Skip to main content

Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni

Fastidiosa, Caimi-Piccinni

Fastidiosa, Caimi-PiccinniFastidiosa
Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni

First Edition
228 pages
160 x 210 mm
ISBN 9781999446888


First discovered in the touristic Gallipoli region in 2013, the bacteria Xylella Fastidiosa has rapidly been killing olive trees in Salento over the past several years. The disease is spread by sap-sucking insects and stops the flow of water and nutrients through the xylem vessels, causing trees to die from the inside out. In an effort to contain further outbreaks, EU authorities dictate that all trees within 100 metres of one affected must be destroyed, whether it is infected or not. The result is economic catastrophe in a region where olive oil production is the main source of income, which has now been cut in half, and farmers across Europe now fear an uncontrolled spread of the pathogen.

Thousands of farmers in Salento have lost their life’s work, and the devastating repercussions push beyond the environmental landscape to the daily lives of the population, causing the loss of their unique human and cultural heritage.

While no direct remedy to stop the pest and save the trees has yet been found, agronomists and scientists are researching solutions. In particular, experiments are underway using shoots of wild olive trees found still alive and germinating within Xylella-devastated areas, grafting them onto more productive tree variants in an effort to create a resistant ‘super-tree’ species.

Caimi and Piccinni have taken a passionate but careful approach to documenting this subject, exposing the farmers’ very personal stories with utmost concern for the tragic circumstances they are suffering. By interviewing the farmers, they give a public voice to their opinions and experience. While photographing the region over the period of six years, Caimi and Piccinni lived in an olive oil mill and developed their films there.

About the Artists
Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni collaborate since 2013 for documentary and personal photography projects. They focus on contemporary subjects, with a particular attention on the human aspects of each story. Their works are regularly featured in the press and media worldwide: The Guardian, Die Zeit, Politico, Le Monde, L’Espresso, Internazionale, Wired, GQ, Newsweek, The Sunday Times and many others.

They are recipients of several awards such as the 2021 Planches Contact, the ISPA Award for best photo story, The Sistema Festival “Reset” Award, the 2020 PHmuseum Of Humanity Grant in the solo show category, the 2019 Sony World Photography Award in the category “Discovery”, the 2018 Istanbul Photo Book Award, the 2016 Gomma Grant for best B&W documentary work. They are exhibited throughout Europe and Asia in galleries and festivals, such as the Biennale Für Aktuelle Fotografie, Delhi Photo Festival, Lumix Festival, Fotoleggendo, Phest, Voies Off.

About the Publisher
Overlapse is an independent visual arts and photobooks imprint based in London UK, founded in 2015 by publisher Tiffany Jones. They primarily publish books focused on storytelling. Their subjects and stories address social, cultural, and environmental issues, with themes connected to human experience.

Leave a Reply