The Valley (English)

In 1968, the Belice valley, which is located in south west Sicily, was hit by a terrible earthquake that both totally and partially destroyed almost all the towns and villages around the Belice river, from which the valley takes its name. The people lived for many years in temporary housing awaiting the beginning of the rebuilding process of their homes.

Even though the government encouraged the people to emigrate rather than stay, a process started some years later to create one of the most unique places in Italy and in the world. So, in the center of Sicily, in a typically poor rural zone, the rebuilding process was inspired by the model of Danish villages and by the idea of an artistic and architectural progress.

If the people of this valley used to live in small villages, in which the houses were very near each other, linked by narrow streets, now they live around very wide roads,
surrounded by empty and lifeless futuristic structures. The concept of Genius Loci, described by the architect Christian Norberg-Shultz, is that architecture must reflect and interpret the landscape, and it must respect the places and their culture integrating with them.

Starting from this reflection, I tried to study a process which placed and somehow imposed art and architecture on the landscape and on the people, without considering their culture and their needs of 50 years ago: they no longer could identify with the places in which they had grown up, and they rather found a totally changed background of their life.

I’ve gone into the landscape to look for the relationship between man and space, between his presence and the idea of distance expressed by this places. Without judging the complex history of positive and negative implications of this process, I tried to use the photographic mean to measure his different aspects, to discover and represent the forms of a new environment.

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