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Nowtilus. Stories from an urban lagoon in the 21st century

Second season



Available on Ocean Archive, SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Podcast and Google Podcast.

"Nowtilus. Stories from an urban lagoon in the 21st century" is a research podcast, a polyphonic archive of stories, notes, and themes relating to rethinking Venice today, dispelling myths about the city, and placing the lagoon back at the center of attention.

After eleven episodes in 2020 (and two Nowtilus Live! events), the podcast "Nowtilus. Stories from an urban lagoon in the 21st century" podcast returns on November 17, 2021 for its second season of eight episodes, which will once again lead listeners on a journey of discovery and discussion, addressing the lagoon’s sustainability, and the creative and life-affirming activities that its inhabitants carry out every day to keep it alive and extraordinary. Whoever comes aboard “Nowtilus” is invited to travel through themes and perspectives related to multiculturalism and migration, both past and present, which run through the episodes like arteries.

Venice is a meeting place for cultures, an aquatic crossroads of knowledges, and a mixture of flavors and outlooks. These are some of the themes that will emerge from the second season of the podcast, which is released every two weeks. The series is an invitation to reflect on inclusion, the notion that sustainability can only be achieved through mutual respect between human and non-human lifeforms, and the fact that the city itself, the Queen of the Adriatic, is the result of migrations, exchanges, encounters, connections, and defenses. “Nowtilus” explores new stories relating to the culture of food and cuisine, contemporary and popular music, Venice as a set in the history of cinema, some of the less-frequented (but no less important) museums, environmental and cultural activism, the dynamics of depopulation, the different aspects of crime, and many other angles from which we can rethink what Venice can be, when the lagoon is the focus of our attention and our way of life. "Nowtilus" will feature a special English-language episode, written and conducted in collaboration with Abiba Coulibaly and Ella Navot, two fellows of the Ocean Fellowship 2021 who will investigate not only the issues of migrations that have passed through Venice, from the Armenian to the Jewish and the Turkish community, but also the profound criticality of the representations of these cultures.

Following on from the song ‘Saltland’, which opened and closed the episodes of season one, in the season two we’ll be hearing original music by Enrico Coniglio, a Venetian artist and composer, who has been involved in sound art and research into Venetian soundscapes for years. Enrico Coniglio was commissioned to perform the musical interludes that characterize and complement the audio offering of the podcast, and in which environmental recordings from the Venetian Lagoon are transfigured into abstract loops and fragmentary melodies, disturbed by hisses, crackles, and digital noise.




The neologism “Nowtilus” refers to the “Nautilus”, the fictional submarine led by Captain Nemo in Jules Verne's novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” (1870). The word is also the name of a cephalopod mollusc that has survived nearly unchanged for almost 450 million years, and given that it continues to grow throughout its life, it is considered as a symbol of expansion and renewal. Nautilus is also a Latin word, which simply means sailor. The prefix “now” connotes the urgent need to reflect on Venice and its lagoon in the present time.

Nowtilus. Stories from an urban lagoon in the 21st century is a podcast brought to you from Ocean Space in Venice for TBA21–Academy Radio.

Episodes edited and lead by Enrico Bettinello and Alice Ongaro Sartori.

Original music by Enrico Coniglio.

Post-production by Kinonauts.

Alice Ongaro Sartori

Alice Ongaro Sartori is a curator and PhD candidate in Art History at University of Hamburg (DE). Since 2019, she has been working for the Public Program of Ocean Space, Venice. In 2018, Alice worked as a Research Fellow in the Curatorial Department of The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and since 2019 she has been co-curator of Microclima, an independent project which focuses on culture, ecology and the public sphere, an housed at Serra dei Giardini, a late 19th century greenhouse in Venice. Since 2016 Alice is also co-curator of RedHero, a long-term project constructed around Mongolian arts and culture, which was presented at Doc Fortnight, Festival of International Non Fiction Film and Media at The Museum of Modern Art (2020).


Enrico Bettinello is a curator, artistic director, teacher, writer and cultural designer, with a particular focus on fields of contemporary music and performing arts. After his long experience as director of the Fondamenta Nuove Theater, he directed the IED in Venice and currently teaches at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and the Master in Arts Management of the Università Cattolica di Milano. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Europe Jazz Network, project manager and member of the Scientific Committee for I-Jazz, the national festival association. He is curator for the Centro Santa Chiara in Trento (music), NovaraJazz (residencies and interdisciplinary projects), Pro-Helvetia (he is the creator and artistic director of the New Echo-System project), Palazzo Grassi / Punta della Dogana, TBA21 Academy / Ocean Space (for which he co-curates and hosts the Nowtilus podcast). He is responsible for the jazz section of Il Giornale della Musica and collaborates with Radio3 Rai and with RSI Switzerland.


Enrico Coniglio (born in Venice, 1975) is an Italian sound artist and composer interested in landscape aesthetics. His research aims to investigate the loss of identity in certain places, and uncertainty about the evolution of the local area, paying particular attention to the context of the Venetian lagoon. His approach over the years has focused on the relationship between music and the representation of reality, in particular by adopting the definition of “topophony” (the set of native sounds that belong to a given place and time, G. Paba) and developing the concept of the “marginal area” as a personal instrument for the critical interpretation of the contemporary soundscape. His music has been released by numerous independent international labels, and over the years he has participated in various artistic residencies and held concerts in various locations and festivals, including Hydrophonia (Barcelona), Café Oto (London), Störung (Barcelona), Liminaria (Benevento), DOM Cultural Center (Moscow), and many others.