The Burning Plain


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The Phlegraean Fields, west of Naples in Italy, are defined by their relationship to volcanic threat. Comprised of a 13 kilometer-wide cauldron-like depression with 24 craters, the fields have constant eruptive activity of gas or mud, with earthquakes and bradyseisms. Phlegraean comes from the Greek phlego: to burn.

Yet, people occupy this area.

In their latest series The Burning Plain, photographic duo Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni present in aesthetic black and white images the daily life of the Phlegraean Fields. While Caimi and Piccinni take a photojournalistic approach, documenting the Vesuvius Observatory, evidence of the volcanic activity and portraits of those affected, the images offer an artistic viewpoint of the emotionality of the space. They explain: “Life on the Phlegraean Fields is a mixture of anxiety, hope and resignation, in a unique blend of emotional and geographical landscape, where the connections of humans with the nature and God is under the spell of the Volcano.”



Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni were previously featured in GUP#50, the Hidden Gems issue, with their series Forcella. They have recently launched a print sales page on their website, where original darkroom and xerox prints of their works can be purchased.


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