© Roberto Alborghetti

I think the snail can be considered the symbol of these months related to the coronavirus pandemic. In its existence, in its slow and cautious movement, in its being protected by its shell (its home, from which it never separates), the small snail offers us great teachings. They are those who come to us from nature, from Mother Earth, to whom a World Day is dedicated: it’s tomorrow, April 22. As I like to photograph the state of the decompositions of city walls and industrial materials, so I love to photograph snails, their movements, their living environment, their beautiful colors.

The snail shell-house also offers us a range of colors and designs that envy the creations of the best designers in the world. Her aesthetic beauty is accompanied by her modalities and her lifestyle. The snail invites us all to slow down, to stop to observe the natural beauties, to look better at the environment in which we live. It gives us, in its own way, another lesson that we may have learned from these lockdown days for covid-19. Mother Earth can save us, even against the worst viruses. And that the worst viruses, if we look carefully, can spread precisely because we have massacred our natural living environment. The little snails at the center of these photographic sequences that I made are here to remember it. Have a good trip! In slowness and security!

Earth Day 2020


Penso che la chiocciola possa essere considerata il simbolo di questi mesi legati alla pandemia del coronavirus. Nella sua esistenza, nel suo lento e cauto muoversi, nel suo essere protetta dal suo guscio (la sua casa, dalla quale non si separa mai) la piccola chiocciola ci offre dei grandi insegnamenti. Sono quelli che ci arrivano dalla natura, da Madre Terra, alla quale è appunto dedicata una Giornata mondiale. Come mi piace fotografare lo stato delle decomposizioni dei muri delle città e dei materiali industriali, così amo molto fotografare le chiocciole, i loro movimenti, il loro ambiente di vita, i loro stupendi colori.

Il guscio-casa delle chiocciole ci offre peraltro una gamma di colori e di disegni che fanno invidia alle creazioni dei migliori designers del mondo. La sua bellezza estetica è accompagnata dalle sue modalità e dal suo stile di vita. La chiocciola ci invita tutti a rallentare, a fermarci ad osservare le bellezze naturali, a guardare meglio all’ambiente in cui viviamo. Ci dà, a suo modo, un’altra lezione che forse abbiamo appreso da queste giornate di lockdown per il covid-19. Ossia, che è l’ambiente, la Madre Terra, che ci può salvare, anche nei confronti dei peggiori virus. E che i peggiori virus, se ben guardiamo, possono diffondersi proprio perchè abbiamo massacrato il nostro naturale ambiente di vita. Le piccole chiocciole al centro di queste sequenze fotografiche che ho realizzato, sono qui a ricordarlo. Buon viaggio! Che sia lento e sicuro!


© Roberto Alborghetti

© Roberto Alborghetti

Today, April 22, the world celebrates the Earth Day 2019, #EarthDay2019. I wanted to dedicate eight of my most recent images from reality, from the surrounding world, to this important day. They are part of my “Lacer/actions” project, which investigates the world of decomposition of natural elements and urban life, which appears to us from another point of view.

The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land. April 22, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected as the date.

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. “It was a gamble,” Gaylord recalled, “but it worked.”

As 1990 approached, a group of environmental leaders asked Denis Hayes to organize another big campaign. This time, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995)—the highest honor given to civilians in the United States—for his role as Earth Day founder.

Meet the organizers of the very first Earth Day.

As the millennium approached, Hayes agreed to spearhead another campaign, this time focused on global warming and a push for clean energy. With 5,000 environmental groups in a record 184 countries reaching out to hundreds of millions of people, Earth Day 2000 combined the big-picture feistiness of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. Earth Day 2000 used the power of the Internet to organize activists, but also featured a drum chain that traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC for a First Amendment Rally. Earth Day 2000 sent world leaders the loud and clear message that citizens around the world wanted quick and decisive action on global warming and clean energy.


“LaceR/Actions” is a multidisciplinary project and research about the apparent chaos of ripped and decomposed publicity posters, natural cracks, crevices, scratches and urban and industrial signs and tokens, like these 8 pictures in gif (I’ve collected so far more than 100.000 photos…). Transferred on canvases, reproduced on lithographic prints or textiles, re-built on collages or scanned in videoclips, the images of torn and disfigured posters and natural cracks, corrosions and scratches give new meanings and expressions to paper lacerations and matters decompositions.


Interested in purchasing these images in exclusive, unique and original copies? Please contact: funtasyeditrice@gmail.com

© Roberto Alborghetti

© Roberto Alborghetti