Gian Marco Sanna takes us to Malagrotta, the city of “snow”


Gian Marco Sanna (Rome, 1993)

From 2012 to 2015 he has studied at the Roman School of Photography, where he has acquired the techniques from analogue to digital photography. In 2015 he started to attend the D.O.O.R. Academy, experimenting with documentary photography.  From 2015 to 2017 he has worked in the area of Malagrotta in Rome, where the biggest dump in Europe is located. In 2016 he found L.I.S.A. collective. He has already published his works on several international magazines.

In 2017 the publishing house Urbanautica printed his first book Malagrotta, which was presented during the Paris Photo at Mi Galerie in Paris and at Fotofever in 2019.
The same project was also exhibited in Rome at 001 Gallery, during the Roman photographic walks, an event organized by MIBACT, at the Galleria Lombardi Arte in Siena, at the RiBella Art gallery in Viterbo during Caffeina Event and at Officine fotografiche in Milan.  
Malagrotta project was also the winner of the Bi foto Prize, which is held every year in Sardinia, and the finalist of Premio Marco Pesaresi 2018, Premio Voglino 2018 and of Emerging Talents Contest in 2018.  In September 2019 he published “AGARTHI” with the publisher Penisola Edizioni his second work about Lake Bolsena on which he had worked on for the past five years.
The project had already been exhibited at Grenze Arsenali Fotografici Festival 2019 in Verona, at Cascina Farsetti Art in Rome and at the Gibellina PhotoRoad in Sicily.  
Two of Gian Marco Sanna’s prints have been selected to become part of the collection of Fondazione Orestiadi in Gibellina.  AGARTHI win the Parallel Voices 2020 at Photometria Festival in Greece.

Gian Marco has worked on many assignments for many magazines of documentary photography including Youthies magazine and SUQ magazine.

About ‘MALAGROTTA – The City of Snow‘ – words by Gian Marco Sanna:

The Malagrotta Dump is the main long-term storage site for undifferentiated urban solid waste from the city of Rome. It is located in the western suburbs of the city, in the estate of Malagrotta.
The name derives from the Latin Mola Rupta (“broken wheel”), a name originated by a broken grinding wheel on the nearby stream Rio Galeria. According to some, the largest landfill in Europe. 240 hectares, between 4500 and 5000 tons of waste were dumped every day.
In 2013, Italy was denounced at the European Court of Justice by the European Environment Committee as part of the waste discharged at the landfill did not undergo the biological treatment (MBT) required by the European regulations to reduce the volumetric consistency of waste, and facilitate their possible recovery. On January 9, 2014, the NOE – ecological department of carabinieri -, commanded by Sergio De Caprio, known as “Ultimo” (“The Last”), stops 7 people. Among others the owner of the dump Manlio Cerroni, know as “Re della monnezza” (“the king of garbage”) and the former president of the Lazio region Bruno Landi. Since its closure the situation has not improved.
Abandoned waste of all kinds are still visible in the areas surrounding the landfill. Malagrotta is black water flows, worn tires, rubbles, abandoned cars, dead palms, ashes. A wounded ground. In the night the air is filled with a thick cloud of smoke and stench. It’s the city of snow.

Time to read
3 min
Words by
Published on
19 May 2020
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