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Changing landscape Ticino: Nostalgia vs reality

What has changed and what has survived of the landscape of yesteryears? Photographer Rémy Steinegger has captured images from hundreds of locations in the southern Swiss canton of Ticino that have featured on postcards from the first half of the 20th century.

Power lines, street lights, road signs, TV antennae, concrete walls, parking spaces as well as new roads and building have transformed the picture-postcard landscapes of the past. Steinegger attempts to showcase this transformation of Ticino over a relatively short span of time. 

In his book “Ticino - ieri e oggi” he doesn’t just document the physical changes but also the change in our relationship with the environment we live in. “Where has our sense of beauty gone?” he asks. Steinegger claims that our ancestors were often superior when it came to choice of materials and working in harmony with the environment, despite a lack of training in architecture. According to him, modern society, is profit-driven and is restricted to choosing what is cost-effective. 

(Photo-selection: Ester Unterfinger, text: Armando Mombelli)

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