This article was originally published by The Spaces
, a digital publication exploring new ways to live and work.
Across the south of Italy, unfinished foundations and concrete frames rise from a landscape of rolling hills and thick canopies of trees. Many look as though their building crews and cranes stepped off site only yesterday; others as though they were abandoned decades ago.
These "interrupted" remains are the focus of French photographer Amélie Labourdette's series "Empire of Dust."
For the project, she spent a month traveling across Sicily, Calabria, Basilicata and Puglia with her assistant Wilfried Nail documenting the country's abandoned building sites, which are almost as ubiquitous as vineyards and orchards in the regions.
Roads and bridges built in the middle of nowhere; parks, aqueducts, swimming pools; railway stations, theaters, parking lots, and even a polo stadium are among sites the photographer has captured.
"The list of incomplete constructions littering the Italian landscape is remarkable. They seem to be in competition with ancient ruins [like] the Colosseum or the Roman Forum," she says.