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7. The Cocái and Us: Contemporary Coexistence

Cohabiting within wetness. Venice as a model for the future?


Admission fee
Free of charge

Reservation is required at this link.

Meeting point

Meeting at 6:00PM in Campo San Francesco della Vigna.

With the itinerant conversations of the cycle “Cohabiting Within Wetness,” the third chapter of the project “Venice as a model for the future?” developed by TBA21–Academy for its Ocean Space, we direct our eyes and walks toward the localized action of organisms and phenomena often disregarded, yet fundamental for the balance of this ecosystem.

The project “Venice as a model for the future?” was initiated in 2020 and is curated by Barbara Casavecchia and Pietro Consolandi. “Cohabiting Within Wetness” is part of the three-year research cycle The Current III—“Mediterraneans: "Thus waves come in pairs (after Etel Adnan)", led by Barbara Casavecchia.

7. The Cocài (seagulls) and Us: Contemporary Coexistence

The Mediterranean herring gull (Larus michahellis) is a highly adaptable protected species. In Venetian dialect it is called "magoga", not to be confused with the smaller and harmless "cocàl", the common seagull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), which returns to the city at the end of summer. From the sea, the "magoga" has gradually moved inland, recording a notable demographic expansion throughout Europe since the 1980s. In 2005, there were twenty-four breeding pairs in the historic center of Venice; by 2018, there were 450.

Since 2017, the naturalist and researcher Francesca Coccon has been carrying out a monitoring activity of the urban herring gull population in the city, mapping its distribution and studying its dynamics under various drivers, such as the reduction of food availability for the species following the change in waste collection policy introduced in 2016 by the municipal company Veritas Spa and the emptying of Venice during the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey is promoted by CORILA (Consorzio per il coordinamento delle ricerche inerenti al sistema lagunare di Venezia).

The walk will be an opportunity to learn more about this study and its winged protagonists, with the aim of improving human coexistence with this closely neighboring species. Thanks to the kind hospitality and collaboration of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi DFS, the visit will end on the terrace of their building, from which we will admire Venice from above and share the experience of monitoring seagulls with the professionals who conducted the research.

PHOTO: CORILA, Francesca Coccon, Lucio Panzarin.


Meeting at 6:00PM in Campo San Francesco della Vigna. Departure for “Cohabiting Within Wetness. Venice as a model for the future?”

Participation is free, please make a reservation at this link. Limited places available.

Francesca Coccon

Francesca Coccon is a naturalist with a PhD in Environmental Sciences from Ca' Foscari University, now a researcher at CORILA (Consortium for the Coordination of Research on the Venice Lagoon System). During her PhD and in the following two years she worked in the field of airport risk analysis studying the risk of collision between aircraft and wildlife (wildlife strike) and developing new risk indices aimed at preventing the phenomenon. He has many years of experience in the coordination and implementation of environmental monitoring in the Venice lagoon.

The Current III

“Cohabiting Within Wetness” is part of TBA21–Academy’s program, The Current III: The 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.