On August 8, 1956, a major fire broke out at the Bois du Cazier coal mine in southern Belgium. Of the 262 miners who lost their lives in the accident, 136 were from Italy. This fact was due to the Italian-Belgian Agreement that ten years earlier had promoted the massive migration of young Italians to solve the lack of local labor in Belgian mines and ensure the supply of coal in post-war Italy. The tragedy shed light on the precarious living conditions of emigrants in Belgium, it marked the end of the Italian-Belgian agreement and had a great impact on the Italian labor movement.
Affannosa lotta per strappare alla morte recovers this event from the Italian press of those days, avoiding, at the same time, the charred body images that were distributed. Thus, Carrasco compiles a photographic sequence that the press used to illustrate the coverage of a wave of cold and snow that same year in the country. Images that show the snow levels reached in various cities –through a hand holding a ruler stuck in the snow– and that, under the relationship proposed by the artist, generate a poetic that alludes directly to the Bois du Cazier depth levels.