Italy

Cravé

Jessica, from dancer to goatherd: a new life in the mountains

“Cravé” is the story of Jessica Cravero, a professional dancer who became a goatherd in the foothills of Monte Viso in Piedmont, where she lives with her husband and five children.
Here, in the heart of the Cottian Alps where the Occitan language is still spoken, Jessica tends to a herd of almost 200 animals. In the Piedmontese dialect Cravé means “goatherd”, but it is also the shortened version of Jessica’s surname: Cravero. Her day-to-day life is intimately entwined with nature, her children and the home. The pace of life is determined by the needs of the animals: milking, grazing and the transhumance to the Alpine pastures.
The photographic project, which began in 2018, intended to illustrate the choice being made by the new generations – and in particular, women – to return to the mountain valleys to take up pastoral work. Such a choice is obviously well thought through beforehand and demands a certain determination: this lifestyle also involves sacrifices and toil. It means not only a return to a simpler life but also a repopulation of the previously abandoned rural foothills.