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Desert Italy

Exhibition of photos from a project by Stefano Torrione


With drought and flooding the impacts of the climate crisis are today a reality and Italy is particularly at risk also because it is in the climate hotspot that is the Mediterranean.

Data confirms that 2022 was the hottest year in Italy since 1800. Covering the entire country from North to South, scouring glacier, river and lake areas, Stefano Torrione analyses landscapes where the “wounds” inflicted by the drought have been most evident. The result is huge photos that in the austere language of black and white, highlight the effects on the country of global warming and address the issue of “tormented beauty”.

Italia, Piemonte, Lago di Ceresole Reale

Italia, Veneto, Fiume Brenta a Tezze sul Brenta

Sicilia, Isola di Stromboli, incendio

Valle d'Aosta la serracata del ghiacciaio del Toula nel griuppo del Monte Bianco

Photo 1: Piemonte, Gruppo del Gran Paradiso – In 2022, the bed of the lake of Ceresole Reale (1582 m) went completely dry due to poor winter snowfall.

Photo 2: Veneto, Vicenza – In 2022, the Brenta river was in a water emergency to such an extent that in some areas, such as in Tezze sul Brenta, the water disappeared completely, due to dispersion in the river bed.

Photo 3: Sicily, Stromboli – The fire, caused on the set of a TV series on Civil Defence in 2022, destroyed 5 hectares of Mediterranean scrub on the island.

Photo 4: Trentino, Gruppo della Presanella – The impressive accumulation of rock material released by the retreating glacier in the moraine amphitheatre above the Denza refuge.

The photographer

 Stefano Torrione was born in the Aosta Valley and after graduating in Political Sciences, he devoted himself to photography. A professional photographer since 1992, he started his career at the Epoca magazine and in 1994 won the Kodak European Panorama Award in Arles, France. He then specialised in geographical and ethnographical reportage, travelling to many different countries for services published in numerous Italian and foreign magazines. He has published several monographs in his name and has shown his work in various Italian cities.

In recent years, his work has focussed in particular on the Alps, with two long-term photographic projects. The first, La Guerra Bianca (The White War) is a 4-year photographic exploration that took 4 years to complete, tracing the frontline of the First World War on the glaciers in North-eastern Italy. The White War was shown, in collaboration with National Geographic Italia, in Trento (2016), Milan (2017), and at Fort Bard (2018). The second project, entitled AlpiMagia, is a photographic study of the intangible heritage of the Alpine populations and was shown in Aosta (2016), Bolzano (2020), and Belluno (2022). In 2018, he founded his own publishing company and issued the books “Grande Guerra Blanca” (The Great White War), “Spiriti d’inverno” (Winter Spirits) and “American Chrome”. In 2020, his exhibition Intra Montes in Via Dante in the centre of Milan featured 30 photos of the Aosta Valley.

He lives and works in Milan and the Aosta Valley.

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