EPIDEMIC

2014-ongoing

In the shadow of the Vesuvius, the area of Naples is subject to a major political, ecological and sanitary furore.

During twenty-two years, about 10 million tonnes of industrial waste have been buried illegally, with the help of Camorra, the local mafia, and the complicity of the mayors of the 106 municipalities. The industrial waste, repurchased by the mafia at a very interesting price from 450 Italian and European companies, have been blended with urban waste and abandoned in open dumps. The fires triggered from time to time to reduce the amount of waste, and whose fume are extremely toxic, have given its name to the Land of Fires.

The scandal broke in 2013 when a study realized by the American army at Corney Park base to control the standard of living of the soldiers based in the area of Naples revealed a high level of water pollution in the region. The report, which concluded that there was an « unacceptable health hazard » notably due to the presence of uranium, enlightened the link between the waste illegally buried and the ambient contamination, thus revealing the significant consequences of this smuggling on economical and sanitary fronts.

The number of congenital malformations is 80% superior to the national average, and the number of cancer accounted for in the area is in constant increase. Besides, cultivated land pollution damaged the important agricultural activity, subsequently threatening to impact on local agrifood industry.

The existing project, documenting the life of the inhabitants who were the most affected by this environmental scandal took a major focus on children who had leukemia and communities, the corrupted landscape as on the activists movements asking for an official

recognition by the government.

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Lately, in early March 2021, the Italian National Institute of Health released a too-long-awaited report on the health impact of toxic

waste buried, confirming the actual connection between the exponential increase in congenital pathologies as the current cancer epidemic caused by prolonged exposure to corresponding carcinogens.
In spite the clamorous ISS report, the Government substantial silence continues, covered by the noise provoked by the continuously updated Covid-19 regulations.

In the light of these very important confirmations, a new coverage is needed, starting by going back to the people I worked with years ago. First and foremost, there was a 9-year-old girl with Leukemia who fortunately survived. She is a young woman now and matured a deeper awareness to what happened to her. They will surely have much to say about all the recent evolutions.