Ocean Space, Chiesa di San Lorenzo. Photo: © Photo Enrico Fiorese


Artist collective: Barena Bianca (Fabio Cavallari and Pietro Consolandi)

Title of work: “Come va lì? Qui… (“How is it like there? Here…)”

Type of work: Interactive educational workshop

Participants: students of several schools in Venice

Partners: TBA21-Academy, Ocean Space, CNR-ISMAR, IOC-UNESCO, We are here Venice


1) Tuesday, 15 December 2020, 6-8 pm CET

Please register by sending an email to info@ocean-space.org.

A virtual fishbowl discussion “Drops in the Ocean – Individual agency and outreach in the wake of climate change”

This fishbowl discussion, organized as part of the Venice iteration of WE ARE OCEAN and collaboration with Ocean Space, will assess the topic of how individual agency and collective action can counter problems tied to environmental degradation, especially from an oceanic perspective. The speakers, together with the public, will reflect on the necessarily diverse and interdisciplinary approach needed to inquire and communicate such complex issues, focusing on the intersection between art, science, policy and humanities. How can an institution reach the public in order to spread awareness correctly, tackling the pervasiveness of fake news and environmental indifference? How can an individual researcher or artist use their individuality to effectively direct their actions? How to coordinate a collaboration between typically distant disciplines in order to create new knowledge that is able to inspire collective action? When something is too big to be perceived by an individual, a multifaceted approach becomes urgent. Together, we will try to address such overwhelming topics with the aim to better understand how to study, act and reach out for allies.

The panelists will be Anne-Marie Melster, co-founder and co-director of ARTPORT_making waves, Fiona Middleton, a marine geoscientist and Ocean Fellow at TBA21–Academy, Angela Pomaro,  researcher at CNR-ISMAR, and Francesca Santoro, programme specialist at the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. Pietro Consolandi, artist and researcher with a background in political theory, also Ocean Fellow at TBA21–Academy, will be the moderator. Members of the audience will be invited to actively participate, in an attempt to translate digitally the fishbowl discussion format developed by ARTPORT_making waves.

2) December 2020 until April 2021: https://www.barenabianca.earth/en/how-is-it-there-here-2/

A virtual and interactive educational workshop with Barena Bianca Collective and Venice school students:

“How is it there? Here…” is a critical geography workshop for the kids of Venice and for anyone around the world living with similar issues, such as environmental degradation of wetlands and growing pollution levels in both the air and the water, coastal erosion, subsidence and increasingly devastating floods. Irresponsible tourism development, depopulation of cities and lack of housing policies may also be of mutual interest. This is an invitation to care about each other, to think of our planet from the perspective of common threats and the potential to share solutions, rather than divide it into tiny clusters that compete with each other. It is developed by artist collective Barena Bianca as Venetian iteration of the international project WE ARE OCEAN, commissioned and produced by ARTPORT_making waves with scientific support from We are here Venice and in collaboration with TBA21–Academy. The central focus is to send a message connecting apparently faraway places: talking about our home can mean also talking about a place on the other side of the world, if the threats we face are the same.

The workshop, re-formatted to function in the current situation of the pandemic, is centered around mail art: participants are invited to send a letter to Venice – or from Venice to a chosen place, somewhere else – describing why they care about their place, why they are worried about it, and the hopes and dreams they might have in connection to it, creating a connection between the place where they write from and they write to. The content is free to choose: a text, an image, some light items such as a branch, grains of sand, small rocks. Or even all of these together!

The instructions are simple, and one can participate either physically or digitally: fill the envelope with whatever you need to express yourself, and mail it to our studio (address below). If the postal service is problematic, for any reason, material and thoughts can be sent digitally, scanned, combined with photographs and even sounds or music, then they can be either posted directly on Ocean Community forum (LINK) or sent to our email address provided down here.

The contributions – pending consent by the authors – will then be presented on an interactive digital map that is accessible on our website and on Ocean Archive, developed in collaboration with artist Donato Spinelli, and used in the context of a specific workshop developed with 12-year-old kids at Scuola Media Morosini.

In return, a personalized artist postcard developed by Barena Bianca will be sent to all of those participating, together with our deepest friendship and gratitude.

Letters can be sent to:
We are here Venice
Cannaregio 6154
Venezia, Italia

Digital material via e-mail to:

To receive our postcard or an answer from the kids, and see your contribution on our online map and in the final exhibition, please fill in THIS FORM and send it via email to the address above.

3) April 2021

On-site events at Ocean Space Venice (fishbowl discussion, performative intervention with the participating school students, screenings of the WE ARE OCEAN film program, public participation program).

Barena Bianca

Barena Bianca collective (Fabio Cavallari and Pietro Consolandi) barenabianca.earth

Curated by


tba21 academy


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