Garbage: more spectacular than Berlusconi’s love affairs
Wasting Naples: a documentary on Naples’ garbage crisis finally explains the connections between the government, the ecomafia and the struggles against the devastation of the Campania region.
A few days ago, the international press briefly turned its attention to the spectacular images of burning heaps of garbage and garbage truck that lit Naples’ night sky as police and protesters clashed violently. Some reports commented on the government’s failure to solve a fifteen-year-long emergency. Some others mentioned mismanagement, worrisome toxic waste and the government’s reckless plan of turning Mt. Vesuvius national park into a giant dumpsite. Yet, before any further analysis could emerge, attention shifted to the latest of Prime Minister Berlusconi’s love affairs with a minor and his homophobic and sexist excuses.
Chance or machination, Silvio Berlusconi’s sexual scandals conveniently pop up when he is being asked difficult questions that cannot be answered with a bad joke. This time, again, Italians questioned his cabinet’s failure to solve the garbage emergency. Indeed, two years ago, Berlusconi had gained another electoral victory and a five-year term in office with promises to finally solve what by now seems to be a perpetual crisis. When garbage heaps flooded the streets again, it became clear to everyone that he had failed to keep his word.
Not unlike its foreign counterpart, the Italian media is incapable (or unwilling) to produce a consistent history and account of the situation. They seem unable to draw connections between the disastrous impact of (legal and illegal) dumping on the environment and the health of the area’s residents. They miss the links between the endless line of corruption charges against the functionaries responsible for over a decade of waste management, the sabotage of recycling policies, the squandering of sustainable energy funds, and the contracts for polluting plants granted to companies affiliated with the ecomafia. In other words, not many people look for the lines of connection between the government, the legal and illegal economy thriving on waste and the garbage crisis. It took the collective effort of the committees and communities struggling to save what is left of the territory and the media collective insu^tv to bring it all together––in a documentary.
Wasting Naples premiered in late 2009 to a full theatre and five hundred more left to wait for the next screening. Since then, it has toured Italy and Europe at festivals and community screenings, yet it went virtually unnoticed by the mainstream press. This is a shame, because this documentary offers food for thought and ink to those who are interested in a truly critical approach to Italy’s farcical political situation. On the brink of one more environmentally disastrous undertaking by the Italian government, we re-launch Wasting Naples to foreign audiences and journalists and urge those interested in Italian politics to watch the movie (archive) and write about what is going on, beyond the gossip and spectacle of Silvio Berlusconi’s government.
For more information contact Nicol Angrisano:
– A journey into the world of waste and corruption in the Campania region-
Documentary, digital, colour, 2009, 60 min.,
[available in English]
Release date: April 2009
Wasting Naples explores the garbage crisis in Southern Italy, revealing how the actions of some powerful groups are turning areas of "the global South" into illegal dumping grounds.
Synopsis: Where does the waste of the Campania region end up? From 2003 to 2009, a group of Neapolitan videomakers documented the so-called waste crisis to reveal the mechanisms, identify the players, and expose those responsible for fifteen years of mis-management – a charade costing billions of euros and initiating several on-going legal suits. The film also documents the local communities striving for change, who denounce the looting of public funds, the sabotage of recycling policies, collusions with the “ecomafia”, and the grey areas of Italian democracy.
Wasting Naples captures both sides of the largest environmental disaster in Western Europe. While examining the proposals of those seriously committed to find sustainable alternatives, the inevitable question arises: what if “living in a crisis” was just someone’s strategy to make profit?
Watch the trailer; [http://www.archive.org/details/WastingNaples]
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