the architects, the consultants, the experts and the local populations. All these experiences have revealed stories and gazes, guiding us to the discovery of territories still unknown.
Guided by the emotions provoked by the landscape, the photographic tale is made of those significant elements (iconemi) illustrating each individual territory: the primitive wilderness of Barbagia; the real, possible or imaginary connections in the Basento Valley; the spiritual and productive dimension of the woodlands in the Casentino forests; the traces of dramatic events (ancient and contemporary) in the Belice Valley; and the deep relationship between the majestic nature of the caves and the cultural richness of the territory of Camerino.
A photographic campaign that has produced a new level of interpretation for each area and therefore, as a whole, a visual synthesis of the identity of these territories.
More about Arcipelago Italia
Urban Reports – www.urbanreports.org