STOP BURNING THE PLANET!
The lockdown due to coronavirus was a traumatic experience, but also a precious opportunity to reflect on our lifestyle and on how “unnatural” are many habits we now take for granted.
In those days the media attention (and, consequently, the collective one) was focused on the epidemic, neglecting other problems that however maintain all their urgency, first of all the environmental emergency, of which (finally) it was beginning to speak less sporadically. Yet, in those days we were confined at home, we were able to clearly observe how relevant was the impact of human activities on Nature.
With factories closed and cars in the boxes, the waters of seas and rivers have started to come back clean; in city streets, smog has given way to clean air and, in the case of who writes, to an unexpected scent of trees. Without the din of horns and engines, we realized how little silence was known.
All of this provided a valuable yardstick: it allowed us to observe that what we call “normality” is a lifestyle that undermines the health of environment (and, therefore, ours). We live, especially in cities, immersed in exhaust gases and in a noise that constantly distracts the mind. We are addicted to a routine of chaotic engagements and harmful habits.
Yet, even when everything was stopped, humanity continued to live, and some discovered an unusual peace in the lack of traffic and pollution. This suggests that the life we were used to is not the only possible. Perhaps another lifestyle, healthier and closer to the natural rhythms of the human being, is possible. This could be the most unexpected and revolutionary legacy of the terrible epidemic: awareness of how healthier, balanced and cleaner our society should be.
The “Lego Heads” video was created during the lockdown to keep attention focused on the health of our planet and ourselves; to remind that the catastrophe of the virus has not removed the threat of a much more serious catastrophe: the environmental one. The only possibility we have to avoid it (given the reluctance of many governments and companies to make decisive changes in a short time) is to become aware of the problem, recognize that the danger is there and it is real. Only in this way can we all demand the changes necessary to build a better lifestyle.
Due to the lockdown, the video had an unusual process in which the various members of the crew worked from their own home: the director wrote the script and made the shots independently while the actors voiced the various characters from home, using the script and a video guide.
The text was inspired by a passage from the book “Liquid fear” by the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman. He states that to avoid a catastrophe (such as the one we are risking) we must first recognize that it could happen, not persist in removing the thought of the problem only because it is uncomfortable or unacceptable. This is also an invitation to be wary of the illusion of man’s omnipotence: we cannot dispose of the planet as we please except at the cost of serious consequences. Here is the complete passage:
«[…] to prevent a catastrophe, one needs first to believe in its possibility. One needs to believe that the impossile is possible. That the possible always lurks, restlessy, inside the protective carapace of impossibility, waiting to irrupt. No danger is so sinister and no catastrophe strikes so hard as those that are viewed as of negligible probability; thinking of them as improbable or not thinking of them at all is the excuse for doing nothing to stop them before they reach the point at wich the improbable turns into reality and it is suddenly too late to mitigate its impact, let alone to stave off its arrival. […] the most awesome obstacole to the prevention af a catastrophe is its incredibility».
Zygmunt Bauman, “Liquid Fear”, 2006.
How long can we still pretend nothing?