In June 2018 I entered the abandoned Filanto shoe factory in Patú, Salento, Puglia, Italy.

Until its final closure in 2013, FILANTO was the major employer in a region otherwise called ‘the heel of Italy’, an appropriate location name for what became at its height an ambitious leader in low-cost and large distribution shoe manufacturing in Europe, before the market globalization wrecked it from within.

To say ‘if you were in my shoes’ implies an act of imagination of being someone else for a moment and see the world through their eyes. This kind of substitution of oneself into someone else’s place in Italian is expressed by ‘se tu fossi nei miei panni’, literally meaning, ‘if you were wearing my clothes’.

Ten years later, in 2023, I’m planning to go back to Patú to interview the ex-workers still living in the area to shoot a docu-fiction film of the abandoned factory.