In New Delhi a mural against climate change made with smog
Science, art and activism. These are the words that well describe the activity of Andreco , an Italian artist with a scientific background, which discloses complex issues such as climate change through the visual arts . The latest work is a gigantic mural created in the Lodhi Art District in New Delhi entitled Climate 05 – Reclaim Air and Water , which represents the impacts on health and data relating to air pollution in the city and possible solutions . The project is part of the urban art festival St + art Delhi 2019 and is produced by St + art India Foundation in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of Delhi and supported by Asian paint, Air Ink and other organizations.
The work, created using smog as ink, is part of the fifth stage of the Climate Art Project, the artist’s project started in Paris in 2015 on the occasion of the Cop 21 and who made a stop in Portugal and Venice . The work symbolically depicts the transition of toxic fumes and greenhouse gases, from industrial emissions and from vehicular traffic in a healthy environment with white clouds. A change made possible by a real tree that stands in the center of the wall . The artist, as often happens in other works, has integrated chemical formulas, graphics and data provided by research centers into the work to form a single conceptual image with a strong visual impact.
“Delhi has been among the most polluted cities in the world since 2018 and with the highest levels of fine particles”, explains Andreco to LifeGate. “ Although everyone is aware of the high levels of air pollution, this is still a very ‘uncomfortable ‘ topic and the environmental associations that have been denouncing it for years do not have an easy life. I found the Cse (Center for sciences and environment), chaired by Sunita Narain, very interesting and collaborative, where there is also the editorial staff of the magazine Down to Earth . They carry out a serious job, they deal with many of the local environmental issues and beyond with data in hand ”. This is how art lent to science can visually communicate issues that concern everyday problems.
But Delhi must not only address the problem of air pollution. The city’s water resources are also in serious danger: the Yamuna River is in extreme pollution conditions, together with the Ganges . Considered sacred places, they obtained legal rights from the Indian court comparable to those of human beings, but, paradoxically, they are among the most polluted waterways on earth. “The government in recent years has closed the coal plants in Delhi, but many are still active in India,” continues the Italian artist.
At the inauguration of the opera there was also a collective performance, which involved the local population of all ages, crossed the Lodhi district, with songs, slogans and large flags, to arouse a other reflection on pollution and on the possible forms of individual and collective action. “The kids who came to the parade were very motivated, but I don’t think they are representative of society, there were also many children, very combative, perhaps we need to hope for the new generations”.