in 2019, stefano boeri architetti repurposed a collection of dead trees to create the scenography for an ancient greek theater in italy. the installation, which was given the name ‘dead forest’, used over 100 logs that were collected from the italian alps following a terrible storm in late 2018. now, the project stars in a new movie, which has won an award during the 2020 venice film festival.

stefano boeri dead forest
all images courtesy of stefano boeri architetti



in one single night, in october 2018, rain and wind tore down 14 million trees, transforming a lush mountain landscape in northern italy into an apocalyptic terrain with severe environmental consequences. in carnia, one of the worst-hit areas, 400 of those trunks were retrieved, and from there traveled to the greek theater of syracuse, where, as protagonists of the scenography designed by stefano boeri for the euripides play ‘the trojan women’, they played one last role.

stefano boeri dead forest



titled ‘TROIANE’, the short film — directed by stefano santamato — tells the story from the point of view of the trees as they journey from the friulian woods to syracuse. the movie, which was produced by paolo soravia/the blink fish for stefano boeri architetti, won the venice architecture short film festival 2020 which awards the best cinematographic works dedicated to architecture.

stefano boeri dead forest



when I have been asked by antonio calbi to imagine a stage project for the trojan women of euripides at the theater of siracusa, I thought from the very beginning to portray a landscape more than a stage scenography‘, said stefano boeri when the project was first unveiled.we decided to give to those dead plants the last possibility to be present, erect, and still noble within the classical geometry of the teatro greco’s stage.

stefano boeri constructs 'dead forest' scenography for ancient greek theater



the nature brought to the scene is not flourishing or picturesque, it’s the devastated and devastating power of nature [which is] debuted on the ancient stage,’ boeri continued. ‘the message of the tragedy is clear: any war is destructive, useless, and there’s never a winner, no matter what either side of the battle believe’.

stefano boeri constructs a 'dead forest' for greek tragedy in sicily



‘the trojan women’ follows the fates of women in troy after the city has been ransacked, their husbands killed, and their remaining family about to be taken away as slaves. the play’s director muriel mayette-holtz drew a parallel between the trojan women and other more contemporary issues: ‘[the trojan women] are among us as the refugees escaping the destruction and disaster in their homelands in search of a better luck overseas, they are the victims of the terroristic attacks, confused and disoriented, but they are also millions of fir trees and spruces smashed down by the vaia storm.’

stefano boeri constructs a 'dead forest' for greek tragedy in sicily



the trojan women at the greek theater of syracuse (in italian)

stefano boeri constructs a 'dead forest' for greek tragedy in sicily




project info:


credits – ‘troiane’ film:
the shooting of the film directed by stefano santamato and produced by paolo soravia – the blink fish for stefano boeri architetti was made by stefano santamato, stefano etter and paolo formenti of the blink fish, with editing by benedetta marchiori, music by vasiliki anastasiou, sound design by opera music and vittorio giampietro, colour grading by giulio rosso chioso, production coordination by audrey gouband and camilla pusateri and translations by elena dal pra


le troiane scenic project (greek theater of syracuse, may/july 2019): stefano boeri architetti
assistance for the scenic project: anastasia kucherova
lighting consultancy: angelo linzalata


technical partners of the ‘dead forest for the trojan women’ project: autonomous region of friuli venezia giulia, AIBO FVG, innova FVG, municipality of sappada
coordination: boschi carnici consortium, agostinis srl, reana del roiale, cigliani primo di cigliani albino e mirco arta terme, danta legnami e biomasse verzegnis, del fabbro maurizio forni avoltri, concina luigino enemonzo, f.lli de infanti ravascletto


trojan women is a production by the INDA foundation – superintendent antonio calbi – for the 2019 season dedicated to the theme ‘women and war’.
euripides’ play —
translation: alessandro grilli
director: muriel mayette-holtz
assistant director: mercedes martini
costumes: marcella salvo
music: cyril giroux
playwright: cristiano leone
choir director: elena polic greco
stage manager: giuseppe coniglio
voluntary assistant: ginevra di marco
staging coordinator: marco branciamore
tailoring manager: marcella salvo
audio project: vincenzo quadarella
heads of the scenographic sector: antonio cilio, carlo gilè
hair and makeup manager: aldo caldarella