Last month, more than 30 performers took to Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, Italy to spread a message. The collective performance, called “Displacement,” was dedicated to water-related climate change and was meant to raise awareness about its consequences.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
person wearing blue sequin mask

Performers carried flags and long blue drapes, simulating extreme meteorological events from droughts and desertification to flooding, drowning and sea level rise. Others carried flags adorned with images of rivers and green areas of Bologna to call for “Climate Actions” and favorable environmental practices to pay homage to the landscape. The piece warns viewers of a future affected by climate change unless significant changes are made that will provide a future for a more sustainable society that lives in harmony with its natural ecosystems.

two people wearing sequin masks standing by a fountain
line of people holding blue cloth

“Displacement” was directed by visual artist and choreographer Andreco as part of the Terrà di tutti Film festival, an event dedicated to cinema and social documentaries on the rights of the “invisible.” It was produced by WeWorld in collaboration with the Comune di Bologna for the “marching with the climate” project, co-funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and sustained by the civil society organizations along with a number of local Italian authorities.

Related: Wood dome amphitheater produces artificial rain shower in the Belgian forest

line of people dressed in all black and holding a blue cloth
two people carrying a vessel of water

“The relation between human beings and water is at the center of this choreography,” Andreco said in a press release. “The performance goes beyond the conversation about the consequences of climate and environmental change and expresses a need for a reaction. This collective work is meant to show a desirable future, achieved through the radical change of the productive system, thanks to virtuous environmental practices and a symbiotic and mutualistic co-existence between all the species inhabiting the earth.”

person dumping vessel of water in a fountain
line of people holding flags with maps on them

In addition to highlighting the changing climate as a whole, “Displacement” is also a reflection on “climate migration,” or those who are forced to migrate due to levels of extreme climate change causing entire regions to become uninhabitable. The choreographer feels strongly about environmental and climate crises, but particularly in relation to water topics like droughts and rising sea levels, which have the power to displace entire populations (hence the performance name).

people huddled together and holding flags

Andreco’s projects combine science, art and activism, exploring the relationship between humans and what’s around them, whether it be urban spaces or natural landscapes. In the past, Andreco’s research has taken various forms, from art installation to mobilization actions, but the core focus is aimed at creating awareness around environmental justice.

+ Andreco Studio

Photography by M. Lapini, M. Panzetti, Studio Andreco