Portovesme, Sardinia, Italy
Portovesme, which is located in the Sulcis region of Sardinia, has been a site for the processing of various minerals including alumina, lead and zinc since 1929. In recent years, the site has seen significant layoffs, most notably in the alumina processing plant ALCOA, where workers have continuously occupied the site in protest at the redundancies for years. As a result, the region is now one of the most deprived in Italy with levels of unemployment approaching 70%. Corruption is rife, and there are known incidences of illegal toxic waste dumping. In 2015, several individuals were convicted for their role in transporting toxic waste from Portovesme to the capital Cagliari, whereupon it was used as infill for hospital car parks. In land adjacent to the Portovesme works, the spread of toxic red mud in the form of dust has ensured that numerous landowners cannot sell their crops on the open market. To date, there has been no compensation for the pollution of their land. This project seeks to raise awareness of the need for remediation in the region by combining environmental science data and testimonies of individuals using AR technology. An app called Dissenso enables individuals to provide testimonies to the audience as their portraits are being viewed. In other instances, mineral samples taken from within the frame of the image will be compared with official government data, to say something about how levels of pollution are being monitored in the region.