Which is the most heavily bombed country in History?
A country that never formally entered a war, Laos.
an astonishing journey in the legacy of war
The Remnants is a journey into the contradictions of today’s wars, in which the remains of the conflict always outlive the conflict itself. It is a journey into the culture and spirituality of a people that manages to incorporate good and evil, construction and destruction, and to convert killing objects into handy tools to tackle everyday life.
Between 1964 and 1973, during the Vietnam war, the American air force carried out over 500.000 bombing missions over Laos, dropping more than 2 million tons of explosives over the country.
Forty years later, everything has changed in Laos, but people’s lives are still deeply affected by the omnipresence of war remnants, scattered in cultivated fields, forests, villages and even cities.
The unexploded ordnance (UXO) now represents a danger and a resource : the bombs that have made, since the end of the war, more than 22.000 victims, have been transformed into troughs for animals, water tanks, flower pots, fences, scales, mothproof columns for traditional stilt houses. The bombers’ fuel tanks are still turned into boats, projectiles become anvils for traditional forge shops, all kinds of metal are converted into utensils or building material for industrial foundries.
The pictures contained in these galleries where taken during our first and second mission in Laos. Our aim was to get in touch with the country reality and people, and to deepen the issues related with the legacy of war: the unexploded ordnance (UXO) contamination in many provinces, the recycling and the trade of the metal derived from the bombs, Laos people’s relationship with the dreadful experience of the greatest bombing in history.
We want to thanks all the people and organizations that supported our work in these missions: National Regulatory Authority for UXO/Mine, UXO LAO, Norwegian People’s Aid staff, Handicap International staff, Mine Advisory Group, and our great guides and interpeters, Sai and Nouds Phetrasy.
Photo of “Uxo Life” gallery by Claudio Sica
He is an internationally recognized documentarist, holding a PhD in Human Geography and a specialization in Communication for Human Rights.
In 2005 he co-founded with Paolo Barberi the Association of researchers and filmmakers Esplorare la Metropoli.
He realized researches and documentaries concerning socio-environmental issues and human rights, with a particular focus on indigenous populations, in Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America and Europe.
His works were broadcast on several televisions world-wide and in theaters.
Anthropologist and documentarist, he started his audiovisual career at the Laboratory of Visual Anthropology Diego Carpitella of the University La Sapienza in Rome.
He currently works as a teacher and researcher for the University of Ferrara.
He is a founding member, together with Riccardo Russo, of the Association of researchers and filmmakers Esplorare la Metropoli.
Graduated in Communication Studies at the University La Sapienza in Rome.
He travelled all around Europe, Central America and Far East focusing his research on the influence of collective memory in the production of contemporary culture.