The Karst is a bare, rocky region on the Trieste, Slovenian and Croatian plateau. It features a great number of caves; grottos or potholes moulded by underground rivers which over the millennia carved out the carbonate rock to create deep sinkholes called foibe.
At the end of World War Two, the foibe of the Karst were used as mass graves to hide the bodies of Italians, Croats, Slovenes and Germans killed for political reasons.
Today, the history of these deep cavities is still unclear, disputed and often denied; the foibe continue to hide secrets. They are also hard to pinpoint because they have never actually been fully mapped.
This photography project by Sharon Ritossa seeks to explore the question of how much a geographical area’s historical and social events can be affected by its geological structure. It strives to bring viewers into contact with the region, highlighting the fact that the foibe are first and foremost a product of Nature and a distinguishing feature of a particular area.
In her journey of discovery of these natural caves, Ritossa was assisted by local speleologists who placed their skills and exploration equipment at her service.
The photos by Sharon Ritossa will be exhibited at the Galleria del Cembalo in Rome until 26 November, as part of the “Identità negate” project.
The project Foibe received honourable mention from the 2016 Graziadei Prize.