In October 1918 the broad pebbled banks of the River Piave, at the foot of the Montello, became the theatre of one of the most critical battles of the Great War. The name – l’Isola dei Morti, the Island of the Dead – and the memorial layout later given to the site proclaim a determination to keep alive the memory of the many soldiers who lost their lives crossing the river at this point.
This framework, in which elements such as history, the workings of memory, the ties of love and affection, the river and its natural environment continue to intertwine and rekindle, seems to prompt consideration of the “island” as a “landscape”, that is as the outcome of a process which is capable of giving living expression to the presence and the value of these now long-ago events.
In this way the theme of the Great War, the centenary of whose beginning falls this year, can become a stimulus for the creation of innovative instruments and approaches to places which are at risk of withering beneath the weight of rhetoric or indifference to contexts in which the mere conservation of artefacts or individual material traces is simply not enough.
The Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, with its accumulated experience of studying places that conserve and generate memories, in particular through the “Outstanding Places” project between 2007 and 2012 and the ongoing cartographic research programme entitled “Is Geography, above all, for making war?”, plans to continue its work with a week-long experimental project design workshop for fifteen participants, with the presence of landscape architects, experts in various disciplines and local society representatives.
Elena Antoniolli, Roncade (Treviso); Barbara Caselli, Mantova; Andrea Foglio Para, Udine; Claudia Miceli, Dolo (Venice); Marta Modesto, Crespano del Grappa (Treviso); Guido Pantani, Pisa; Laszlo Rinaldi, Padova; Nicola Sutto, Portogruaro (Venice); Giulia Tambone, Bagnarola di Sesto al Reghena (Pordenone); Michele Ventura, Travagliato (Brescia); Luca Zilio, Piove di Sacco (Padova); Tahidia Delgado Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spagna; Carla Varela Álvarez, Las Palmas de GC, Spain; Domingo Jacobo González Galván, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.
Juan Manuel Palerm, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (coordination); Michela De Poli, Iuav Venice; Laura Zampieri, Iuav Venice
Elisa Beordo, Laura Castenetto, Anna Costa, Padua