A photographic mural and video performance of a traditional story from the Fassa Valley in the Dolomites of Northeast Italy. This version of the story is based on a recitation by elderly Ladin woman recorded on 16mm film in 1971. It explains the immortality and omnipresence of Poverty, and was adapted to script for the project by the local poet Vigilio Iori.
Ladin is an ancient Rhaeto-Romance language that has survived in isolated valleys and is now spoken in 5 dialects in the valleys descending from Mount Sella. Dispossession and forced assimilation of the Ladin populations during the 19th and 20th Centuries had nearly led to the demise of the language. The development of the region’s tourist industry from the 1960’s to the present transformed the long impoverished region, and it has now become one of the wealthiest and most culturally protected in Italy.
In this brief allegorical play, which is both archaic and contemporary, tropes of community, ritual, survival and death are staged against the mountain landscape that the players inhabit.