Iprite (Ethiopian Trilogy II)


Iprite, 4 couples of instant photos, frames 31,3 x 22,7 cm, 2015

Iprite (sulfur mustard or mustard gas), is a cytotoxic and vescicant chemical warfare agent, with the ability to form large blisters on the exposed skin and in the lung: it is strongly mutagenic and carcinogenic. Firstly introduced in World War I, it was extensively used in the 1935–36 Italo-Ethiopian War by the Italian Army, in open violation of the Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Poisonous Gases.

Portraits of Ethiopian women made by an unknown italian photographer during the war have been converted into instant photographs, each of one paired with a instant images of wild plants in an urban setting. The focus of this work is on the collective unconscious, on what, as a society, we are trying every day to remove from our perception, our consciousness and awareness.


*) Angelo Del Boca, The Ethiopian War, 1935–1941, 2010. S. Belladonna, Gas in Etiopia. I crimini rimossi dell’Italia coloniale, Neri Pozza, 2015.