Have you ever heard of industrial archaeology?
Most of you probably don’t have a clue of what I’m talking about, but I can assure you, at the end of the article you will be curious to know more. Let’s start from the origins.
At the end of WWII several European nations had to deal with the reconstruction of their cities. The attention was naturally raised on the rich heritage that was/ had been built during the Industrial Revolution and that had to be recovered somehow. Subjects like architecture, sociology, urban management and development, technology and history of art were addressed relating to an optimal recovery of mankind’s recent history.
Ancient sugar factory “Eridania” | Forlì
One of the first regions to conduct a census of its own industrial heritage was Emilia-Romagna, with a long task/work/process that is still ongoing and that everybody can look up on the online database of IBC (Istituto Beni Culturali – Cultural Heritage Institute).
Next to significant catalogue projects like the one I just mentioned, in the past few years, other initiatives were developed, aimed at promoting, enhancing and raising the awareness of the public opinion on existing industrial heritage. They represent new chances for these structures to tell their (hi)story and at the same time a new chance for us to get to know the social, cultural and industrial environment we live in.
SAVE INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE project is one of those/them. It’s a cultural association born with the objective of promoting industrial heritage in Italy and abroad on different levels, thus enhancing industrial tourism at the same time. Look up for them on Instagram and search on their website. You’ll find plenty of events and interesting info.
Another project worth mentioning was developed by SPAZI INDECISI association in 2009, devoted to abandoned places (not exclusively industrial) forgotten by man and society. It operates through an open-source mapping – featuring photos, stories, chronicles and videos – and through events and art installations aimed at developing an aesthetic awareness of the places themselves.
That’s the basis for their project InLoco, an open-air “museum” dedicated to the abandoned buildings on the territory of Romagna: six itineraries for those who want to discover the history and area of Romagna in an unusual way. An alternative guide that allows the user to access special multimedia contents in place through QR Codes on the premises.
Davide Marino was born archaeologist but ended up doing other things. Rational – but not methodic, slow – but passionate. A young enthusiast with grey hair