„On November 23rd 1980 at 7.34 P.M. the earth shook for ninety seconds in the Irpinia valley, an area of the Campania region in Italy. Ninety seconds to kill 2.998 people, tear the house away to 280.000, change the geography of the lands and produce illusions that where rapidly deluded: the area, among the poorest in southern Italy, saw suddenly interrupted the already difficult process of development. More than thirty years after the event that marked a “before” and “after” in the south of Italy’s history, Michela Palermo chose to weave her personal story with that of this land.

My Broken World (2011) is a tale told through images of a world that has crushed into pieces, of a land crossed by deep cracks and unsewn tears, of the suspended lives of who was stuck in a motionless time.
My Broken World is a view on the unexpected results of an earthquake that shook the earth like a revolution: broadening horizons, liberating energies, creating new networks, discussing certainties.
It’s the “broken world” of Michela Palermo, who was born in Irpinia in the year of the earthquake and came back in the places of her childhood to document the changes that occurred during these years.
Michela sought the soul of this remote land. She told the changing of the seasons, the different colors. The winter sleep of a haystack. The suspension full of omens of the fog.
The promise of summer in the deep blue sky.
With a dreamy and evocative register, Michela portrayed the places of the earthquake and the scars in the land, documenting at the same time her inner landscape and the burning disappointment of someone who is deeply rooted in a place where the eternal unfinished doesn’t amaze or make indignant anymore.“
Text by Irene Alison

Born in 1980, after obtaining a degree in Political Sciences at the University of Bologna (Italy), Michela Palermo graduated from the General Studies Program at the International Center of Photography, New York.
She received 3rd Prize for her Portfolio at the Fotoleggendo Festival in Rome in 2010; she won the Camera della Moda section of the Canon Young Photographer Award 2011, and she received a Special Mention for her submission to the “Call for Entry” section at the Rome International Photography Festival in 2011.
She is among twelve photographers chosen for the Middle Town Project, which is organised by ISSP (Latvia), GAPO (Turkey) and Trabzon Foto Forum (Turkey) in cooperation with Paradox (Netherlands). She has been working as an editorial photographer focusing on domestic issues in Italy since 2010.
Michela is distribuited by OnOff Picture (Italy).

For the entire series and more of Michela’s work please visit

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