Wind, wood, and the entangled life of disasters

Nicola Martellozzo


In October 2018, the storm Vaia hit the Fiemme valley (Italy), causing extensive damage to its forests. As in other catastrophic events in the Anthropocene, this disaster was enhanced by the anthropogenic impact on wind patterns. It represents a strong correspondence between geophysical forces and capitalist offshoots in the atmosphere and woodland. The community of Fiemme sought to overcome its traumatic experience by establishing a kinship of winds, a cultural model that makes allowance for climate change underlying the linkage of several European wind storms. Caught in this entanglement, the root causes and the repercussions of Vaia are fractured into different temporal scales. With this, I propose a silvicultural turn where the forest might be seen as a parallel community with which to remodel the way of inhabiting the territory. Woods, in this sense, became embedded witnesses of climate change.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/716555