Guinea pigs

By August 22, 2015October 10th, 2017No Comments

10731135_1107524525941434_5931066143789905670_nSometimes, turning to exploration, it happens to run into very strange places. Not so much for the structure itself, but for the intended use and … the content. And it si the case of a small chemical-cosmetic-pharmaceutical industry that few years ago closed its doors and moved elsewhere, because I do not like to photograph places without knowing the story,so I found documentation around the net. Few informations, limited to a few laconic articles denouncing mobility for employees who worked there. Invited by some friends already familiar with the place, we began visiting.10170995_1108291369198083_1923715369883656953_nIt accessed easily, and there is at the rear of the complex which forms a U with a wing designed to warehouse, boiler room and various machinery, the central part with the offices and the other wing which I will describe later. From the entrance hall we rech to the thermal power plant and other equipment. The locals do not seem overrun with asbestos but precautions are never too many and mask and gloves are highly recommended. Inside there is little or nothing but the light creates interesting contrasts. From here you can access easily to the laboratories.1383098_1107188049308415_2445373484685886015_nThe decline is significant and high humidity has removed the plaster that settled everywhere. There are still tubes and flasks, some funnel and bottle with some kind of substance, not destroyed by vandals. The classic tiled counters and some folders already wet, impossible to read. The setting is picturesque and it is not easy to find the right shot point to make it better. The visit continues in an underground area, very dark, with other machinery to which I did not understand the use. The transition to the offices is in sight from the street and you have to be careful even to neighboring houses. A quick tour, there is nothing interesting and is not worth losing time. When my fellow adventurers entered the first time, it was not possible to access the last part of the complex because all the doors were locked. That day, however, a door to the courtyard was miraculously open for us … it is a new world!!11160006_1107188052641748_5573072046087830103_nWe enter and we climb a few stairs that lead us to the first floor. We begin to look around and we see a lot of equipment. Let’s start to photograph, and at some point, at the bottom of a fairly dark corridor, we see something strange. Only approaching with torches we understand that are cages … the whole plan consists of rooms containing cages for animals, from the smallest for mice and guinea pigs to larger for dogs. Stay stuck in the middle between the horror of what was this place and the curiosity to continue with the exploration. Everything is clean, with no trace of the poor “guests” forced to a life with no future, but the place is really disturbing. On the second floor a new horrible discovery … analysis laboratories with precision equipment, a pair of operating rooms and … a small dissection steel cot. The visit is taking disturbing aspects that I would not have imagined. Being an industry that deals with drugs and cosmetics is certain that the animals serve to test products.

I would have hoped that this place had been closed definitively, but from what I’ve learned, it has just moved, then I fear for the fate of other poor animals.

Stefano Barattini




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Stefano Barattini
Stefano Barattini
Photographer since 1979, when he began to travel. Since 1990, he has been working with the magazine "Mototurismo" and later "Scooter Magazine". He has now found his greatest interest in urban exploration. He has published some books on it, and collaborates with some major projects, including his group "Manicomio Fotografico".

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