Monster Sea

Mare Mostrum is a reflection on the future of the Italian coastline and, more generally, on the relationship between man and the environment.

The sea and beaches are a symbol of italian identity. With its seven thousand kilometers of coastline, Italy represents the heart of the Mediterranean and is visited each year by thousands of tourists. This delicate ecosystem, capable of producing life and prosperity, is slowly disappearing and being replaced an incessant overbuilding made up of apartments, industrial areas and bathing facilities that actually privatize an asset that should be collective.

According to the ISPRA report (The Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), from the mid 1980s to today, 220 kilometers of coastline ended up under cement at the rate of about 8 kilometers a year, erasing beaches, dunes, and cliffs, often leaving behind unfinished and degraded structures.

Microbiological analysis conducted by Italian NGOs as well as various infringement procedures by the European Commission against Italy, show that many highly visited beaches are polluted by raw sewage. This means that feces and other organic substances end up into the seas where families and kids spend their summer holidays at risk of infectious and intestinal diseases.

Marco Valle is a documentary photographer born in Italy in 1981. Based in Italy, his images are chiefly aimed at exploring the conditions of territories and their interaction with local communities. He explores how territories are impacted by human activities, affecting environments and health. His works have been featured by The Guardian, National Geographic, Le Nouvel Observateur, 6Mois, Bloomberg, Internazionale, La Repubblica, and La Stampa, among others.