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Claudia Pasanisi’s The Chidro
Photography Claudia Pasanisi

Why this river is so important to Italian youth

‘In this area the youth are almost forgotten. Most kids won’t have a ‘normal’ future because there is no work and the institutions don’t really care about them’

Now that summer is officially over, we asked some of our favourite photographers to share their visual diaries with us. See more here

Everyone has a special place that, when reminded of it, evokes a feeling of bittersweet nostalgia. For photographer Claudia Pasanisi “The Chidro”, a river in Puglia, south Italy, is that place. It’s where she spent her youth, and the folklore surrounding it makes it even more important. “The story goes that Saint Peter (one of the Twelve Apostles) shipwrecked on these shores and Christened the local people with Chidro’s waters,” she explains. But this idyllic river is now at risk of pollution due to a new waste treatment plant being constructed close by. Pasanisi continues, “Unfortunately the plant that they have decided to build is an anachronistic eco-monster – a garbage disposal that would dump sewer slurry just 900 meters from the shore.”

Through this personal project she’s hoping to bring awareness to how important this spot is to the people – but most importantly, young people – of Puglia. “In this area the youth are almost forgotten. Most kids won’t have a ‘normal’ future because there is no work and the institutions don’t really care about them,” she tells us. “There are no parks or community centres to go to, and heavy drugs and boredom are their company instead. At least in summer they have somewhere precious and clean where they can have proper fun and play with each other in a healthy way. It’s amazing to see them be reborn in summer and also incredibly brave and wild diving into this small stream of water, careless of the future.

To see more of Pasanisi’s work, click here