Five young Italian photographers and four philosopher-journalists each present a personal take about contemporary Italy— and these are not pretty pictures nor happy stories.

These photographers and writers are determined to get beyond the media censors and glossy tourist guides to show just how badly Italy has declined socially, economically, and culturally in recent years. It’s a complicated story, to say the least.

This is a weighty book, filled with anger and sadness, outrage and finger-pointing. At the end, there are no solutions proposed, only the many, many problems exposed.

This story is told primarily from the point-of-view of working-class Italians, and the immigrant laborers with whom they compete for jobs. (For contrast, we are also treated to views inside decadent parties at The Billionaire’s Club, private yachts, and expensive discos in Milan).

The book marks the 100th anniversary of Italy’s largest trade union: CGIL. However, the celebration is more like loud griping and complaining at someone’s deathbed. The discontent is palpable on every page, and it extends into every facet of daily life.

The titles of the eight essays reveal the tone of the texts: “Future Postponed”, “The Italian Decline”, “The Enemy State”, “The Global Rebellion”, “What Land is This?”, “The Individual as a Commodity”, “Love and the Pope”, and “Censorship”.

Nevertheless, the book is hard to stop looking at. It seems important and personal, biased but real. If you want a glimpse at the current state of affairs from one of the cradles of Western civilization, this is a book you must see.

— Jim Casper

Made in Italy - CGIL 100
Featuring contemporary photographs by five photographers, and texts by four writers.
Hardcover with jacket, 240 pages
Color and black & white images
255 x 215 mm
ISBN: 978-1904563495
Trolley Ltd., 2006

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