The Upside Down

The Upside Down
by Gianluca Stazi and Giuseppe Casu for Radio3 Rai (2018)

Silvestro has worked in the mine since he was 23 years old, he is the son of a miner, the son of the mine, he makes love with the mountain. Now he is 67 years old.
Manlio, at 40 years of age, left teaching to go and work in the mine, but to know himself and this new world, he has to take on the most infamous job: the time-keeper. He is now 88 years old.
The paths of these two men, different but parallel, meet in 1992 when they barricade themselves in for months in the San Giovanni mine, laying explosives across the opening, to prevent the closure of the mine and the desertification of the territory.
Now that the mines are closed and the feared desertification advances, Manlio and Silvestro want to send us this message.

Direction: Gianluca Stazi, Giuseppe Casu
Script: Gianluca Stazi, Giuseppe Casu
Sound: Gianluca Stazi
Editing: Gianluca Stazi

Producing organisation: Tratti Documentari

Commissioning editor: Daria Corrias, Fabiana Carobolante for Tre Soldi – Radio3 Rai
Coproducing organisation: Rai Radio3

Original title “Il Sottosopra”
Year of production: 2018
Running time: 44’ 44’’


A piece of almost sculpted radio with a radical use of effects and normally unheard voices. It lures the listener from the light into the dark of a mine and an explosive stand-off. An eloquent observation, even a microcosm of a changing world, unearthing beauty, evocation, and a past time of comradeship, echoing through the empty spaces left behind in the mountains.

The PRIX EUROPA 2018 for the Best European Radio Documentary of the Year goes to:
The Upside Down

Ten years of work produced this timeless story, about the dignity and spirituality of work.
Patiently, it leads us deep into the recesses of the natural world and the human soul.
We heard a real musical experience composed of natural sounds and peoples’ memories, all told with great tenderness.
The documentary turned our preconceptions of this typical social subject upside down with its sense of humanity and poetry.
It was a big story from a hole in the mountain.


For all the no-italian speakers THE UPSIDE DOWN is now on RADIO ATLAS. Thanks to the magical and lovely Eleanor McDowall this incredible story can now cross the borders and come in new and different ears.

Radio Atlas logo Y

Have a good listening and share the authors’ message:

Dear listener,

After years of work we are happy to see this story going to the world alone. Send us a text or sound message to let us know where “The Upside Down” has arrived. We will read your words or listen to your voice with the miners of Sulcis Iglesiente.

Feedback will be published here:

Keep fighting!

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