General Non-Fiction

Cieli neri

(Black Skies – A Journey in Search of the Stolen Night)

Ponte alle Grazie, February 2021, pp.204

Two travellers, a camper van, Europe at its darkest: a crossing from the Maritime Alps to the North Sea in search of what’s left of the night on the continent most affected by artificial light pollution.

We can all understand what the word “night” means, even if we might never have experienced it. The night, when nothing is lit and the stars have the power to pierce through the black quilt of the sky. Those who live in the Western world, particularly in large cities, have seldom been immersed in a true night. Electricity, a great invention that has opened the gates to thousands of new experiences, has inexorably absorbed all the darkness, preventing us from experiencing the other side of daytime, with all its gifts: stars, the Milky Way, the sleep/waking rhythm and the poetry of the darkness.

Irene Borgna went in search of places that are untouched by light pollution in order to reclaim the night, discover what polluting it means, then tell us about the economic, anthropological, social, poetic and symbolic aspects of light pollution.

Ponte alle Grazie, February 2021, pp.204

  • “Cieli neri is a story whispered in the darkness while we’re lying on the lawn, trying to emerge from hell and see the stars again.”

    Simone Regazzoni, ttL

Irene Borgna

Irene Borgna (1984) is a writer, anthropologist, excursion guide and marathon runner. In Il pastore di Stambecchi (The Ibex Shepherd, Ponte alle Grazie, 2018), she collected Louis Oreiller’s testimony, respecting his extraordinary gift as a narrator and his archaic language. She received special mention for the Rigoni-Stern prize.

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