unhappy_280For nearly two decades, Campania, in southern Italy, has been faced with the ongoing practice of illegal dumping of toxic material. In an area known as “The Triangle of Death”, a name taken from the towns of Acerra, Nola and Marigliano, material is illegally dumped in this vast, fertile region, coming mostly from industries in Northern Italy. As of today, the management of waste material in Campania is fully in the hands of the Camorra – a mafia organisation with vast economic and political power. The waste material, including aluminum salts, ammonium salts, lead, rubber from tires and asbestos is unlawfully incinerated. As a result, high levels of dioxin are released in the atmosphere causing an inflated rate of birth defects and cancer among the people who live in the contaminated area.

Campania In-Felix (Unhappy Country) explores the presumed connection between waste, health and environment in the area of the Triangle of Death, recognised by local doctors as the most polluted area of the region. Here, life exists stuck between the beauty of the historically fertile land and a new tradition of waste and destruction.

Matt Nager

This photo project was shot in conjunction with a larger documentary film which has been produced over the past two years. The film is released on April 15, 2011. As the documentary is being prepared to send to film festivals, help is needed to pay for festival entry fees. Please help get this project into the public’s eye by donating money to the Kickstarter project. You can find information here: http://kck.st/gZAWbD

You can also see more about the film on the website at www.unhappycountry.com