“Living Venice” is still the title of my blog. I’d like to announce, however, that Fulbright scholar Shawn Keener and I have officially established a cultural organization under the same name, dedicated to exploring, documenting, celebrating the authentic Venetian character and culture of yesterday and today.
Shawn and I believe that, for all that has been said and written about Venice, there remains an abundance of valuable stories to be told — above all, stories to be told by Venetians’ own words, rather than reported by its interpreters. Our mission is to create quality visual and aural documentary projects that bring the personal narratives of the lived experience of Venice and its lagoon to an international audience, through media works of lasting educational, cultural, and artistic value.
Our first project is the motion picture documentary, Voga alla Veneta: the Cradle of Venezianità. Beyond the image of the famous gondola, the voga is the element that unites today’s Venice with that of its origins. The documentary will explore the many facets of the rich culture that surrounds this unique rowing style born in the Venetian lagoon over 1000 years ago and made famous by the iconic gondolier. We are rowers ourselves, and have already done a great deal of research on the story of the voga: its origins, its integral role in the Venice throughout the city’s history, its near disappearance at the onset of the motorboat traffic, and its struggle, both physical and cultural, to survive today. The voga remains the only unbroken thread tying today’s Venice to that of its origins: ss Giovanni Giusto, president of the Coordinamento Associazione Remiere puts it, “as long as we row, true Venice lives.”
There are a number of additional projects under development, including a narrative film and written works. For more information, please see the new dedicated web site, livingvenice.org.
Living Venice is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of Living Venice may be made payable to Fractured Atlas, and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.