I’m born in Casale Monferrato, the “place” of asbestos. Eternit was the name of a grey plant abandoned. Since my childhood I had learnt to live together with it with a sort of fatalism, but one day of April, my mother called me to say that Gianni, her partner, who was living with us since many years, had mesothelioma.
“Mesothelioma” is a word affected and too rounded to call a rare pleural cancer, incurable. Not that rare, I would say, because since then I realized that was something common in Casale.
After three years of suffering Gianni died strangled by the disease and from that moment I tried to forget about everything: about mesothelioma, about asbestos, Eternit, the place where I was living, Gianni included. When I was 18 I left home.
One day, ten years later, I was invited to a film screening of a documentary: “Dust, the great asbestos trial”. I was reluctant and skeptical. But when I started to see the images on the screen I could not retain the tears: I knew all the people the film was portraying. And up there, on that big white canvas, everything was becoming bigger, everything was taking a different taste, clearer.“It’s my community” I said, people who suffer, people who struggle, what a great people! Casale, the town I left, for the first time looked beautiful to my eyes
Sometime later, I read on the newspaper that the major of Casale was determined to accept the money of the former Swiss owner of Eternit, charged in the trial. It was a lot of money, 18 millions of euros, but in return the town of Casale had to leave the trial. I felt disgusted. I took my car and I arrived in Casale with a camera. I managed to snake in the town council and film the debate.
From that moment I started to follow and help Afeva, the victims group of Casale, that with courage, patience and strength transformed silent family tragedies in a collective struggle that became a landmark worldwide. In 2015 I made a comparative study about asbestos struggle in Europe for the “Master dei talenti della società civile” and I created the project “Asbestos e-library”, a digital library about asbestos.
I also cooperate with several groups of activists in Europe and abroad to create awareness on asbestos.