Venice: (NO) for sale

Posted on February 22, 2017 by UNITED PHOTO PRESS MAGAZINE


In 1987, the UNESCO declared Venice and its lagoon a human heritage. Thirty years after, the Italian government has been given an ultimatum: find a solution for saving Venice before February 1st, 2017 or it will become an endangered heritage.
 
Is Venice the new Palmyra and are luxurious hotels, sparkling boutiques and a picture of Saint Marc Square taken from the Bacino the new ISIS? While everybody stands up against the spectacular damages on the ancient Roman city of Palmyra in Syria, very little is said about the inestimable damages that cruises (also known as Grandi Navi), mass tourism, tourist house-for-rent and Venetians’ exodus are causing to Venice and its lagoon.

How did we get here? Who is responsible? Are we accomplices? As time goes by and it gets everyday harder to hide these issues, local people (55000 people left, 65000 less than 30 years ago) and artists are getting together and joining their weapons to denounce and stand up against the barbarous consequences that consumerism, the implacable greed and the blind and cynic urban policies have caused to the city. 



They are sick of seeing that souvenirs shops are replacing traditional shops, bakeries and bookshops. They are sad to realize that most apartments are rented to tourist. They suffer a mixture of anger and sadness when they cannot see the Giudecca from the Zattere because a cruise is crossing by. They do not agree with a city branding that sells the city, its history, its memory, its unique ecosystem to people that neither understand nor respect it, but on the contrary, outrage and destroy it. 

Venecia (NO) está en venta -Venice: (NOT) for sale- is a project that stands by their side and gives voice to this pacific movement that speaks up in war terms (Io non me ne vado – io resisto. I don’t leave. I resist!). Its aim is to make the world aware of what is happening in Venice and its lagoon through pictures taken by professional photo-artists that work in Venice. The world has to become aware of the problem and act for saving the city, before it becomes a new Disneyworld, as J. Kay predicted in 2006, before its last squero floods or before it is really too late.

The first part of the project Venecia (NO) está en venta -Venice: (NO) for sale-, led by the half Venetian Anita Orzes and by Valentina Negri, was exposed at the SACO Fair in Seville the past November 2016 and the second part of the project will be developed in Venice at the beginning of September 2017.

Anna Stella
UNITED PHOTO PRESS 2017