DISPLACEMENT - New Town No Town
When a city loses its public space.
Photos Giovanni Cocco
Text Caterina Serra
Produced by HFilm
DISPLACEMENT is a project that combines narrative and photography, offering a dialogue between two different ways of seeing that do not want to be overly explicative of each other.
So, what is left of a city that has lost its inhabitants? Where does the physical city ends, and the living one begins? What happens to its genius loci when its citizens are lost, and displaced to the anonymity of suburbia?
The project took shape while we worked on a city that in Italy is a symbol for the loss and dispersion of a community: L’Aquila.
The earthquake of the 6th of April 2009 converted the historical town into a building site, in an undistinguished non-lieu of new buildings that resurfaced from the dusty debris under the guise of refurbished hotels, coffe shops and wine bars, as if these were the only suitable places for social life. The population meanwhile has been shifted and exiled into the New Towns, dormitory suburbs with centers that are nothing but the roundabouts of shopping malls, where one can feel a material and spiritual disorientation.
Over the course of 2013 and 2015 we immersed ourselves in this city to capture and document the loss and to follow the population displacement towards the edges of the urban map. A cartography of change, intimately personal and powerfully communicative. The old city, amidst rubble and neglect, and the new town, dislocated and decentered, emerge as the representation of a two-faced country, torn in its inability to value its inner strength, skills and beauty.