Buried paradise

Reportage by Valeria Scrilatti

On 20th September 1991, Montenegro declared itself the first ecological state of the world.
This statement has soon turned out to be a broken promise: the duties and responsibilities to preserve the nature of this young country,considered one of the last ecological oasis in Europe, have been buried under concrete.
The coasts, stormed by big Russian investors and degraded under widespread corruption, have undergone a total change, which has downgraded the primary role of the landscape to mere ornamental “backdrop”, stage for the massive and invasive tourism.
Budva, the main tourist destination on the coast, has been completely redesigned following the model of “Vancouver”, the city of towers. Changing the planning regulations has been authorized the construction of huge buildings, just in an area of high seismic risk.
Although Montenegro has signed the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean, were built resorts such as the large tourist complex “Zavala”, which has gutted part of the coast; the Avala resort and villas, which, for six years, had not received the slightest building permit; the complex Tre Canne, made up of three skyscrapers at 100 meters from the sea.
A lost paradise, whose nature, abused and exiled from any form of protection, it is now only a spectacular diorama on which takes place the consumerist experience of tourism.

Valeria Scrilatti studied Photography and Visual Arts.
Her research focuses primarily on landscape, each project aims to investigate the relationship between territory and individual identity, from which inner stories of contemporary can surface.
She worked on the issues of environmental sustainability, alternative lifestyles, zoological landscape and, recently, she documented social issues in the Balkans, resulting from the conflicts of the ’90s and still remained unresolved. The ongoing project, Buried paradise, focuses on building speculation and massive anthropization on the Mediterranean coasts.
She currently lives and works in Rome.

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