DOI: 10.30687/lgsp/2785-2709/2023/02/011 ISSN: 2785-2709

An Archipelago of Ecological Care Venice, its Lagoon and Contemporary Art

Cristina Baldacci

This essay situates Venice and its archipelago among the small islands that, despite the uncertainty of the future and the emergency given by extreme climate scenarios, provide effective examples of local sustainability that can also be replicated in other parts of the world to promote positive and collective change on a global scale. Being aware of the changes that Venice is facing as a consequence of the environmental crisis, learning from them, and taking care of the city and its lagoon is an increasingly ethically and politically urgent action to try to guarantee its survival. Venice’s few but tenacious inhabitants – a small community, where vernacular knowledge has been handed down and where conscious citizens, including activists, cultural workers, artists, and researchers, promote a renewed ecological awareness – are the actors involved at the forefront of what can be addressed as ‘curatorial activism’. By taking as case studies some recent projects and practices – such as walking the lagoon – the article explains how contemporary art can effectively contribute to the ecologies of care, protecting the dignity of life and human rights on par with the rights of nature, encouraging critical thinking, emotional involvement, ethical responsibility, and public imagination for the well-being of the Earth.

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