2016, A Turning Point? by Marco Gasparinetti

There is a photo exhibit underway in Venice which features photos and testimony from the great flood of Nov. 4, 1966, a record high 1.94m that left a good deal of the city flooded for a week. #Veneziamiofuturo has added their own contribution to this exhibit, juxtaposing the ‘memories’ of 1966 with the ‘hopes’ of 2016. Spokesman Marco Gasparinetti describes this contribution, and the passion for Venice behind it through the lens of #Venicemyfuture’s emergence on July 2, 2016:

“In the section dedicated to 2016 you will find some photos from the opinion campaign ‘Veneziamiofuturo’, begun with the flash mobilization that on July 2 adorned windows and balconies, homes and schools, statues and bridges in all the sestiere, and continues with meetings, sestiere by sestiere, which we recount to you on our web site (www.gruppo25aprile.org) and on the Facebook page dedicated to Venicemyfuture.

This flash mobilization, based only on word of mouth, without any type of publicity (news or social) to preserve the effect of spontaneity and surprise, would not have been possible without the work and civic passion of many people (over 100), who it would be difficult to thank individually. Considering that the photo exhibition can only account for this in a small way, we are publishing a gallery of ‘backstage’ photos (of the preparations), hoping to reach in this way those who cannot be physically at the inauguration, which is also occasion to thank those who gave us a hand in those three weeks (which is how long the preparations took).


How were the banners that flew from windows and balconies on July 2 ‘born’? They were made by hand, and tailored one by one; to have them printed elsewhere would have been too easy… made by hand and made in Venice… Rounds of backbreaking work (considering how hot it was), and how could we not thank those whose presence in those days was most assiduous? Particular thanks to Magda, Anna, Veronica, Flavia, Lorena, Aline, Gildo and Signora…


Students and residents united as has not happened in years: it was not only the ‘adults’ who worked in those days to adorn the balconies and windows, but also students from the high schools of Venice.

And what did those who no longer have a home in Venice and wanted to participate do? In this photo is an illuminating example: when the best writers are at the service of a good cause, see what comes out:


A banner of 12 meters, which flew over the Grand Canal on July 2!

The ages of the participants? From 16 to 90 years. Those over 90 were exempted from the call to arms, even though in Venice they represent the beauty of 1,067 people (among less than 55,000), a sign that in the Lagoon one lives a long time – you exiles, what are you waiting for to return? At Venice the sedentary life is not an option, between bridges and palazzi without elevators we always stay in shape!


Other than homes and schools, we also adorned bridges that day.


“Venicemyfuture” or “Venice is our future” (but also ‘Resistent Residents’), we have declaimed them in all forms and sizes: from the smallest at 80 cm to the largest at 12 m, because each one was made to measure for our windows or balconies. We have declaimed it in many languages, as many as the souls who made the greatness of Venice: a cosmopolitan city but with strong roots, because putting down roots in the Lagoon was not an easy choice nor easily done for those who came before us: at times populations in flight like the Jews expelled from Spain by the will of a powerful and bigoted King.


Our work is to act in such a way that these deep and fertile roots continue to bear good fruits: we will care for our trees: this is our promise to Venice, and we are only at the beginning.”



Many thanks to Marco Gasparinetti for permission to republish this work. Translation by Paul Rosenberg