The Fifth Siren
When the high tide reaches Venice, four sirens are sounded to warn the population of the incoming danger. Each one of them represents a growing level of emergency, the level of the rising water. Yet there is no sound after the last siren. In 2019, when the storm hit the city, nothing could have prepared venetians for the level of destruction it was going to bring.
This is how The Fifth Siren was born. Venice becomes the nexus where many global crises come together - environmental, cultural, social, technological. We aim to alert and explore what is beyond it: the many challenges we have to confront when facing an unknown future.
Listen to the trailer of The Fifth Siren, a new podcast by Fill Productions.
On the 13th of November 2019 an exceptionally high tide hits Venice, creating damage the city has not seen before. People’s homes and shops are destroyed, the power cuts off and the city plunges into a dark, desperate night, trying to rescue what it can. Could this have been foreseen? Are weather anomalies really an exception, or perhaps just something that’s going to happen more and more often? As the world stands watching, we wonder: is this only a cautionary tale for Venice, or for the world?
Venice is a “Shroedinger cat of a city”, full of possibilities. But it wears many disguises, disclosing only what it wants. For this very reason people are lured by its charm. Yet this human and urban archipelago that defies representation is also the most copied city in the world... Can its historical and cultural complexity survive the fate of becoming a playground for tourists?
Throughout its environmental history, Venice has always struggled to find a balance between the city’s economic needs and the lagoon’s delicate ecosystem. Now that this relationship has been ever more compromised, is it still possible to define a balance for the city to come?
Venice is a living archive of historical memories, collected through centuries of trade and splendour. Not only records of venetian history, but stories from the whole world can be found in the city’s archives. Yet the greatest challenge the city is facing today is depopulation. Are the archives enough to rescue a disappearing city? And most importantly, what memories can an empty city create?
Faced with threats of ever growing intensity, the only route for survival is change. In what way should the city transform? Is technology the modern divinity to ensure the future life of the city?