Pamela Testa



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Sperone (Abruzzo, Italy) was a mountain village inhabited until the beginning of sixties, then definitely abandoned after having been already rebuilt very close to its original site in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit the Marsica region in 1915, the most destructive earthquake in peninsular Italy since 18th century. Sperone shared the same fate as many other small rural towns within the earthquake area, undergoing a process of so called “dislocation”: inhabitants of ruined mountain villages were forced by authority to move to a new settlement, usually close to the original site, a settlement whose architectural and urban features did not fit neither to people’s expectations nor to their basic needs. Short after the resettlement many of these new towns, more similar to military quarters than to real villages, were deserted, since people did not feel at home in such places any more, due to social and economical conditions that had become worst than before and as a consequence of the deprivation of their everyday life and their habits that they experienced in these “new towns”.
Some kind of forced “dislocation”, although allegedly temporary, appears to be even in our days the strategy enforced by national and local institutions when it comes to face the consequences of new earthquakes in Abruzzo and south-central Italy (see, for instance, the 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila).
The double ruins of Sperone still stand in front of our eyes as part of a beautiful as well as dramatic landscape, testifying the blindness and ineffectiveness of such policies.
My photographs aim to tell the story of this two time abandoned place.

(Digital photography, 2016)