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Story Publication logo January 17, 2015

Venetian Artisanship and Climate Change: The Podcast Parts I and II


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Robert Eric Shoemaker presents a multimedia excavation of the artisans of Venice through the lens of...

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The Grand Canal at dusk in late fall. Image by Robert Eric Shoemaker. Venice, 2014.

Venetian Artisanship and Climate Change: Parts I and II

Your voice alights on my armhair,
a whiff of cigar smoke—

caramel, and ghostly—

"Cities die; let them."

"Death in Venice" is a joke nowadays. No more quaint gondolas streaking from island to island. No more bustling and yelling in the marketplace in the Rialto. Venice is a dead, or dying, a lost city among the rising waves of the Adriatic. Despite many efforts, Venice faces a high tide of problems in our modern world, including economic downturns and touristic booms—creating, ironically, a tightened market for handmade objects and literal high water.

Many Venetians are, by trade, artigiani: artisans, hand-workers, living in another time. Their way of life is dying. The loss of the craftsmanship of Venice would remove the one remaining source of income for this population. Climate change is directly affecting their daily life and compounds their already considerable problem set. The city is sinking, sea levels are rising, the climate is changing, and artisans are struggling to adapt.

The tide rises, winter approaches…

Listen to Parts III and IV.


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Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change

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