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10. Rebuilding with water and mud: a breathing lagoon

Lagoon micro-ecologies. Venice as a model for the future?


Admission fee
Free of charge

Reservation is required at info@ocean-space.org


9:45 Ocean Space | 11:15 Torcello



Lagoon Micro-ecologies, is the title of the second series of itinerant conversations “Venice as a Model for the Future?” curated by Barbara Casavecchia and Pietro Consolandi for TBA21−Academy and Ocean Space.

This new chapter moves beyond the urban boundaries of the city of Venice towards the islands of its lagoon. The participants direct their steps and gazes to the land and the seascapes created by the interaction between various species, not only human, that inhabit them: from coastal sand to garden soil, from salt marshes, a thriving home to wild plants and birds, to seabeds populated by tiny fish and molluscs.

In inviting us to rethink landscapes as “assemblages” of coexisting life forms, requiring “habits of noticing”, scholar and anthropologist Anna Tsing reminds us that they are “open-ended gatherings. They allow us to ask about communal effects without assuming them. They show us the potential histories in the making.”*

10. Rebuilding with water and mud: a breathing lagoon

What has happened to the lagoon landscape in recent decades, and how is the lagoon’s ecosystem being affected by the significant environmental, climatic and socio-economic changes taking place? What role do the salt marshes play in the relationship of coexistence between cities and lagoons, and how do they influence the lives of these areas’ inhabitants? What can we do to protect them and facilitate the regeneration of an ecosystem that also represents a kind of green infrastructure for the lagoon and the city? To reflect on these phenomena and imagine how things might work in the future, we are heading to Torcello. Here, in the north of the lagoon, on one of the first islands to be settled, we can observe a constantly changing ecosystem together with Alberto Barausse, a professor at the University of Padua, who will talk to us about the European LIFE VIMINE initiative, whose goal is to protect the salt marshes from erosion through an integrated socio-ecological approach.


9:45am at Ocean Space. 11:15am in Torcello.

Participation is free, please make a reservation at info@ocean-space.org.

Limited places available. We remind you that transport via vaporetto is at the expense of participants.


The European LIFE VIMINE project, carried out between 2013 and 2017 under the coordination of the University of Padua, sought to protect the innermost salt marshes of the northern Venetian Lagoon from erosion by experimenting with an integrated approach, based on naturalistic engineering and the involvement of lagoon communities. In 2020, a five-year agreement was signed between the relevant public institutions to continue and extend LIFE VIMINE’s approach to defending the salt marshes to the entire lagoon.


Alberto Barausse is a researcher in Ecology at the University of Padua. He deals with ecological modelling, the mitigation of human impact on the environment, and the conservation and sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems, especially coastal ones. He was deputy coordinator of LIFE VIMINE and coordinator of the implementation of the recently signed inter-institutional agreement protocol to continue the interventions in order to defend the project's salt marshes.


“Lagoon Micro-ecologies” is part of TBA21–Academy’s program, The Current III "Mediterraneans: ‘Thus waves come in pairs’ (after Etel Adnan)", led by Barbara Casavecchia.

The "Current III" is a transdisciplinary program of perception, listening, thought and learning that supports projects, collective education, and voices on the shores of the Mediterranean through art, culture, science, and activism.

*Anna Tsing, When The Things We Study Respond to Each Other, in: More-than-Human, ed. by Andrés Jaque, Marina Otero Verzier, Lucia Pietroiusti, and Lisa Mazza, co-published by Het Nieuwe Instituut, Office for Political Innovation, General Ecology Project at the Serpentine Galleries and Manifesta Foundation, 2020.