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Photography projects

5 photo projects which, through different visions, poetics and themes, focus on a number of questions essential for the survival of humanity:

how are we relating to the Earth we live on? how carefully do we share space with other living beings? what trace will we leave of our passage?

An eye-catcher from which to begin a journey towards a collective reflection on what we will leave on our planet, whether tangible or intangible.

The photography exhibits are set up between Arco d'Augusto and

Cittadella dei Giovani (Via Garibaldi 7, Aosta)


(Cittadella opening hours Mon-Sat 9am-6pm)


#1 La Via Appia © Andrea Frazzetta
recovered traces

A selection of photographs taken from the project “The Appian Way” by Andrea Frazzetta. These shots, commissioned by National Geographic, contributed to the nomination of the ancient Via Appia to the UNESCO World Heritage List.


La Via Appia_recovered traces leads us to the discovery of the most famous still-existing Roman road and, according to modern criteria, the first one to ever be built. This route, dating back to 312 BC, twists and turns outside the Eternal City and crosses the southern regions of Italy covering 360 miles down to the port city of Brindisi.

The Appian Way is the reason why it is said "All roads lead to Rome" and, in Italy, it is still reverently called Regina Viarum, "the Queen of the streets".

However, its legacy has been largely overlooked and its stones buried under millennia of history.

Centuries of population growth and periods of uncontrolled development have left this archaeological and cultural treasure under private ownership or completely abandoned.

After an era of decay, a restoration project is currently underway with the aim of restoring this road and saving the immense archaeological heritage scattered along its route. Perhaps, the program most significant impact is the hope that revitalization efforts will reignite the relationship between the Italian establishment and the territory.

Despite being some of the most scenic territories, unfortunately they are among [SP1] the most affected by the economic crisis and criminality in Italy. They are the forgotten soul of the country and Appia is the line that can stitch together the identity of a wounded territory.


The ancient road axis - the first conceived as a "public road" - was the prototype of the entire Roman road system and still today, with its 120,000 km [2] in length, is the core of the complex Mediterranean Basin road network. Along the entire Via Appia Antica route there are much infrastructural, archaeological, architectural, funerary and civil evidence that represents a cultural heritage of exceptional importance to which the Ministry of Culture is allocating important investments for restoration and revitalization interventions.


In 1953, long before the dream of preserving the road could become a reality, the Italian environmentalist and politician Antonio Cederna wrote:

"For its entire length, and for a width of one kilometer and more on one side and the other, the Appian Way was a unique monument to be religiously preserved intact for its history and legends, for its ruins and trees, for its countryside and landscape, for its beauty, its solitude, its silence, its light, its sunrises and sunsets... It had to be religiously preserved because for centuries talented people from all over the world have loved it, described it, painted it, sung it, transformed it into a fantastic reality, into a moment of the spirit, creating a work of art from a work of art.”


Andrea Frazzetta (1977, Lecce, Italy) grew up in Milan, where he studied art and architecture.

A week after graduation he follows a small NGO in the Amazon Forest and realizes his first photo shoot. Since then, he has devoted himself entirely to photography and uses it as a medium for exploration and storytelling. He began to travel and produce several reports in Africa, in South America and in the Mediterranean area. 

He is a National Geographic Photographer, and a contributor to The New York Times. He has worked on assignment and personal projects in more than 80 countries around the world.

Frazzetta exhibits in many expositions, both personal and collective. His work receives several awards including the Canon Young Photographers Award, the Luchetta International Press Award, the Yann Geffroy Award, the PDN Photo Annual, the American Photography, the PX3 (The Prix de la Photographie, Paris). His "The Life and Death Shift" reportage, made during the first phase of the pandemic in Italy, as a cover story for the New York Times Magazine was awarded the "Ischia International Prize for Journalism 2020", bestowed by the order of Italian journalists under the high patronage of the President of the Italian Republic. It was the first time for a photo shoot. 

Andrea Frazzetta is a beneficiary of the "National Geographic Society's Emergency Fund for Journalists".

#2 Solo Pietre © Mattia Paladini
clear traces

A selection of photographs taken from the project “Solo Pietre” by Mattia Paladini. 


Scenarios suspended between mountains and anthropized areas characterized by indefinite time. 

Attracted by the frigid white of the North, aseptic places and great engineering works in poorly accessible areas, he travels periodically in search of new scenarios to photograph, always careful to bring back the real proportions between people and the surrounding space.


Solo Pietre is a work in progress that has been going on since 2010 and with which the photographer measures his progress.


The Aosta Valley, a 100% mountain region located in Northern Italy, on the border with France and Switzerland, is still today an important crossing point to the heart of Europe. 

Paladini invites us to observe, without critical judgment, the landscape and all the scenarios that human and natural intervention create by merging together.

The ruggedness of the mountainous terrain has made the man's work very complicated and spectacular; every strip of land and rock becomes a possible backbone of modern development. 

With all its charm, nature hosts the buildings which are essential to human life and to the new rhythm dictated by contemporaneity.


Born in Ivrea in 1988, he has always lived in the Aosta Valley, an alpine region whose mountains and atmospheres have determined his way of conceiving photography, focusing his work on human feelings in relation to the natural landscape.

His research focuses on landscape, intended as a meeting place of nature and architecture.

Interested in visual arts from an early age, he obtained the Diploma in Photography at the three-year course of the European Institute of Design in 2010. In 2007 he inaugurated in Argenta (FE) his first solo show entitled “:<<” (namly Colon open quotation marks ). In 2010 he exhibited in Issogne (AO) the “DIVERSA” Paesaggi Valdostani exhibition. Also, in 2010 he exhibited in the collective exhibition “Voci e Silenzi di Lomè” in Piazza Carignano in Turin, curated by Enzo Obiso, Cesar Mendoza and the European Institute of Design of Turin. In 2016 he exhibited in Turin in the double solo show entitled “Bianco - Ingenuo” together with the photographer Sophie-Anne Herin, at PHOS Centro per la Fotografia e le Arti Visive. In 2018 he took part in the collective exhibition “Vernacular of Landscape” at the “Usagy Gallery” in New York, organized by Subjectively Objective. In 2019 he participated in the exhibition “Orditure”, the result of the artist residency curated by Laura Cantarella and Federica Barletta. In 2021 he participated in the collective exhibition "Families of Man" curated by Walter Guadagnini and Elio Grazioli at the MAR of Aosta and exhibited in the collective exhibition "Refocus Archivio visivo della pandemia" at the Triennale Milano.

Issogne 2016.jpg

#3 Go West © Olivier Lovey
disturbing traces

A selection of photographs taken from the project "Go West" by Olivier Lovey on Europe's most polluted coal-fired power plants.


The amendment to the Atomic Energy Act of 2011 specifies Germany's nuclear power phase-out calendar: 8 out of the 17 plants definitively shut down in 2011, the shutdown of the remaining 9 plants is staggered until the end of 2022. 

To compensate for the loss of energy production, Germany uses its coal plants. It should be noted that a coal-fired power plant produces about 1,000 g of CO2/kWh, whereas a nuclear power plant produces only 6 g of CO2/kWh. 


With the war in Ukraine and to thwart Russia's gas embargoes, they have been further boosted. 

It seems that the world is struggling to cope with the ecological crisis. 


Germany is clearly the biggest polluter in Europe. The Neurath power station, composed of 7 units, is the 2nd source of pollution in Europe with an emission of 32.2 megatons of CO2, in 3rd place is the Niederaussem power station with 25.9 megatons, and in 5th position the Weisweiler power station with 16.8 megatons. All are located in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. 

Olivier Lovey went there in early 2022 to photograph them. The photographer wished to poetically transform this horrible reality with the help of the photographic process. He, thus, documented these plants with an ancient technique called "three-color process". 

This blend of techniques between an old method and the ultramodernity of these factories creates a kind of timelessness. 

Historically the three-color process is a technique used to produce the first color images from three black-and-white negatives filtered in red, green, and blue. The color image is thus created by superimposing these three negatives. Since the photos are not taken simultaneously, each subject shift - the smoke in this case - creates unbelievable colors. 

Hence, the smoke plumes from these factories become some sort of rainbows. An interesting contrast between breathtaking, wonderful images and this distressing reality. But these garish colors also evoke the fumes toxicity by their acidic colors. 



Born in 1981 in Martigny, Olivier Lovey graduated from Vevey's higher education in photography (2011). His work has been exhibited, among others, at the Prix Photoforum 2012, 2014, 2018 Selection/Auswahl in Biel, at the Prix Voies-off in Arles 2013, at the 18th Prix de jeunes talents vfg en photographie in 2014, as well as at the Boutographies de Montpellier where he received the Prix Réponses Photo. In 2018, he exhibited at the festival Images in Vevey and was awarded the first prize of the Swiss Photo Award in the Fine Arts category with his series “Miroirs aux alouettes”. In 2019, he exhibited at the Athens Photography Festival, the Gibellina Photoroad Festival in Sicily, as well as at the Ferme Asylum as a solo exhibition. In 2020, he was one of the 31 winners of the FeatureShoot Emerging Photography Awards and exhibited in New York. In 2021, he received the Grand Prix de l’Enquête valaisanne 2 for his series “La danse des Balrogs”. 

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#4 Paradise Discotheque © Antonio La Grotta
conteporary traces

Abandoned nightclubs, thousands of square meters of cement used as amusement machines, scattered among the Italian provinces, shipwrecks in the middle of countryside and industrial areas with hypnotic landscapes. 

If you look carefully, you can almost get a glimpse of the ruined stairs, Romanesque columns and cables hanging from the ceilings, the shadows of the multitude of weekend nomads who crossed the temples of Italian hedonism. 

For decades these mega-discotheques with extraordinary architecture have enjoyed international prestige and popularity; they are landmarks for the social nightlife of thousands of young people every weekend. 

And then suddenly, within a few years, it all came to an end: the new millennium casted a shadow over the great Italian discos whose memory quickly faded away, swallowed up by the frenetic acceleration of the present time, leaving contemporary traces of a lost past.


Antonio La Grotta tells what remains of those otherworldly worlds, imbued with exoticism, high-sounding aesthetics, points of escape from reality located in unlikely places, among fields, factories and ring roads. Santhià, Magliano Alpi, Cossato, Caraglio, Borgo San Dalmazzo, Tarsogno di Tornolo, Porto Viro, Romano Canavese. 

They are just some of the places that over the years have hosted these non-places of excitement and pleasure.

A massive entertainment circuit that never seems to end, with celebrities performing every weekend in front of thousands of people in end-of-the-world discos, giving the idea that the Italian province is not so different from the clubs of New York, London, and Ibiza. 

Yet, beneath the apparently eternal and inviolable surface, with the arrival of the new millennium, paradise shatters with noise, disenchantment breaks out with blinding speed and mega-discos disappear quickly, almost with shame, accompanied by news stories, myths and legends.

Building code violations, connections to crime and fraud emerge as a coup de grâce, while out there a new world moves forward, accelerates and hyper-connects. 


Antonio La Grotta (Turin, 1971) teaches photography at the European Institute of Design in Turin.

Since 2021 he has been coordinator of the IED Turin Continuing Education courses.

Freelance photographer, co-curator from 2008 to 2016 at the Gallery of Contemporary Art Nopx and consultant in limited editions.

He has published in several magazines in Italy and abroad, including Internazionale, Dcasa La Repubblica, The Post, Der Spiegel, Form, Scapegoat, Slate, Carcy, Tsugi.

He has exhibited in several public and private venues in Italy.

In 2015, he got third place at the Sony World Photography Awards in the Architecture category.

His works are part of private and public collections.

Ultimo Impero_004.jpg

#5  Chernobyl © Pierpaolo Mittica
invisible traces

Traces at Chernobyl, and of Chernobyl, are manifold: visible, rare, unconscious, wanted, hidden, but above all invisible. 

What you don't see in Chernobyl is more dangerous than what you see. Because in Chernobyl everything is contaminated and the radioactivity, you do not see it, you do not feel it, you do not smell it, but it is everywhere and continues to destroy and kill in silence. 

The victims of Chernobyl themselves have become invisible; the world has forgotten them in the past. 

Currently nine million people in Belarus, Ukraine and western Russia continue to live in lands with very high levels of radioactivity, eating poisoned food and drinking poisoned water. 

They are transparent and impalpable people, like memories, but they exist, and they are forced to survive in those places contaminated and forgotten by everyone.


Chernobyl_invisible traces is the narration of hidden stories, a journey between past and present lives, between memories and traumas still tangible. This work speaks about a world that is changing, that is disappearing, or that has already gone forever. Through this story in pictures, it is possible to feel on the skin and breathe a dramatically close reality, to live a frozen time, to know and recognize a place where memory, together with life, has been erased. 

The traces of Chernobyl are disappearing, invisible radiations make everything else invisible: people, humanity, history, time. 

What remains are the consequences on a population with more and more victims, almost an experiment in the erasure of humanity. 

What remains is nature that is recovering with its strength all that is left, such as the ghost town of Pripyat, now submerged and made invisible to the human eye, or the villages disappeared under the vegetation. This affected nature grows lush, changed and unnatural, but it will never stop. 

But what remains, in the end, is above all what is not seen: radioactivity, which will disappear only in two hundred thousand years.

Nature is always the first to pay the price for man's impact on planet Earth. 

But it is also the first to rise up and claim what has been taken from it. 


Award-winning and internationally known photographer and filmmaker, his photos have been exhibited in Europe, the United States and in China and have been published by Italian and foreign newspapers and magazines, including L'Espresso, Repubblica, Corriere della Sera, Days Japan International, Asahi Shinbum, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Wired USA, Asian Geo, China Newsweek, National Geographic USA.

He has received over 60 international awards including 6 “Pictures of the Year International”, 2 “Days Japan international Photojournalism Awards”, and he also was a finalist at the “Eugene Smith Grant”, “Alexia Foundation Grant”, “Leica Oskar Barnack Awards”, "World Report Awards", "Sony World Photography Awards".

He has made three documentaries: Living Toxic Ep 1 Russia (Author and Cameraman) Sydonia 2014; Behind the Urals (Author and Cameraman) Mondo in Cammino 2015; The Zone, road to Chernobyl (Director, Author, Cameraman) Subwaylab, 2018, which received international awards including: International film festival Ekotop Film EnviroFilm 2015, Uranium Film Festival 2016, Vittorio Veneto FF, Life After Oil FF, Official Selection “Split film festival 2018”, Best Narrative Feature and Best feature documentary “Cinqueterre film fest 2018”.

His documentaries and short documentaries have been broadcast by: Amazon Prime Video, Al Jazeera, Discovery Channel USA, RSI TV Switzerland, TVN 24 (Poland), Societé Radio Canada (Canada), Slovakia 1 & 2 (Slovakia), InsideOver, International.

He has published 15 collective books, as well as 7 personal books:

“Balcani, dalla Bosnia al Kosovo”, (Interattiva, Italy 2000) with a preface by Charles – Henri Favrod and introduction by Predrag Matvejevic.

“Chernobyl la herencia oculta”, (Ellago Ediciones, Spain 2006)

“Chernobyl the hidden legacy” (Trolley, Great Britain, 2007) with a foreword by Naomi Rosenblum and lyrics by Rosalie Bertell and Wladimir Tchertkoff

"Cip non ha paura" (Oncology Research Center of Aviano - CRAF, Spilimbergo, Italy 2010)

"Chernobyl 20 years after" (Kashiwa Shobo, Japan 2011) with a foreword by Naomi Rosenblum and lyrics by Rosalie Bertell and Wladimir Tchertkoff

"Ashes/Ceneri" stories of a photojournalist (Municipality of Pordenone 2014) with a presentation by Luis Sepulveda and an introduction by Naomi Rosenblum, Charles-Henri Favrod, Angelo Bertani

"Tokai, A life in Chains", (torri del vento edizioni, Italy), 2022

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