“This place is not for everyone. Some people find a home here, others think it’s just a dust bowl. It also depends on how alone you can be, how much silence you can handle.”

In the heart of the Australian Outback, a 12-hour drive west of Sydney, lies White Cliffs: a remote community of about 200 people. Due to the scorching temperatures and limited access to building materials in the desert, most residents choose to live underground, in caves dug into the hillside.

Established as an opal mining settlement in the late 1800s, White Cliffs has evolved into a community of people who choose to live here — underground — for various reasons. While some still mine opal, many others are drawn to the slower lifestyle, aiming to escape the incessant rhythm of big cities or simply to afford a larger house.

In a country with an 87% urbanization rate, this isolated town emerges as a counterpoint, a microcosm of life untouched by pervasive urban developments.

Here, underground homes are hewn into the rock by the residents themselves, and the nearest supermarket is a three-hour drive away. The rhythm of everyday life is dictated by the cycles of the desert, encompassing droughts, floods, and scorching 120-degree heat days.

Elsewhere looks at life in this seemingly inhospitable location, the residents’ symbiotic relationship with the land surrounding them, how they navigate physical isolation and solitude, and cultivate a sense of identity in one of the most remote locations in the country.

Artist Bios

  • Marco Serventi

    Marco Serventi is a documentary photographer from Lugano, Switzerland. His projects focus on themes of community, our relationship with the environment, and the notion of home. Exhibiting in Australia, Switzerland, the USA and the Netherlands, his work has been published in numerous publications, including The Guardian, the New York Times, GEO Magazine, and Australian Geographic. He completed a degree in Film Studies at the Université de Lausanne and is a graduate of the Visual Journalism and Documentary Practice program at the International Center of Photography in New York.


  • Photoville


    Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.

    In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.

    By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.

    Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.

    For more information about Photoville visit,


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Featuring: Marco Serventi

Presented by Photoville
  • Photoville

Supported by:

  • Digital Silver Imaging


ON VIEW AT: Container 25

View Location Details Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza

1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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