Time seems to have stopped at the Industrial Revolution in the 800’s. It is the historic centre of the Magna Graecia surrounded by a contaminated air, ground and sea with its past floating back up to the surface.

The backdrop is that of the steel-work hub in Taranto. The largest in Europe and also the most polluted. Despite the presence of large industries, there is an army of unemployed in Taranto: around 110 thousand people, around 40% of the entire population. Today, agriculture is forbidden within a 20 km radius from Ilva while livestock is put down because it contains dioxins and many people ironically ask themselves if the same fate awaits them, too. The European Union has opened an infringement procedure against Italy concerning the Ilva affair in Taranto, saying that italian national authorities had not guaranteed conformity on the subject of requirements regarding industrial emissions, with serious consequences for human health and the environment. The plants in Taranto have been at the centre of a tug of war between magistracy and government. Acts of corruption, concussion and various other offenses have taken place, hypothesized within the inquest “Environment Undersold”, carried forward by the Public Prosecutor in Taranto. According to medical and epidemiological studies, in the historic centre of Magna Graecia a rise of 30-40% of all cancerous forms (some neoplasie have risen by 100%) have been recorded, along with illnesses that are correlated to pollution from dioxins and asbestos. Therefore, many families are torn between the need to work and that of safeguarding their children’s health.

HOLD THE BREATH (2013-2016)