Antonio Di Cecco
Photography and Catastrophe
Following the earthquakes in L’Aquila (2009), in Emilia (2012) and in Central Italy (2016/2017) the KHI decided to get involved in cooperative projects dealing with the past and present of natural disasters in the Italian peninsula. These projects include collaboration with the photographer Antonio Di Cecco from L’Aquila, who has intensively dedicated himself in his work to the exploration of post-catastrophic scenarios. In this context, he conducted a search in the holdings of the Institute’s Photo Library, and made a selection of historic photos. Its essential concept is to explore the various levels of representation and sedimentation of natural disasters. By illustrating the transformations of landscapes and townscapes they have most recently caused, it thus tries to show the radical changes to places and settlement patterns, as well as the destruction of historic monuments and building fabric.
The shape of the places
What did L'Aquila become in 2019? The photographs of the series "The shape of the Places" [January 2019 / in progress] explore the current image of L’Aquila as a synthesis of transformations and choices made in the process of (re) construction after the 2009 earthquake. Perhaps it will become a new city, for new citizens, but today - in 2019 - it is a complex place with continuous changes in its form, with changes in social spaces, with lights and voices that slowly begin to alternate with the noises of the construction sites. What can a person find, when he decides to cross the historic centre of L'Aquila for a simple walk? It is difficult to contextualize streets and squares of the city, just as it is often difficult to cross and use them. The redevelopment of places, which for years have been a deposit of materials and objects, is still far from the idea of a public usable space.