"I grew up in Trento, a small valley town surrounded by the Alps in Northern Italy. I have always wondered what it would feel like to live and work deep in the mountains, to be held within the paradox that is a stunning but also dangerous natural environment. After moving to Berlin, my fascination with a life closely tied to nature’s rhythm grew even stronger. The idea behind ‘These Dark Mountains’ came from a desire to return to my home in Trento and capture the lives of people living and working in the Italian Alps. In a series combining the real and the mythopoetic, I examine a life that I might never live while questioning the act of escaping from contemporary society into the dreams and hopes constructed around life close to nature. The project took place during the traditional pasture season, in which alpine farmers move with their livestock from their permanent settlements in the valleys to temporary stables in the mountains. This ancient practice has created one of the most species-rich and diverse landscapes in Europe. Over the course of two years, I visited several alpine farms to document the solitude and extraordinary labor required to sustain life at nature's fragile edge.
Today alpine pastures are increasingly threatened by factors such as abandonment, climate change, and mass tourism. However, the alpine imagery is mostly used by the media to represent an idyllic landscape where you can escape urban turmoil. For this reason I felt the need to explore the realities of alpine pastures beyond their physical allure. By photographing the alpine farmers and their surroundings, I analyze their experience and document the way they interact with their landscape, their animals, and the non-human world."
Limited edition of 135 copies 82 pages 230 x 270 mm Perfect bounding Screen-printed cover, 350 gr.
Giulia Degasperi was born in 1992 in Trento, Italy. After concluding her studies in Languages and Literature at the University of Trento, she moved to Berlin in 2015. In 2016 she applied for a Bachelor in Visual Communication at the HTW Berlin and she started photographing in a documentary manner across subject matter. With the series “These Dark Mountains” she concluded her undergraduate studies in November 2020. In 2021 Giulia started working on the photo book of “These Dark Mountains” together with the independent publisher SelfSelf. Through a crowdfunding campaign, she successfully funded the project, which was published in November 2022. Giulia’s work has been published in international online and print magazines and has been nominated for awards such as the Vonovia Photo Award, the Urbanautica Institute Award and the Portrait of Humanity Award by the British Journal of Photography. The images from her project “These Dark Mountains” were exhibited at the Festival diecixdieci in Gonzaga in September 2021 and for her first solo-exhibition at Spazio Virgolette in Trento in July 2022. Today, next to her personal photographic projects, she is working as a photographer and communication designer in Berlin.
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