One oil refinery after another is lined up on the Bay of Augusta, a thirty-kilometer-long coastal strip in southeastern Sicily. The petrochemical industry has put its mark on this landscape, its inhabitants, and their lives for a good seventy years.
I accompanied the people who live here throughout their daily lives. The water, air, and soil are polluted. Rates of cancer and miscarriages are alarmingly high. Instead of twenty thousand jobs, as there were at the peak of the oil processing industry in the 1980s, there are now only seven thousand. Corruption is as omnipresent as the distrust of authority.
The differences between the wealthy north and the poor south of Italy are especially evident in this place. It is a place where the increasingly weathered artifacts of turbocapitalism blend with the ancient ruins of a more than two-thousand-year-old history.