Author: Alfredo Covino | Duration: 06:30min
The Eternit Company produced a mixture of cement and asbestos, whose fibre caused several respiratory diseases such as asbestosis and a specific and a malignant tumour: pleural mesothelioma.
It wasn’t just former workers who contracted diseases, unfortunately, but also their families and citizens of Casale who never worked in the deadly factory.
This happened because Eternit managers never employed safety measures to protect the health of their workers and, careless about the risk, even distributed among the inhabitants of the town the dangerous leftover dust, used then for heat insulation and to fireproof roofing and flooring.
In December 2009 in Turin the trial against Eternit started, with 2900 injured parties and 2100 people bringing a civil action in the criminal proceedings, the defendants being the former chiefs of the multinational company: the Swiss tycoon Stephan Schmidheiny and Belgian baron Ghislain de Cartier de Marchienne, owners of the 4 Eternit factories of Casale Monferrato (Alessandria), Cavagnolo (Turin), Rubiera (Reggio Emilia) e Bagnoli (Naples).
They are accused of intentional calamity and intentional omission of health and safety checks. It is the first time that in Europe, in a lawsuit for environmental damages, an international board will defend those bringing a civil action in the criminal proceedings in a trial that will have to shed light on the death of about 3000 people. But in Casale people are still being diagnosed with mesothelioma. In Casale people are still dying.
Alfredo looks at the individual; studies its subjective changes and the affirmation of its identity. He has worked in Italy, Argentina, Turkey, the Republic of Moldova and Transnistria. Having studied at the European Institute of Design, and taken a Master in Photojournalism at the Institute for Photography and Integrated Communication (Istituto Superiore di Fotografia e Comunicazione Integrata ), he subsequently took part in several exhibitions and manifestations organized by the Municipality of Rome, such as FotoGrafia festival in 2008. In the same year, he won the Yann Geffroy prize of Grazia Neri Agency with Cara Moldova.