A whole new world emerges at Malagrotta when the sun goes down. In the photographs of Gian Marco Sanna (b. 1993, Italy), fiery flashes coalesce with thick fumes and rise out of man-made mountains directly into the sky. This may sound to you like a music festival, but the fancy name and the milky fog, mysteriously wrapped around the ambiguous figures, are anything but fancy.
Actually, Malagrotta is Europe's biggest dumpsite, located in Galeria Valley in the province of Rome. There, throughout the 90s, authorities daily discharged around 4,500 to 5,000 tons of waste. Luckily, in 2013, the garbage disposal was officially closed due to the trash overflow. However, toxic vapours and pollution caused by the effects of Malagrotta are hazardously affecting the environment until today. Living close to the dumpmotivated Sannato start his visual narrative. In 2017, he published The City of Snow, a fanzine about the addressed issue, and now there is the book Malagrotta.
Sanna documents the scenery in a dramatic fashion. The grotesque landscapes are overexposed, the trees are unwelcomingly monstrous and even the portrayed cats, dogs and frogs look lost and aggressive. With the use of flash, Sanna's snapshots show the good, the bad and the ugly of the region. On one hand, his images appear enchanting and mysterious; on the other, highlighting the obnoxious and uncanny, they expose the feeling of guilt regarding the behaviour of humankind.