These pictures were taken in Fondi inside “Isola dei Ciurli”, an area to the side of via Flacca, (Fondi’s coast road) in which 21 unauthorized buildings were builded on the early seventies.

The story begins in 1968, when the so called Cooperativa Isola dei Ciurli got permission from the Municipality of Fondi to build 60 villas on an area of 20 hectares. After they got down to work, they were stopped as soon as they verify that it was not legal, and after a long series of sospensions, judicial attachments, and amnesty’s attempts, on 2004 the tribunal of Latina finally took the decision: in relationship of the “Isola dei Ciurli” case, the builder was sentenced to one year’ s imprisonment, a 40 000 euro’s fine, and the confiscation of the ground. The 19th of December 2007, 3 years after that sentence, and almost 40 after the beginnig of the whole story, the bulldozers of the Municipality began the destruction of the biggest ecological-monster of Lazio ever, that by now, May 2008, still has to be finished, for the buildings were destroyed but all the trashes and ruins still lies there.

I started photographing Isola dei Ciurli after I saw the buildings from the car passing occasionaly on via Flacca. My intention was not to reveal (denounce) an environmental scandal, but to reflect on the relationship between the “monster” and the beautiful landscape of that area (the Piana di Fondi, on which there were the buildings, it is supposed to be a WWF protected area and it is one of the most precious territories of south Lazio), and on a strange harmony between them, even because self-vegetation was covering most of the buildings. Only later, after I found an old map of the planning project, I investigated the story, and without too much effort I found all the informations above.

When I knew that they were on the point to destroyed the buildings, I asked to the authority for official permission for documenting the demolition, but they never answered me, that’s why part of the photographs were taken during the night, when it was easier to enter the area. Once again, I was surprised by the possibilities of that place, in which, for one night, the buildings still not completely flattened took shapes closer to contemporary architecture than unauthorized buildings, that seemed creations of a crazy (but clever) designer.

— Luca Nostri