Frana come timeline

Frana Futura

Future Avalanche


Liguria is an impervious region, constantly threatened by hydrogeological instability.

The Avalanche permeates this environment: it is its geological (and ontological) conformation. Those who live here laboriously resist the sliding of the earth, a task that requires care but also of forcing balances: terrace after terrace, stone after stone, the landscape becomes an immense deposit of fatigue.

Here, the sense of landslide goes beyond its common meaning: it is synonymous with neglect and abandonment, depopulation of inland areas and loss of local memory. But it is also a symbol of transformation and renewal, of material shuffling towards new geographies. A perpetual transformation that operates on temporal scales forbidden to us, like those of lithogenesis.

A device for breaking out of the anthropocentric perspective and attuning with the rhythms of the earth. In this humus of energies, it is stone that configures itself as an interface between us and the Avalanche.

Entrata di una cava in mezzo al bosco
Cava abbandonata a Sorlana

As you ascend the debris flow, you go back in time, right into the belly of the mountain. From the darkness of these tunnels, the four chapters of the documentary unfold. .

Angelo, Carlo and Paolo work in the quarries of the F.lli Demartini company, in the Fontanabuona Valley's quarrying pole. Here, by tooth and nail, with chisels and mallets and jackhammers and caterpillars, slate has been mined for thousands of years. At seven o'clock in the morning, they put on their overalls and slowly descend underground as day dawns outside.

Entering on tiptoes and muddy boots into the underground cathedrals from which slate is extracted, time takes on another form. It folds. Following the strands, one crosses geological eras and discovers what the landslide has covered over millions of years.

Such a journey back in time is the one carried out to tackle a cultural Avalanche. Pietre Parlanti are a non-profit association based in Lavagna. Thanks to a network of volunteers, they are rediscovering the historical heritage of Monte Capenardo and Monte San Giacomo. With brush cutters and chain saws, they are slowly resurfacing ancient paths, canals that brought water to the mills, and stones dug to support the vines. Evidence of a difficult and tiring past, yet one rich in awareness and ingenuity.

Casa diroccata ricoperta di edera
Pietre parlanti durante un'opera di polizia
Valle dei Berissi, tunnel medievale per l'incanalamento delle acque

Such a fragile place needs skilful water regulation, patient hands that put back the stones as they fall from the walls, and someone who knows where to run roads without undermining the slopes. Crafts that are passed down by the wayside, by mothers and fathers and by videos on social networks; a heritage that is forgotten, recovered and shared. Here a wall is not just the sum of its stones.

Luca Drovandi is an artisan mason working around La Spezia. As a member of ITLA (International Terraced Landscapes Alliance), he is involved in training in the art of dry stonework. He builds and maintains terraces in areas that are often inaccessible and difficult to reach.

Muretto a secco a sbalzo sulla costa ligure
Dettaglio della preparazione di un sasso

With the depopulation of inland areas and the rapallisation (so called after the aggressive urbanisation of the ligurian municipality, Rapallo) of urban areas, however, another paradigm emerges: the slow processing of stones embedded in walls is replaced by the instant and fixed solution of rockfall nets. Easier to set up and way cheaper, these metal weaves protect us from the exuberance of (the) rock. Campra Rocciatori has been securing and consolidating unstable slopes for over twenty years. An agile and effective technique, capable of freezing the avalanche in mid-air.

Campra Rocciatori nelle reti

It is hard to say whether it is possible or not to halt this process: to witness it, one would have to follow the landslide and its roll over millions of years, plunge with it into the sea and embrace its endless cycle of rebirth. The movie acknowledges the complex and often contradictory practices required to make a living through the ecological catastrophe. It explores their forces and modulations with a delicate choral narration: a storytelling without words and characters, seen from the perspective of the Avalanche.

Rotolata a mare
Rotolata a mare