“The Sea Begins in the City” is an Art&Science track that was born out of the need and urgency to tell and bring to public attention the dramatic but silent invasion of the ocean by waste, especially plastic waste. It is important to understand the impacts they have on marine ecosystems, habitats, animal and plant species, and ultimately on human health, the last link in a food web now contaminated/compromised at all levels.
And in recounting this drama that takes place every day in our seas to the indifference of most, one cannot gloss over its origin, which pulls in our production activities, our lifestyles and, more generally, a socio-economic model that is based on easy consumption and disposability, rather than on reduction: the reduction of our needs, of the objects with which we fill our homes and of the waste that we constantly get rid of very lightly.
The consequence is an immense production of “waste,” some of which ends up in the sea every day through carelessness, mismanagement, indifference or malice. And this waste mostly arrives from the land, following the course of rivers, carried by the wind or sewage pipes in cities and industrial and agricultural areas.
It is in this sense that the sea begins in the city: because it starts from the streets, urban rivieras and manholes into which we carelessly throw our cigarette butts or chewing gum and where the garbage we have been unable (or unwilling) to dispose of properly flows, but also from the drains of our homes, which carry microfibers or small fragments of plastic that no sewage treatment plant is able to hinder.
Here then, the road drain becomes the symbol of a boundary, a physical limit: beyond it is the sea, in all its beauty, richness and biodiversity. Defending it is up to each of us, starting with our choices and behavior.
The works exhibited in these panels/this catalog are the fruit of the creativity of 3 young artists selected by the MareDireFare organizers as part of the Art&Science competition held for the third edition of the Ocean Festival.
After participating in a training session with researchers from OGS and MPA Miramare, each of them was assigned the task of interpreting the theme of waste and its impact on marine ecosystems by producing 7 boards intended for the creation of street art works to be placed near street manholes to raise awareness of the theme of collective responsibility in the care and conservation of marine resources.
The 7 tables represent the possible “destinations” of the waste itself: from the beach to the open sea, from the sandy seabed to the seagrass beds, from our dinner plate to the far-flung shores, to which it is carried by the deep and surface currents that regulate the workings of the seas and ocean.
The result is the real works of art that you can admire in this exhibition/catalogue, which, in order to address a serious and serious issue, do not renounce bright and flamboyant colors, which become a symbol of a vital and living sea, too beautiful and important for us to give up defending it, and a light timbre, sometimes witty and winking, because, if Science speaks to reason, Art must touch other chords.
During the MareDireFare Festival these works “come to life” next to 21 manholes in the Ponterosso Canal in Trieste, but we hope that they can become a source of inspiration or a tool available to many other municipalities, from coastal to mountain cities. Because wherever you go, the concept does not change: the sea starts from the city.
The artists in the exhibition
Lorenzo Peter Castelletto – AMP Miramare