Electricity/Bavona Valley


When I saw the above video by Swissinfo.ch  I decided to publish it also here on my blog, because I know many ticinesi fishermen who are angry, disappointed, sad or just despair as there are almost no fish left in the region’s rivers due to the electricity production.

Here below there is a summary of the video’s content and an exercise  you can check online.

All around the Maggia valley in the Italian speaking Ticino you can see high waterfalls which tumble down steep cliff. Many mountain streams feed the Maggia river. The water is exploited  to produce electricity. In the 50s and 60s a network of hydroelectric power plants was built there. In that period the Bavona valley decided against electricitybecause the inhabitants thought that it was a luxury they could do without.

That decision now proves to be a bonus. Due to the fact that if you want electricity you have to produce it by yourself (solar panels or generators) few people built houses and the valley remained almost untouched and is practically only  inhabited in summer.

The Bavona valley is one of the steepest mountain valleys with rockfalls, landslides and avalanches. We learn from one of the speakers that in the past the region around Locarno has been as swamp and that therefore people moved higher up. A family who had an alpine pasture was considered lucky, however tiny it was, because they could make cheese.

The first colonizers of the alps were heroes. To escape poverty the majority of men emigrated in the 19th century, leaving behind the elderly, children and the women. These women had to take care of the cattle and fields, while raising a family in the harshest environment. To pay homage to these strong and hardworking women a local artist made a sculpture resembling the madonna, but instead of carrying a baby she is holding a tool. The priest blessed the fugure  as a woman from Galilee and the inhabitants accepted her.

The artist Franco Laffranca draws a lot from the local traditions, but also tries to bring modern culture to the rather remote  and isolated valley and he wants to work together with other artists under the condition that they consider their work more important than that of the farmers who made life there possible.

Wordtranslations: Traduzioni delle parole o espressioni

the water is tumbling down/ l’acqua scende in modo forte/in another sense to tumble down can also have the meaning of getting ruined/

andare in rovina

rockfalls/caduta sassi e landslides/frane

steep, steeper, steepest/ripido, più ripido, il più ripido

to do without/fare a meno di

elderly/le persone anziane

leave behind/lasciare indietro

pasture/alpe

tool/attrezzo

Click here http://www.langedi49.ch/BAVONA2.htm to do the exercise  in connection with the text on top. Non appena che vedete la

pagina con l’articolo cliccate sulla freccia per vedere le domande. (La prima domand, putopooo è in bassa alla pagina.)

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