3rd Place "Via Lactea" by Alfio Tommasini
The dairy farmers are part of a story that began shortly after the first agricultural settlements, with a genetic mutation in that allowed their ancestors to tolerate lactose in adulthood, facilitating their survival in these harsh mountainous lands. The tolerance is based on an enzyme that stays active only if continuously stimulated, so whilst the consumption of milk is no longer a matter of survival, the producers, convinced of the goodness of their product and worried about the decrease in consumption, make sure that their own people are major dairy consumers. I wanted to interpret the relationship between man and animal in modern agriculture through something apparently ordinary, but strongly related to the continuous transformation of these lands and the habits of their inhabitants. Throughout winter I observed the people who earn their living from milk, trying to find in their characters a reflection of the mysterious enzyme that they carry.