TEMPORARY EXHIBITION / HAVE YOU EVER HEARD THE SOUND OF FALLING ROCKS?
“Have you ever heard the sound of falling rocks?” is the title of a six-month journey that took place in 2022 across the Alps, in Italy, France, Switzerland, and Austria. A visual investigation of a phenomenon that is as important as it is little-known: the degradation of the permafrost. Over the course of the 20th century, temperatures in the Alps increased by 2°C, twice the average of the entire planet. Shorter winters, reduced snowfall, and melting glaciers are just some of the effects that global warming has had on the Alps. However, there are also a number of less visible effects; those that are more difficult to perceive but have a dramatic impact on the health of one of the most important, and most fragile, ecosystems on Earth. Included among these is the degradation of the permafrost, the surface section of the Earth’s crust that is closest to, and therefore most impacted by, all the phenomena occurring within the atmosphere. Its degradation, caused by the thawing of the ice it contains, leads to slope instability and changes in the hydrogeological balance with serious repercussions for the surrounding area. The ice contained within rock fissures acts like cement, holding parts of the mountain together, but as temperatures rise and the frozen ground thaws, the stability is reduced, leading to a potential increase in landslides and collapses - events that are becoming increasingly common throughout the Alps. The effects of these changes not only impact the environment, they also have an impact on the Alpine communities that have lived within this delicate ecosystem for centuries. Through an almost symbolic and universal look at a very technical and nearly invisible issue, “Have you ever heard the sound of falling rocks?” is a complex and extended (even territorially) narrative with the use of a powerful and not obvious photographic approach. “Have you ever heard the sound of falling rocks?” was made possible thanks to a grant from ISPA Award and was developed in collaboration with various organizations and public administrative bodies, including ARPA Piemonte (Regional Environmental ProtectionAgency of Piedmont), the University of Bozen-Bolzano, the Edmund Mach Foundation, University of Savoie Mont Blanc, Provincia di Trento (Trento Provincial Council), Museo di ScienzeNaturali di Verona (Verona Natural Sciences Museum), SLF Suisse (Institute for Snow andAvalanche Research), and the University of Milano-Bicocca. In cooperation with ISPA - Italian Sustainabilty Photo Award. Tomaso Clavarino is a photographer and director based in Italy. He was born in 1986 and holds an MA in Contemporary History. His works are regularly published by major magazines and media outlets worldwide. In parallel with his editorial work, he also pursues more personal projects that have been exhibited and screened in galleries and at major international festivals, as well as in museums and public spaces such as Triennale Milano, MUFOCO, or Museo Blanes in Montevideo, Uruguay.