How can men change nature just for the pleasure of enjoying it?
How can we be at the same time destroyers and builders?
How big are we?
Humans is a long term project born with the specific purpose of showing the relationship between mankind and the environment.
It’s an infinite journey in the proportion of this fragile hug.
It all started with a photographic documentation about the scars that the WWI left on the Alps, in northern Italy. During that work I noticed that something built for a specific bellic purpose is now used (and abused in some cases) for leisure. As a typical sunday activity you'll walk on roads built to access the trenches and for carrying guns and ammonitions. After some hours walking you'll reach the restaurant of the mountain's shelter that is a recovered building from war. I find very interesting that the recreational use of the mountain's environmeent started reconverting functional structures like military roads and shelters. The second thing I noticed was the dimension of the phenomena. Basically all northern Italy's trails are based on bellic road, trails and structures. The WWI affected so much the shape of our alpine landscape that is impossible to know how it looked before. Even my grand-grandfather did'nt remember how these mountain were before war and we have very few photographic documents of the pre-war mountain landscape.
At that point something clicked in me in terms of photographic composition and distance needed from the subject.
The question that I asked myself was: how I, as a photographer, can explain and investigate the relationship between man and mountains? What is the right distance and what are the real proportions between the two? I spent several days (and I'm still doing it) with my camera on these mountains, trying to find the right perspective to show how people, so small, can affect something like mountains, so big, just for their needs. With my pictures I'm trying to rebalance this relationship but I'm failing and I know it.
There's no balance.
We can, with our level of technology and engineering, change the shape of things, build buildings in places where is hard to go and then build roads and cableways to reach them.
I'm doing this work to collect a documentary testimony of the state of things because I'm sure they will change again. We keep building things on mountains like ski stations, cableways, roads, new trails, solar and wind power plants and so on...
So the final question is: how really small are we?
Well I think “Humans” is a big story made of little characters where the smallest is the photographer himself.
The power of this work is to find scenarios like dioramas in which the right dimension of who humas are, what they built, and the hostile enviroenment where they did it are represented.
Humans begun in 2017 and it's still a work in progress. Probably, like the subject of the work, it will never end.
WORK PUBLISHED ON DOCU MAGAZINE IN JULY 2020. TAKE A LOOK AT THE ONLINE MAGAZINE HERE: DOCUMAGAZINE