A photographic journey through Ecuador with local communities and oil technicians, tracing an invisible pipeline

San Donato Milanese (Milan), 15 December 2011 – Invisible Pipeline is a photographic collection, produced by Eni, which documents a trip to Ecuador, tracing an invisible pipeline: in a little known, yet important vast area of the Amazon forest. In this collection, a young photographer discovers and captures on film the stories of an evolving population centred around the pipeline.

Invisible pipeline is an artistic tale of how Eni operates in a country. It provides an example of Eni’s relationship with the local communities in the countries in which it operates, an example which can be applied anywhere else in the world. This relationship is founded on respect for the local communities and the environment, a principle which Eni carries in its DNA thanks to the foresight of its founder, Enrico Mattei, who even 60 years ago, was adamant that the subsoil resources belong to the local population. Today, the “Mattei Formula‘ continues to be the basis of Eni’s activities, through which the company promotes dialogue with the local institutions and communities in order to reach agreements that will benefit the populations of the various countries in which it operates.

Giada Ripa, who began her career as a photographer in 1999 after studying at the International Center of Photography in New York, was entrusted with the task of celebrating the pipeline, a symbol of modernity that draws power and wealth from the land, but that in return provides wealth and respects the territory and its people.

In Ecuador, Giada Ripa has skilfully captured the immensity of the Amazon forest: its nature, the uncertain and shy glance of the native population, the care and dedication of its new inhabitants – the technicians who operate the plants - the oil installations, and the pipelines and wells built and operated with great care so as to limit their visual and environmental impact as much as possible.

The images of the Invisible Pipeline collection, shot on location at the Villano oilfield, act as extended novels. Simple captions and brief testimonies of men and women working in Ecuador accompany the images of shamans listening to Mother Nature, young people crossing a river, unspoiled nature and small industrial settlements. The photographic journey depicted in the book is an example of how energy production can respect and coexist with highly sensitive and complex areas of nature.

The preface of the book, produced by Eni, is edited by Eni Trading & Shipping CEO Marco Alverà, Milan Triennale President Davide Rampello and photography critic Giovanna Calvenzi.

Giada Ripa ensures that each picture tells her story through the warmth of human contact, understanding and respect.

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