Mining and its history offer a suitable vantage point to detect the simultaneous presence of elements of continuity and discontinuity in the relations between population, environment and health. For one thing, long-term mining activities are often documented in the same localities, yet these local histories are typically interspersed with periods of growth, decline and recovery that affect their continuity. What is more, the history of mining in general is itself conventionally subdivided into two main phases, the one whose protagonists are the ‘peasant miners’ and a more properly industrial phase. Discontinuity can be found, however, even in the industrial phase: the industrialisation of mining was precocious, but the advent of the industrial revolution made working in the mines an industrial activity among many others, indeed one of the most ‘archaic’ and risky, and nowadays one of those that are most liable to unfair exploitation. An exploration of current representations of mining reveals a clear prevalence of negative images. Focusing on the Alpine area, this article compares such representations with quantitative studies that offer useful factual evidence to measure the gap between ‘reality’ and representation and assesses the extent to which the representations of mining life in the past are influenced by back-projections of both perceptions and real conditions of mining in the contemporary world.

Il lavoro di miniera nelle Alpi: un'antica attività industriale tra realtà e rappresentazioni antagonistiche

ZANINI, ROBERTA CLARA;VIAZZO, Piero
2015

Abstract

Mining and its history offer a suitable vantage point to detect the simultaneous presence of elements of continuity and discontinuity in the relations between population, environment and health. For one thing, long-term mining activities are often documented in the same localities, yet these local histories are typically interspersed with periods of growth, decline and recovery that affect their continuity. What is more, the history of mining in general is itself conventionally subdivided into two main phases, the one whose protagonists are the ‘peasant miners’ and a more properly industrial phase. Discontinuity can be found, however, even in the industrial phase: the industrialisation of mining was precocious, but the advent of the industrial revolution made working in the mines an industrial activity among many others, indeed one of the most ‘archaic’ and risky, and nowadays one of those that are most liable to unfair exploitation. An exploration of current representations of mining reveals a clear prevalence of negative images. Focusing on the Alpine area, this article compares such representations with quantitative studies that offer useful factual evidence to measure the gap between ‘reality’ and representation and assesses the extent to which the representations of mining life in the past are influenced by back-projections of both perceptions and real conditions of mining in the contemporary world.
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Mining, Alps, Labour migrations, Representations, Memory, Risk
Zanini, Roberta Clara; Viazzo, Pier Paolo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1528220
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