ABSOLUTE WINNER OF PORTFOLIO AWARD UMBRIA PHOTO FEST '2017
This project is a social analysis of the asbestos issue in relation to daily, intimacy and psychological life of asbestos victims, both those who have suffered from exposure to this fiber and their families who survived.
The two diseases recognized by medicine in correlation with asbestos are: mesothelioma (neoplasia of the lung pleura) and the pleural plaques (the asbestos reaches the pleura and creates a fibroses reaction and cancer).
The peak of deaths is taking place, as it is between 2015 and 2020, having this fiber an incubation of at least 25-30 years. This means that many people, who have had an exposure directly related to asbestos, live an extremely stressful psychological condition.
The World Health Organization estimates that there are at least 125 million workers in the world exposed to asbestos and almost one hundred thousand deaths every year, but experts warn that these are underestimated figures.
The project started in 2015 and analyzes the Italian situation; the main areas, which have been studied, are distributed in the north, in the centre, and the south of Italy: Casale Monferrato (Alessandria) where the Eternit factory that produced asbestos is situated, the Val di Cecina where Enel had covered its steam ducts
for producing geothermal energy with asbestos, along with other cities in Italy such as Milan, Naples or Rome, where the victims of asbestos are widespread.
In Italy on November 19th, 2014 the Supreme Court of Cassation declared the environmental disaster crime committed by ‘Eternit spa’ (the main asbestos production factory in Italy), nullifying the legal recognition of the victims. On May 30, 2016 the asbestos victims of Casale Monferrato obtained a new trial for murder from the Constitutional Court against the Swiss, Stephan Schmidheiny.
Many people are unfairly sick and have lost their lives for the sake of capitalist logic that privileged economic development against human protection: the harmful effects of this fiber were certainly known since the 60s, when the workers were given a liter of milk to detoxify themselves.
The title of the project comes from the words of a patient suffering from mesothelioma who said: Lungs are like two wings.
Starting from their words is a way to give voice to the fears, pain and also to the hopes of those who now die in anonymity.