Monte Cassino: Con Amore is an exploration by Steven Nestor of the destruction of a small Italian town Monte Cassino and its monastery in the Second World War. Surviving copies of The Illustrated London News from 1944 lead Nestor on a journey to discover and record the last remaining traces of the devastation of the town and the Benedictine monastery built on the site of the original Abbey chosen and founded by St Benedict in the 6th century.
Blending original material from his research archive alongside his own images, Nestor encourages the viewer to cross into an elusive but violent past. The photographic windows throughout this book look out onto a buried past that continues to inform and shape our present through the fragments that have survived destruction, the passage of time and a human quest to overcome disaster.
This is a journey across unremarkable contemporary places and into their dark history: forlorn graffiti semaphores in a space once littered with casualties of battle, a collapsed street sign lies unnoticed on the edge of town and autumn’s mulch burns on the road that snakes its way up to the summit of worship and war.