nautical equipment, waterproof
case for smartphone, aperitif
Esso Station of Contrada Filonero
permit for access to the Port of Augusta, transport from and to the place of departure, medical insurance
groups from 5 to 12 people
We propose an excursion on inflatable dinghies to the Ship Cemetery of Augusta. You will visit the wrecks, 18 in total, which have been left dry in the bay of the megarese port since the 1970s.
The itinerary begins with the crossing on foot of the former Migneco-Lavaggi salt pans, an area of great naturalistic interest that is now used as an illegal dump for industrial waste. Once the boats are inflated, the participants sail towards the wrecks and admire their disastrous state.
A key moment of the experience is the floating aperitif: the ship’s carcasses form a shelter where they can stop and discuss the state of Augusta’s landscape, the environmental issues affecting its territory and the eternal conflict between health and work.
„I am not an inhabitant of Augusta, nor do I live near the sea. Yet, this experience was extremely familiar to me, because it proposes a different way of living the ruins that is similar to the explorations we all did in our childhood.“
„These boats represent how human beings are reduced by standing still. We rust and then sink. Maybe it really represents Augusta.“
„I was fascinated by the contrast between the ephemeral character of the dinghies and the ‚weight‘ of the wrecks. We need new approaches to preserve and remember what are the actually important pieces of our history. A museification of these wrecks would be inappropriate. We need to rethink the monuments and the way we inhabit them.“
„A privileged view of the noxious landscape of the petrochemical pole, symbol of the potential and failures of this territory, this place should become a public monument, a place to live every day the environmental issue.“
„The theme of industrial archaeology is now central throughout Europe. It is enough to see how the Ruhr coal mines have been converted… But even without going far we can look at the projects for the Natural and Anthropic Park of Saline Joniche, near Reggio Calabria, where the wrecks of abandoned industrial plants are in dialogue with natural elements. What has long been considered a disfigurement of the environment can be transformed into a new form of landscape.“
„I used to come to the salt pans when I was a kid, on my scooter. We used to enter them through a subway that allowed us to go over the railway (now it is invaded by vegetation). Here we used to do small motocross races, with jumps and drifts. Somehow I have always been used to living in abandoned places. Maybe that’s why I started to do graffiti, because besides leaving my mark I discovered places where people usually don’t go.“
GRACE AND GABRIEL
"Looking at this place, the word 'disaster' comes to mind. It literally represents the 'misalignment from the stars', an inauspicious condition, contrary to the most favourable routes. We ask ourselves: is it possible to interpret it as a starting condition towards a happy drift?"
„Dark Ecologie goes BRRRR“
„The view from here is unique. Augusta rarely offers public spaces from which to observe the petrochemical industry and the port. The city seems to look the other way and hide their existence.“
„Whether we like it or not this place is part of Augusta's identity.“
Visit to the Ship Cemetery of Augusta – A tour organized by Salvatore Peluso
Funded by Rizoma as part of the Pandemos project, curated by Izabela Anna Moren
Video Diego Pascal Panarello + visiting participants Video Editing Maria Giovanna Sodero
Participants of the tours in August 2020: Andrea, Erika, Antonio, Aurora C., Aurora R., Michela, Claudia, Giacomo, Luigi, Margherita, Sofia Pia, Giulia, Peppe, Luisa, Carlotta, Edoardo, Simone, Federica, Marco, Nicola and Rosalba.
Visit to Hangar dei Dirigibili. Built in 1917, this unique military complex was declared uninhabitable and then abandoned. The monumental building is a demonstration of the ignorance with which cultural heritage in Augusta is dealt with.
Visit to the Bay of Silence. A beautiful resort with accommodation, playgrounds, bars, restaurants and disco. Standing as a ruin for almost twenty years. The visit includes a dip in the coves cleverly created with dynamite in the eighties.
Visit to the Petrochemical Pole Augusta, Melilli, Priolo and Syracuse are the municipalities that host the so-called Quadrilatero della Morte: a vast area with activities dedicated to oil refining, the transformation of its derivatives and energy production.