“I am sitting in the passenger seat of a pick-up truck. Between me and the man driving leans the long barrel of a shotgun. Around us the grass has turned yellow in the dry heat. Scattered in the fields, the bunkers stick their heads out of the ground, their spacious bellies underground. I am alive and you are dead, I think as I drive past the world’s largest survival community.
The place is infested by rattlesnakes. A gated community, but some bunker owners chose to have a barbed wire fence around their property too. Despite the snakes and the isolation, people claim to feel safe here, safer than they felt in their houses in Minnesota, California or Arizona.”
(Journal entry. 4 September 2022. Edgemont, South Dakota)
The Fall is the result of a four-year photographic research project that looks at popular myths surrounding the apocalypse and associated conspiracy theories. It is an exploration of how belonging to a community or a religious cult makes people feel safer and protected from what they fear may happen. From La Palma in the Canary Islands, to the United States and the Greek island of Patmos, where the Book of Revelation was written, I investigate how society is preparing to face potentially catastrophic events.
Chance meetings with strange men looking for their mother’s lost wedding ring in the middle of a desert, survivalists, preppers, religious cults and bunker-dwellers. Each encounter resulted in a series of photographic portraits accompanied by interviews, field recordings and a hand-written journal.
Feeding on the popular genre of the photographic road trip I drive alone into the American West, with fear and awe, down the road of the apocalypse. The Fall builds on my background in journalism and fine art, combining documentary photography and fiction to reflect on society’s collective fears, imagined and real, rational and irrational.
Giulia Mangione is a visual artist working with photography, moving images and writing to explore identity and belonging.
She earned a Master in Comparative Literary Studies from Goldsmiths University of London and then a Master in Fine Arts from the Art Academy in Bergen. She also studied Advanced Visual Storytelling at the Danish School of Media and Journalism in Denmark.
Her first book Halfway Mountain, published by Journal in 2018, launched at The Photographers Gallery in London. The book was selected for the Prix du Livre at Les Rencontres d’Arles and nominated for MACK First Book Award.
Her work has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography in New York, Musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne, Foto-forum in Bolzano, Fotogalleriet in Oslo and Bergen Kunsthall in Bergen. She is currently part of the 6th edition of the Norwegian Journal of Photography, a biannual program funded by the Fritt Ord Foundation aimed at developing projects bridging documentary photography and art photography
She lives and works in Oslo, Norway.
With the support of