Acqua e Luce. Un secolo di energia rinnovabile per lo sviluppo del territorio

Water and Light. A century of renewable energy for developing the territory

On the occasion of Expo 2015 and the International Year of Light, Fondazione AEM – Gruppo A2A held a photographic exhibition in Milan

MILAN – The power released from water which then becomes light; man working with the power of the energy which lights up the world, in the service of the land and the city, emerges powerfully from photographs taken over the course of a century by photographers called upon to immortalise an epic time, which we will never see again and the fruits of which we still enjoy today. This is at the heart of the exhibition Water and Light. A century of renewable energy for the development of the territory, held from 21 May, 2015 and for the entire duration of Expo in the House of Energy and the Environment exhibition rooms: a hundred unpublished photographs from the historical archives of Fondazione AEM – Gruppo A2A, retracing the steps of the extraordinary process of innovation set in motion at the beginning of the twentieth century by the Azienda Elettrica Municipale [municipal electric company], as a result of developing hydroelectric energy in Milan and the Valtellina region.

The significance of the photographic exhibition

A journey through the entire twentieth century between Valtellina and Milan, along the route taken by hydroelectric energy. Leaving the mountains, where the water flows in a pure state, passing through the dams which channel its course and the power stations which transform it into energy, until it arrives in Milan. It is in this energy generated far from the urban areas, between the ancient hills of Lombardy, that Milan actually finds the resources it needs, not only to illuminate the iconic parts of the city, celebrate big events and subsequently bring light to the outlying areas, but also to grow as a metropolis and become the economic and industrial capital of our country. Amongst the contributors to the exhibition are several big historic and contemporary names in Italian photography: Vincenzo Aragozzini, Antonio Paoletti, Guglielmo Chiolini, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Luigi Bussolati and Francesco Radino.

Water, land and innovation

According to Alberto Martinelli, president of Fondazione AEM – Gruppo A2A “the proposed selection plans to tell the story of a century of history in pictures, where technical innovation, good management and public interest have been the solid basis for one of the most worthwhile modernisation processes within the energy sector in our country”. He continues, emphasising that “it is necessary, moreover, to specifically reflect on the Valtellina region, still the epicentre of the company’s production – today, Gruppo A2A – and the seat of a unique historical and environmental heritage”. Alberto Martinelli finally concludes “beyond the undeniable historical, economic and social value which the theme acquires, it is appropriate to emphasise the coherence of the subject of the exhibition with the topics of sustainable energy and education about the environment: questions of primary importance for the company”.

by editorial staff