TOKYO-2017 People / Family


  • Prize
    Silver in People/Family
  • Photographer
    Mauro De Bettio

At 22:39 on October 9, 1963, a 2 km long landslide of more than 270 million cubic meters of rock and earth breaks off the Toc mountain. The roar stops the hands of the clock. Trees, fields, animals, woods, stables and men trying to tame the wild beasts. An entire world begins to slip down the valley at 100 km per hour, 500 meters of descent and then the crash. The displaced dam water flies high above towards the valley, overtopping the dam and after a 4-minute flight, hits the bed of the river Piave. It collects stones and crashes down on Longarone, erasing it forever from the maps. Two thousand people, yesterday they were here, today they are one with the earth. The 50 survivors, as the only chance of survival, have learned to push the pain to the back of their minds, but that moment is and will always remain indelible on the skin. The silence. The greatest protagonist of this painful and infinite catastrophe. It always has been and still is. That silence that wounds the dead, the relatives, the survivors, the rescuers and all those who came after. The silence of people that knew it but still wanted to clash with nature. A silence that covered what had already been buried by the mud. Still, the silence of a family, mine. For them, as for me, it’s a path, to get rid of a nightmare that began on that October 9th. A path to start talking again, to trust and to love.

Born and raised in a little village in the Italian Alps, now based in Barcelona, Mauro already felt from young age the desire to tell. “Although it is difficult to express, I think that the photograph represents my way of speaking and what I try to do through my language is to capture the sense of what I breathe and touch with my hands. Not only in appearance but also, and especially, in the essence; trying to express nuances and subtleties contained in a single frame. I think that’s part of my personality and my work fully expresses what I am. My story, my soul”.