Casoni of Our Land

Casoni of Our Land
Pictures and Reflections

Curated by Roberto Stevanato, Silvana Alessandrini, and Walter Liberalato
Mestre, Torre Civica
24 October–8 November 2009

The casoni were dwellings made of wooden poles, beams, and reed roofs. Although being a very common form of shelter in the Veneto countryside, casoni were unhealthy, unhygienic, and offered very little protection from the cold winter weather. Casoni were a symbol of misery, poverty, and social immobilism and for this reason their memory has been neglected to the point that no trace of their once considerable presence can be found today in Mestre and its environs.

The exhibition at the Torre Civica – the outcome of a research campaign carried out by the Centro Studi Storici di Mestre in the course of several years – and Ulderico Bernardi’s conference set out to shed light on the miserable living conditions of many of our forefathers.

I.R.E. VENEZIA and other Regional Institutions have contributed to the project providing documentation attesting the existence of these edifices, granting the loan of drawings donated by former residents of Institutions and photographs from the Filippi photographic archive. The exhibition can be a way for visitors to acknowledge the need to requalify and enhance our territory’s extraordinary naturalistic, historical, landscape, and architectural patrimony.