The project was born in September 2020 to learn about the territorial changes of the capital of Sardinia, Cagliari.
Being a city by the sea I was interested in investigating what happens going up from the sea to the mouth to the inhabited city and the events that happen with the time that goes on.
Man has always shaped space as he pleases, appropriates it and makes it the place where he lives. These processes of appropriation of space are born for necessity and survival needs.
Man creates places for work, he constantly follows the idea of development, of progress, without, however, questioning the real responses of the territory to these actions.
Every gesture of man on the territory, every interaction, creates a change of the territory itself, starting that difficult path of maintaining the balance between human and natural dynamics. It is precisely the concept of balance, of its constant research and of its most frequent rupture, the key to the interpretation of the project.
I want to talk about a changed environmental system, occupied since Phoenician times, in the center of the Mediterranean. It is a large wetland, a biodiversity reserve and the cradle of the current city of Cagliari. Now relegated to a backward city, colonized by large port infrastructure, power plants and industrial buildings, is a landscape that despite everything still retains the deepest meaning of balance. It is defined as a small ecosystem that enjoys and lives, at the same time, thanks to a network of micro-activities, such as fishing, which indissolubly binds man to the lagoon. It is the breeding ground of the few fishermen who resist the environmental revolution dictated by the construction of the canal port,those who heal those bonds so frail but rooted between man and water. The design of the big infrastructural system leads to the birth of real new artificial islands that stand between the sea and the lagoon, modifying the outlets, the accesses, the original landing places.
New morphologies are born, new landscapes that, with their connotation, clearly break the balances that lasted centuries. So a new phase begins, a new process of achieving environmental balances.
The lagoon landscape is thus a hybrid, where large infrastructure, industrial buildings, the railway, the airport, alternate with a small fishing village, hinge between sea and lagoon, which is called Giorgino and small settlements of the banks, made of shelters, small ports and temporary landings, made of materials of result for fishermen who still take care of the micro-production of the wet-lagoon system. This project aims to describe the so rapid and sudden transformations to which an indispensable place for the natural and urban ecosystem is subjected, not only of the city of Cagliari but of the whole island. It tells, beyond the inevitable transformations, the permanences, everything that resists and that continues its struggle for the maintenance of balance.
The actor in this struggle is always the man, the one who breaks and ties up with nature. Man is still the one who can save the lagoon from its constant transformation, stopping the tension to its extreme artificialization. Its task is to bring it back to its original role as a theatre, a space of life and a place to live.
Self-taught photographer based in Italy.
His approach to photography has allowed him to develop a process of investigation of the territory and the contemporary landscape. The analysis tools with which he works are based on the identification and description of a method that leads to the absolute synthesis of the elements: of the matter, its composition and its structure. The work is the response of a process in continuous exploration of the territory, its anthropic and natural dynamics. From the passion for the sea and its transformations is based its first research. This allows him to win in 2018 a call for a series of exhibitions in Italy and publishes his first autobiographical book. In 2019 he was entrusted with the task of documentation of 24 contemporary architectures in the Italian territory for the platform “Atlas of Contemporary Architectures” called by the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Triennale di Milano and the Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity and Urban Regeneration (DGCCRU) of MiBACT.
he was a photography teacher at the IED in Cagliari from 2016 to 2018 leaving his teaching career to devote himself fully to his photographic research.
The latest works lead him to explore his native land again, through projects to rediscover the countries in the process of depopulation, through an integrated work with urban plans of various Sardinian municipalities and continuing to work on the coast. He is currently based in Cagliari, where he works with personal projects and on commission in the field of architecture and advertising photography at international level.
© text and pictures by Cédric Dasesson