Environment and Sustainability
How a plant disease can affect man's maternal relationship to the land.
The Salento region in Italy's boot heel is widely known for its olive oil. But since 2013, a plant pathogen Xylella Fastidiosa, has killed more than 20 million olive trees in what is considered the world's worst phytosanitary emergency.
This epidemic, for which there is still no cure, has devastated the landscape and caused massive economic and environmental damage: many people have lost their livelihoods and a huge green lung has been wiped out in recent years. However, another loss affects the lives of local people: the loss of their own identity. Olive trees are deeply rooted in the local culture, as symbols of ancient traditions and legacies of past generations.
This work aims to explore how a plant disease can affect man's maternal relationship to the land. With the spread of this plague, people have lost not only the roots of their trees, but also the roots that kept them emotionally tied to their past. Today, however, thanks to the work of scientists and experts, hope for a better future is germinating.