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Earthquakes have opened tears in the fragile geological and social fabric of Italy that are often never mended, leaving deep traces on the territory. After the earthquake that struck Abruzzo in 2009, the photographer Francesca Cao embarked on a path of mapping the country, in search of the residues of past earthquakes, of the emergency architecture, of the attempted and missed reconstructions, which have marked the post-seismic landscape also in the ways and forms of life of the affected communities. Balsorano, Montevago, Sant’Angelo a Scala, Messina, Poggio Reale, L’Aquila. Everyone, in the quiet of the places photographed by Francesca Cao, has his own earthquake in his head. Everyone cultivates in a different way the memory of an event that has changed – with different but always disruptive ways, consequences and intensities – the history of men, things, cities.
After the dust has settled, the echo of the screams of the survivors, the sirens of the ambulances and the extraordinary editions of the news has subsided, after Italy has turned its attention elsewhere, starting to look ahead again, Francesca has chosen to go back. With the patience and care of those who want to sew together a story of ghosts and silent resistances, of memories and expectations, of landscapes and interrupted lives. A story that today unfolds from the pages of the book Temporary Life – edited by DER * LAB and published by Postcart – to evoke the idea of a “temporary” life, left on hold, waiting for a move to a better future.
Francesca Cao, Temporary Life
Postcart edizioni, 2020
Text by Marco Damilano e Irine Allison
Editing di Irene Allison
Graphic by Allesandra Pasquarelli
18 x 22 cm