Photos & Projects

Montoggio – A Chronicle of an Absence – By Salvatore Da Cha

August 22, 2021

This analogue photographic project was born from my desire to give new life and greater visibility to a small town in the Genoa hinterland, Montoggio. The shadow of the big city has made this delightful village rich in centuries-old history almost disappear, just think that it was a fief of the Fieschi family of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries who built a castle that dominated the entire valley. Today unfortunately they are rubble covered by vegetation.

Today I find myself just over fifty years old and have a lot of nostalgia for that place, a place that radiated happiness, carefree times when every house was open, children were running around regardless of the few cars and regardless of tomorrow.

Hasselblad Xpan

Makina Plaubel 67W – Caste Of Fieschi

Olympus Trip 35

It is at this point in my life, and through this nostalgia, that I found the desire to document the abandonment in which Montoggio has been in recent years.

The project is still in progress but developing some rolls, I realized that I had trapped the absence that has now imprisoned the current citizens and aroused in me a kind of sadness mixed with anger.

Olympus Trip 35

My wish that one day these small villages return to prosperity and see new generations roam the small avenues in ancient stone buildings. I wish for mothers to return to wash their clothes in the stone slate sinks that were extracted in the quarries of my Liguria region.

Hasselblad Xpan Ancient wash house

Pentax 645N

Olympus Trip 35

Olympus Trip 35

I decided to shoot this project in both 35mm and medium format. I have shot with an Olympus Trip 35, Makina Plaubel 67W, Pentax 645N and Nikon F5 and Hasselblad Xpan. I have used Agfa Apx 400, Kodak TMax 400, Ilford Ortho and Ilford Hp5. I have relied on the always “green” Kodak D76 which allows you to make the most of the sensitivity of the film, ensuring a very wide tonal range with excellent tonal modulation, excellent rendering of details in the shadows.

Olympus Trip 35

Thanks to all who have read this… I hope to see you soon with new news and new photos of the rebirth of Montoggio.

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  • Reply
    Graham Spinks
    August 22, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Lovely understated images. I look forward to seeing more.

    • Reply
      Salvatore Da Cha’
      August 22, 2021 at 7:40 pm

      Thank you, glad you like the photos, I will soon publish another project but this time color film made only with Pentax 645N Good Light

  • Reply
    John Saint
    August 22, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    Lovely images but sad to see empty property hopefully it will recover

    • Reply
      Salvatore Da Cha’
      August 22, 2021 at 7:42 pm

      thanks for the compliments, unfortunately it has become a ghost town… it is a fate that is happening to many countries around here !!!

  • Reply
    Robin Gray
    August 26, 2021 at 9:49 am

    Beautifully documented Salvatore, it is so sad to see the population leaving these characterful old towns, and the properties falling into disrepair. I guess that lack of suitable local employment is the main problem. I look forward to following your story.

    • Reply
      Salvatore Da Cha’
      August 26, 2021 at 4:12 pm

      Thank you very much, now I’m working on many projects that seem unrelated to each other but my aim is that in the end everything makes sense at least for me … I’m at work

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