The destruction caused by the war is the main protagonist of the series Alessio Romenzi produces between December 2017 and April 2018 at Mosul, Raqqa and Sirte. At the end of the conflict, the artist goes back to the cities in order to provide evidence of their decay which he defines as a ‘an apocalyptic scenery of destruction’.
Thanks to his experience as a photoreporter, Romenzi further improves his ability to synthesize the image, in order to face a deeper consideration which is offered also at amplified observation distance. Indeed, the series goes beyond showing war operations and it questions their consequences.
The school in the neighbourhood of Ghiza and the hall of Ougadougou conference centre III in Sirte, the National Insurance Building and the mosque in Mosul, the core of pedagogical, cultural, religious and political activities has been destroyed by the war. Al Shohada Bridge of Mosul, suspended in a crepuscular light, is irreparably damaged by the shelling.
Between bombed buildings and heaps of rubble, the memory of what happened is still there: a raised portcullis, a still working traffic light, people’s life at the edge of the war. These are the ‘irrepressible existences’ Giovanna Calvenzi writes about in the introduction of the catalogue ‘Life, Still’, as a ‘reaction to death as well as hope for a possible future’.