Laura Chiaroni Laura Chiaroni

Laura Chiaroni (b. 1990) is an Italian freelance photographer and visual storyteller. She attended the three-year course in photography at L.A.B.A. (Libera Accademia di Belle Arti) in Florence – Italy – where she graduated with honors in 2013. Her interest became focusing on documentary projects in which there is a very strong relationship between past and present, man and environment.

During those years, she started some collaborations with Italian artists and associations. In 2010 she became a member of BLITZ!, a collective of young photographers involved in workshops, events, exhibitions and projects. In 2011 began the collaboration with Archivio Fotografico Toscano, with the aim of enhancing the photographic local heritage and during 2012 she took part in a project with the photographer Silvia Amodio and the foundation Il Cuore Si Scioglie Onlus for the multimedia Un’altra Infanzia. I ragazzi del Manthoc, which focused on child labor in Perù.

The most important partnership started in 2012 with the photographer Filippo Bardazzi. They first merged their experiences with the ongoing project Standing Still (2012) about the American West and its representation in contemporary iconography and with The Great Illusion (2013), about the early explorations of unconventional gas in Europe.

During 2015 they founded the SooS Chronicles collective and they continue working on documentary projects in Italy and abroad. They are currently at work with the Russian minority of Baltic States and with the local community of Mugello area.

Their images have been published both on Italian and international magazines (D – La Repubblica, La Stampa, Gente, Newsweek Japan, The Financial Times) and have been shortlisted and awarded in several photographic festivals worldwide (FoFu Phot’Art – Fucecchio, Premio Marco Pesaresi, Rovinj Photodays, Atkins CIWEM – London, Photo Kathmandu, Athens Photo Festival).

Beside the artistic and editorial experience, Laura works as still life and events photographer cooperating with companies (Patrizia Pepe, BVLGARI, Airbnb) and photography studios (Hype Studio, Mauro Fabbio Studio).

Laura Chiaroni is now based in Florence.

Collections created

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Standing Still
Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

For a long time the Far West has been the destination of adventurers, loners and pioneers moved either by vocation or by need. For these people the unexplored territories beyond the frontier represented a real step forward towards freedom and, possibly, glory. This unusual embrace between civilization and a wild, magnificent, but sometimes also inhospitable and violent, nature originated the American man.At the end of a dynamic and impetuous historical phase, the Far West played a key role not only in the geographical definition of the U.S., but also in the creation of an epic (as well as a political doctrine of expansion) that became the cultural cornerstone for the growing country. It is no coincidence that the Western epic experienced its greatest glory in the twentieth century when the U.S.A. emerged as the dominant world power.Immobility and stillness distinguish the condition of the contemporary West. Although some environmental and cultural changes have impacted the region, they have been unable to free this land from its famous iconography and the history it stands for. A myth that affects an environment so deeply can only become its constant aspect, doomed continually to repeat itself.

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The Great Illusion - The Search for S...
Balcombe, United Kingdom
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Jul 2013

New opportunities in unconventional gas exploitation let Europe dream of lightening its dramatic dependence on Russian supplies. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the controversial method used to drill this type of gas. It is an invasive process that employs high-pressure water jets mixed with specific chemicals to break the shale rocks and to extract the gas contained in them. According to some studies, fracking would have serious consequences on the environment and it would require a strict regulation, which is still absent from the vague energy policy of the European Union. Among the European countries interested in shale gas explorations, only three have currently granted permits for drilling to energy companies: Poland, United Kingdom and Romania.Local farmers and activists have joined together a big anti- fracking movement that arose against this decision, while the first tests confirm that european unconventional gas deposits are poorer than expected and their extraction would have limited benefits and no significant impact on consumption.

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Granitsa - The Russian community of I...
Narva
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Sep 2016

Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic States. 1.3 million people live in the country and, as a consequence of 50 years of Soviet occupation from 1944 to 1991, a quarter of them are ethnic Russians. Half of them (moreless 130,000 people) is concentrated in one single county, called Ida-Viru. This little area shares its eastern border with Russia. A very peculiar one, indeed, since it parts far more than two sovereign States: crossing the border (granitsa, in Russian language) means to leave behind both European Union and NATO, of which Estonia is among the most loyal and committed members. After the outbreak of the Ukrainian Civil War and the unilateral annexation of Crimea by Vladimir Putin in order “to defend Russian-speaking citizens abroad”, experts and strategists raised concerns towards Estonia, and especially Ida- Viru county, as the next possible target of the Kremlin's brave expansionist policy. Indeed, in the whole EU there is no higher percentage of ethnic Russians compared with total population than the one of Ida-Viru: 73% (with peaks of 85% in the municipalities of Narva and Sillamäe). Here, in July 1993, a referendum was also held: the inhabitants were asked if they wanted the county to be autonomous from the newly declared Estonian Republic. The “yes” vote prevailed but the State Court ruled that the consultation contravened the Constitution and the movement for autonomy was deflated. Estonia's recent past went through a severe process of Russification, started with Stalin in the 50s and ended just after the country achieved the independence in 1991. Since that moment the Estonian government has not yet been fully able to equalize the living conditions of the vast Russian minority to the country average. Today some of the ethnic Russians have chosen to embrace with hope a common future under the Estonian flag, but on the other side there is still a huge number of them who have maintained their Russian citizenship. Furthermore, another significant part of the ethnic Russians (6.8% of Estonia's population, according to Amnesty International's 2015 report) are not willing to face the controversial Estonian language and culture “citizenship test” and therefore are living in the Baltic country as stateless persons.

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Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, 2012
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

In 2012 more than 4000 wildfires burned across the state of Colorado. They caused the death of six people and destroyed 370,000 acres of forest with an estimated loss of 538 million dollars, according to the reports by the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control

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Genoa, Colorado, 2012
Genoa, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

The construction of the Interstate 70 diverted all the traffic from the old Route 24, which used to run through the town of Genoa, on the new highway. This is the main cause of the current isolation of Genoa: its population has been cut in half in recent years and its business district is now entirely abandoned

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Genoa, Colorado, 2012
Genoa, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

Jerry Chubbuck, a retired sheriff, is the caretaker of the Wonder Tower in Genoa. In the building have been stored thousands of oddities and other bizarre items found by Jerry himself during 60 years of quests in the West. Before the abandonment of the town, the Wonder Tower used to host a restaurant, now partially converted into Jerry's house

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Keota, Colorado, 2012
Keota, Colorado, 2012
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

Chris and Nathan, students at the University of Boulder, in the ghost town of Keota during the set-up for a photographic project about the declining power of the United States of America

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Nederland, Colorado, 2012
Nederland, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

Bo, the Iceman, and Lexi after their monthly transport of dry ice. Since 1994 Bo is the caretaker of the frozen corpse of Bredo Morstel, a norwegian man got hibernated after death by his son and kept by that time in a bizarre cryogenic center in Nederland. In order to keep the temperature inside the coffin low enough to mantain the corpse, Bo must carry once a month more than 1,500 pounds of dry ice with his pick-up truck from Boulder to Nederland

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Hooper, Colorado, 2012
Hooper, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

San Luis Valley is considered among specialists one of the most proficuous places in the United States for UFO sightings. Judy Messoline is the owner of the UFO Watchtower in Hooper, Colorado. After closing her cattle ranche because of the dry weather conditions, in 2000 she began this activity on the same property. Since that moment the center reported 66 UFO sightings and more than 20,000 among tourists and campers every year

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Montrose, Colorado, 2012
Montrose, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

Graffiti portraying the final scene of the 1969 western movie True Grit. The film was entirely shot in Ouray and Montrose Counties. John Wayne won the only Academy Award of his long career for the role of Rooster Cogburn in this picture

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Sant'Elmo, Colorado, 2012
Sant'Elmo, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

A view of a house in the former mining village of Sant'Elmo

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Pagosa Springs, Colorado, 2012
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

The San Juan Shootists meet once a month to hold their Fast Draw championship in Pagosa Springs. During this tournament, based on the romance and legend of the Old West, every shooter must prove his ability in striking a target in less than no time with a real Colt gun

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Central City, Colorado, 2012
Central City, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

Central City, “the richest square mile on Earth” is one of the most famous cities linked to the gold rush of the 19th century. As the mineral extraction became less profitable, Central City started its conversion from mining to gambling town and it now hosts several casinos

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Goldfield, Colorado, 2012
Goldfield, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

Goldfield was built at the end of the 19th century to give shelter to the hundreds of miners working in the area. Nowadays Goldfield is nearly a ghost town. Behind the few wooden cabins left, the Cripple Creek & Victor gold mine is still active. It is property of the south african company AngloGold Ashanti and it is the most productive gold mine of Colorado

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Red Cliff, Colorado, 2012
Red Cliff, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

Estabilished in 1879 by silver miners, Red Cliff has today a population of less than 300 people

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Silverton, Colorado, 2012
Silverton, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

Frank Montonati shows an old photograph of his ancestors, moved from northern Italy to Colorado in 1870. Frank is a mining engineer and since 1966 he has worked in mining camps all over the world. Today he coordinates the operations in his own gold mine in Silverton together with his son

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Ouray, Colorado, 2012
Ouray, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

Ouray is a former mining town built in the second half of the 19th century. The entire present-day economy of Ouray is based on tourism and the town bills itself as the “Switzerland of America” because of its geographic position

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Keota, Colorado, 2012
Keota, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

Keota was a station stop on the Colorado-Wyoming Division of the Burlington Missouri Railroad. After the severe dust storms and the Great Depression of the Thirties, it began the depopulation of the town. In 1975 the station was abandoned and the trackage completely removed. Today Keota is almost totally uninhabited

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Victor, Colorado, 2012
Victor, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

Sue Kochevar and Micheal Nothaus, a former miner and son of german immigrants, work together in the Fortune Club Diner (one of the only two diners now open in Victor). Everyday the Fortune Club serves breakfast and lunch to the workers of the Victor gold mine

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Westcliffe, Colorado, 2012
Westcliffe, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

Westcliffe lies in the valley next to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains

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Grand Junction, Colorado, 2012
Grand Junction, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

Spectators of an air show in Grand Junction, the most populous city of western Colorado

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Salida, Colorado, 2012
Salida, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

A skatepark at the foot of the hills sorrounding the city of Salida. In the background, the big capital letter on the side of the mountain (in this case an “S” standing for Salida) is a frequent element in the landscape of the West

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Golden, Colorado, 2012
Golden, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Oct 2012

Kim Fry is a member of the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association. CGRA was founded in 1981 and it is the oldest association of the United States that promotes rodeo events in the gay community

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Durango, Colorado, 2012
Durango, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Oct 2012

Every year in October the city of Durango hosts the biggest cowboy gathering of Colorado. Concerts, horse ridings and other events are held to celebrate and keep alive the western spirit

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Guffey, Colorado, 2012
Guffey, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
09 Oct 2017

Charles Morielli is the guardian of this curious exhibition of sundries in Guffey, a little town entirely devoted to antiques. The items are often not on sale and they belong to the american western tradition

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Animas Forks, Colorado
Animas Forks, Colorado
By Laura Chiaroni
30 Sep 2012

Animas Forks is a former mining town founded in 1875. It has been slowly abandoned from the first decade of the 20th century. Today is one of the several ghost towns left in the state of Colorado

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Baraniec, Poland 2014
baraniec
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Sep 2014

A rig used for shale gas extractions by FX Energy, an American oil company.

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Miłowo, Poland 2014
milowo
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Sep 2014

Deforestation caused by test extractions of shale gas in Milowo, northern Poland.

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Aujac, France 2014
Aujac
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Aug 2014

André Agniel, former Mayor of Aujac from 2001 to 2014, poses next to the Rue Josh Fox plate. This street has been named after the young American director and activist Josh Fox, author of Gasland. In 2010 this documentary was the first and the most important testimony against fracking that led to the creation of several protest movements all over the world. Rue Josh Fox was inaugurated on the 29th of May 2014.

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Munich, Germany 2013
munich
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Oct 2013

Oktoberfest is the world's most famous beer Festival and largest funfair, held annually in Munich, southern Germany. In 2013 the German Brewers Federation strongly opposed the draft regulations concerning the exploitation of unconventional gas and the use of fracking in the country because the legal changes planned by the federal government were “not sufficient to guarantee the security of drinking water supplies and to take into account the requirements of the German Beer Purity Law”, which only allows water, barley and hops in the production of beer. For now shale gas explorations are blocked in Germany, although the country is estimated to have between 700 and 2300 billion cubic meters of shale gas reserves, according to the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources.

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Krupe, Poland 2013
krupe
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Jul 2013

The Polish-American director, Lech Kowalski, during the shooting of his latest documentary, Drill Baby Drill, dedicated to shale gas extractions in Europe and United States.

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Paks, Hungary 2013
paks
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Aug 2013

Despite Hungary's significant unconventional gas deposits, the Prime Minister Viktor Orbàn decided not to exploit these resources in the country. On the other hand, in 2014 Hungary signed a general agreement with Russia on cooperation in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The Russian state company Rosatom will finance with 10 billion Euro the construction of two new reactors of the Paks nuclear power plant, the first and only operating in Hungary.

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Rome, Italy 2014
rome
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Aug 2014

ENI headquarters. In 2010 the Italian oil company ENI (Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi) obtained three licenses for shale gas exploitation in Poland. After less than four years, the company was among the first ones to give up all of its polish shale gas permits because of tough geology and an unclear regulatory environment.

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Lubocino, Poland 2014
lubocino
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Sep 2014

A PGNiG worker is verifying the progress of excavation in the fracking site of Lubocino, northern Poland.

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Paltinis, Romania 2014
paltinis
By Laura Chiaroni
01 Mar 2014

Some houses in eastern Romania still don't have running water. Aquifer and groundwater pollution would be major issues in the gipsy village of Paltinis, where a shale gas exploration project is due to start in the next months.