By Matt Nager
For nearly two decades, Campania, the southern region of Italy where Naples is located, has witnessed the ongoing practice of illegal toxic material dumping. This practice has taken place in the provinces of Naples and Caserta known as “The Triangle of Death” taken from the towns of Acerra, Nola and Marigliano. The material that is illegally dumped in this vastly fertile region comes mostly from industries in Northern Italy. As of today, the management of waste material in Campania is fully in the hands of the Camorra – a mafia organization with vast economic and political power. The waste material, including aluminum salts, ammonium salts, lead, rubber from tires, and asbestos, is unlawfully incinerated. As a result, high levels of dioxin are released in the atmosphere causing a high rate of birth defects and cancer among the people who are living in the contaminated area.
Campania In-Felix (Unhappy Country) explores the presumed connection between waste, health and environment in the area of the Triangle of Death, recognized by local doctors as the most polluted area of the region. Life exists stuck between the beauty of the historically fertile land on one hand and a new tradition of waste and destruction on the other.
Matt Nager is a freelance photographer and filmmaker based in Dallas, Texas. His travels have taken him throughout Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Italy, Israel, Jordan and Egypt. For more information, visit his website.