• Tommaso Ausili


The White Town

During WWII, on their way to bomb northern Italy English and American pilots could see under them a huge white spot. By that they knew they were flying over Casale Monferrato, also known as “the white town.” The roofs of the houses were, in fact, covered in white by the asbestos dust coming off the Eternit plant. Throughout the plant’s production life a massive quantity of asbestos dust was dispersed into the atmosphere through the factory chimneys that had no protective filters.

Suspended Adolescence

The containment strategies to curb the wave of the pandemic had a strong psychological impact on the population. This underestimated consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic was mostly noticed in adolescents. Adolescence is a crucial period of human life that is characterized by the physiological evolution of somatic characteristics associated with psychological and behavioural modifications. Most of them experienced feelings of fear, discouragement, and anxiety which strongly affected the approach to their daily lifestyles.

Holy Swabs

To undergo a swab test, a rapid examination to diagnose an ongoing SARS-CoV-2 infection, is undoubtedly an unpleasant experience. Worrying about the test results, and the implied consequences, adds to the discomfort of this invasive examination. A thin stick (like a cotton bud) is placed deep in the nasal cavity and in the back of the throat, often triggering a cough or the gag reflex. The very moment before, when such intimacy is shared with an unknown person and where there is no defence, no choice, human character and fragility are revealed.


Tommaso Ausili (b. 1970) is an Italian photographer and videomaker.
He approached photography after his graduation. Originally interested in travel and geographical photography, he gradually moved to photo-reportage. In 2009 he started the “Hidden Death” project, focused on the death of animals for slaughter. In 2010 the project awarded the World Press Photo (3rd prize), the Sony World Photography Award and the Iris d’Or – Photographer of the Year. In 2012 he undertook a long-term project about pollution by asbestos in Italy. This project also marked his debut on video. His documentary “The white town” was selected for several international festivals and won the prize “L’anello debole” in 2014. In 2015 he founded ROAM, a studio/collective which aims to reinterpret the iconography of the city of Rome. Its first project “Jubilee People”, was exhibited at MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome).

Rome, Italy

More info


2014. “L’anello debole”, 1° prize
2010. Sony World Photography Award, 1° prize “Contemporary Issues”
2010. Iris d’Or/Photographer of the Year, Sony World Photography Award
2010. World Press Photo, 3° prize “Contemporary Issues”

Exhibitions & Screenings

2020. “Lector in Fabula – European cultural festival”, Conversano (BA)
2016. “Jubilee People”, MACRO (Museo Arte Contemporanea Roma), Rome
2015. “Racconto Onesto”, Forma Meravigli
2010. “Foto8 Summershow”, Host Gallery, London
2011. “Fotojatka”, Prague, Brno, Czech Republic
2010. “Testimoni del Nostro Tempo”, Museo d’Arte Scavi Scaligeri, Verona
2010. “Sony World Photography Awards” Exhibition – Worldwide
2010. “Word Presso Photo” Exhibition – Worldwide