Marco Armiero

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

In 2023, the 60th anniversary of the Vajont Dam Disaster was commemorated. In 1963, a gigantic landslide fell into a hydroelectric reservoir, generating a wave that overwhelmed the dam and killed almost 2000 people.

The significance of this disaster extends beyond Italian history. For UNESCO, it serves as a cautionary tale guiding humans toward a sustainable future. Specifically, the Vajont archive has been included in the UNESCO program Memory of the World.

In my book, “La tragedia del Vajont: Ecologia politica di un disastro,” I analyze that event as a clash between diverse knowledge systems, employing the categories I developed in my work on the Wasteocene. I interpret the disaster as a manifestation of the wasting relationships producing wasted communities for the profits of a few. I also analyze the collective oblivion of the disaster as the result of the toxic narrative infrastructure that invisibilizes/normalizes injustices.

MIT Press has decided to translate the book into English and publish it in open access for its relevance to the wider public. The book has been highlighted in several Italian newspapers, also due to the anniversary. Some passages from the book have been included in the theatrical piece by the TPI company of Padua to commemorate the disaster. The Italian publisher has produced the audiobook of the volume.

  • Reference/s:
    Armiero M 2023, La tragedia del Vajont. Ecologia politica di un disastro, Einaudi, Torino.