Michele Lapini

Michele Lapini

More than 20 rivers have overflowed in the Emilia-Romagna region since Tuesday May 16th, flooding dozens of municipalities, causing 15 deaths and forcing 40,000 people to evacuate. The following day saw the start of an extraordinary wave of solidarity with hundreds of young people from all over Italy coming to the affected areas and helping out by shoveling mud, clearing cellars, houses and factories. In this photograph, dozens of volunteers clean up a chandelier shop in Forlì, which was completely submerged by the flood. This collective action freed the space from mud and water in just a few hours. Each individual can have different reactions to the climate crisis, from eco-anxiety to apathy or active involvement in environmental struggles. The participation of thousands of male and female volunteers was crucial in helping those who were affected by the flooding, but it also shows that action can be taken when it comes to contributing to a better, more just and more sustainable world.


Michele Lapini is a Bologna-based Italian freelance photojournalist. He studied Development Economics and International Cooperation at the University of Florence and holds a Master's in Development, Cooperation and Human Rights from the University of Bologna. His work is characterized by a deep interest in social, political and environmental issues: he has been chronicling the impact of the climate crisis in Italy on local areas and communities for several years and has been following the struggles of social and environmental movements. He has been collaborating with La Repubblica since 2015 and is a co-founder of Arcipelago-19, a network of photographers that was set up during the Covid-19 pandemic. He also collaborates with NGOs, following international cooperation projects. In addition to his work as a photojournalist, he also collaborates in various sectors: cinema, publishing and public art. His work has been published in Internazionale, Stern, El Pais, L'Espresso, The Guardian, Die Zeit, Nature, and others. He won the 2021 Environmental Photographer of the Year award in the Future Landscapes category and the 2021 Italian Sustainability Photo Award for best single photograph.

Michele Lapini