Land of Fires
The Italian Region of Campania, in the last few years has become notoriously known as the ‘new triangle of death’ or ‘ The Land of Fires’. It is at the centre of a media storm due to the dangerous levels of pollution on the land and the connections between politics and corruption that brought the area and its inhabitants into complete chaos.
My work observes those who are battling to live in this complex situation, placed amongst the toxic elements of pollution and corruption both literally and metaphorically.
The region has recently experienced increasing deaths caused by cancer and other diseases connected with pollution far exceeding the Italian national average.
It is thought that the rise in cancer-related mortality is caused mainly by pollution from illegal and indecorous hazardous waste disposal from various sources. No more so than as a result of the work carried out by the familial organised crime clans of the Camorra.
Carmine Schiavone - one of the ex-heads of the Camorra clan Casalesi - recently admitted that he had systematically worked for 20 years to bribe local politicians and officials to gain their acquiescence to dump toxic waste. The illegal dumping of toxic waste was at the core of the Camorra business. However now it is very probable that the new focus of the business will be to secure contracts to clean up the polluted land.
This is just one of the Camorra’s strategies to gain social prestige and political patronage. Because of their grip on the community, the Camorra have great control over local politicians and public officials creating a “state within a state” with its own rules and controlled self-serving disorder.
The lack of values or assistance from the Italian Government and an overly bureaucratic system has left the population in a complete state of disarray and uncertainty.