Between 1978 and 1980, Gabriele Basilico wandered around the periphery of Milan photographing all the industrial sites that from the end of the 19th century up until the mid- 1970s formed part of Milanese identity: a Milan of factories, of the early industrialization and of the economic miracle of the 1960s. Photographing Milan’s industrial past, Basilico does not mean to undertake simple reportage but instead to research Milan’s identity, singled out in the very symbol of labour: the factories. In 2002, Ermanno Rea published La dismissione, a novel/testimony that tells the dismantling, after 100 years of activity, of Naples’ largest steelworks, Ilva at Bagnoli. Two cities, two ways of living and suffering through industrialisation and de-industrialisation, two ways of experimenting and representing industrial landscape, two completely different artistic approaches, but linked by the desire of keeping alive in the present the memory of the past.
Keywords: Industrializzazione, Deindustrializzazione, Milano, Napoli, Gabriele Basilico, Ermanno Rea.