ONE AT A TIME
BY ALFREDO COVINO
Casale Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy.
"One at a time" is a journey through places, testimonies and memories showing the "void" that this story has left in Casale Monferrato, the Italian town where the Eternit factory was built in 1906.
The factory produced a mixture of cement and asbestos whose fibre caused several respiratory diseases such as asbestosis or a particularly malignant tumour: the pleural mesothelioma. It wasn’t just former workers who contracted diseases: citizens of nearby Casale also felt ill, as leftover asbestos dust was used for heat insulation and fire-proofing in their homes.
Over the years the factory marked the history of this town and its inhabitants: the indiscriminate use of the territory has significantly altered its appearance, interfering negatively in the people’s daily life and transforming the urban and natural landscape. There is no longer relation between man and his environment.
The building’s ruins, the residual asbestos packed in a wood, the banks of Po river show a land still tormented by the presence of the deadly factory which, even demolished, continues to return something harmful to humans and environment.
In Casale Monferrato people continue to die and their absence is perceptible.
Born in 1973 in Rome where he currently lives and works, Alfredo studied photography at the European Institute of Design and subsequently obtained a Master in Photojournalism at the Higher Institute of Photography and Integrated Communications (ISFCI) in Rome. Through documentary photography, he explores several issues: from the interaction between man and the environment to the impact of human intervention on the urban and natural landscape, paying particular attention to the transformation of the territories and the connections between places, memory and absence.
He is carrying out his projects in Italy and in other countries such as Argentina, Turkey and the Republic of Moldova. His work has been shown in personal and collective exhibitions. In 2008, Alfredo won the Yan Geffroy Prize from Grazia Neri photo agency with his project “Dear Moldova” and in 2010 he was finalist at the Sony World Photography Awards. In 2009, he co-founded “Punto di Svista”, a cultural association about visual arts in Italy, and became part of the editorial committee of the online magazine. From 2009 to 2014 he was a staff photographer at OnOff Picture Agency.