September 6 – October 1, 2022  at Photography Gallery (Vasario 16-osios st. 11, Panevėžys)

 

Stories about Land and Water

Monocultures and Green Economy in Tuscia

Soil exploitation is leading to unprecedented changes in landscapes, ecosystems and the environment. Rural landscapes are changing due to intensification of agriculture, abandonment of the countryside and exploitation of forests.

In particular, there has been a lot of talk recently about intensive hazelnut monoculture, which is colonising our territory of Alta Tuscia and part of the Tuscan Maremma. This hazelnut project has received the support of the Regions, Trade Associations and even European Rural Development Plans.

In this reality of irresponsible exploitation of the land, for years there have been small companies dedicated to environmentally friendly agriculture and animal husbandry, with an organic and regenerative approach. Over the years, these producers have linked up in an attempt to create a network, creating fair trade markets, sharing knowledge, coordinating and organising themselves to face common battles to affirm a different way of relating to the land while respecting the environment and resources for a truly sustainable future.

Many citizens, farmers and associations have raised this issue, particularly on the consequences and environmental, economic and social impacts that such transformations can have on our territory. The idea is to realise and tell this theme through a photographic reportage.

For some years now, my photography has taken a very precise direction, that is to talk about my Earth, with shots that give back a part of what we are and what we will become. I care a lot about this subject because I am a person who is very attached to the Earth, I have always lived among the countryside and animals, the territory has a very important value for me because I live it every day, it is not only a geographical place, but also a set of history, work and knowledge. In this case, the images help us convey a sense of urgency, a request for concrete commitment, a need to promote the “Change” necessary to protect the territory and the new generations.

The stories told express the gradual affirmation of those environmental and social values, which are today indispensable for planning a new way of using the planet’s resources. Through reportage, I therefore want to look at and analyse what is happening inside companies at a precise moment, placing the photographic footage in a logical and narrative dimension that can be easily understood by anyone.

My photographic approach is based simply on spontaneity, entering the scene to tell the truth of what is happening.

The choice of location revolves around the same pivot as the project’s meaning: wanting to represent reality without filters. For this reason, the photographs were produced in agreement with the companies, in a spontaneous, simple and real situation.   The reportage was produced at: Semi di Tuscia, Chierici Casa Agricola, Agricola Montesegnale, Le Aromatiche di Bolsena ir La Villana.

Michela Petrocchi 

About the author:

 Michela Petrocchi a 22-year-old photographer, who lives and works in Gradoli, a small town in Alta Tuskia, located on Lake Bolsena, in the province of Viterbo, Italy. Since childhood, she was interested in photography, studied at an art school and after graduating from it in 2021, she entered photography studies at the Academy of Art in Lorenzo da Viterbo.  At current moment, she deepens her knowledge in the photography of reports.