The dual exhibition, held by the Italian Embassy in Hanoi and Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in August, delivers a strong message on the effects of climate change and the interconnectedness and exchange between cultures despite global pandemics.
The “Italian Routes – Mountains, Mountaineering, Climate Change” and “Landscapes of Vietnam” exhibition. Photo by Embassy of Italy in Vietnam.
Vietnam is the first country in the world to host the “Italian Routes” exhibition, which demonstrates the strong bilateral cooperation between Italy and Vietnam, particularly in the field of the protection of the environment. It also aims to promote online cultural activities, allowing the public to enjoy valuable moments of relaxation from the comfort of their homes. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, the audience had indeed the opportunity to engage with it via a wide range of online activities.
Based on the work of photographer and environmentalist Fabiano Ventura, the exhibition showcases the great mountaineering tradition of the “boot-shaped country”. The photo sets compare landscapes past and present, visualizing the impact of climate change on ecosystems and biodiversity.
The exhibition is also an opportunity for three Vietnamese photographers (Hoang The Nhiem, Hoang Giang Hai and Tran Dang Dang Khoa) to display their impressive photos of Vietnam's natural landscape, equally affected by the climate crisis. All photos tell their own stories, but together, all ring the bell of a harsh new era.
The central part of the exhibition, “Montagne Italiane” (Italian Mountains), is an ideal journey from the Gran Paradiso group that explores the entire Alpine arc from west to east, crossing the massifs of Mont Blanc, Mount Rosa and Cervino, Bernina, Ortles-Cevedale and Adamello, moving on to the east, reaching the Dolomites and Julian Alps.
The Italian Routes ends with a ninth stage dedicated to the main Apennine mountain group, the Gran Sasso. Each of the nine mountain groups is represented by large-format photographs that highlight their evocative landscape aspects and by comparative historical and contemporary images that underscore the evolution of the glacial masses, along with the impacts of climate change.
Each group is accompanied by an introduction panel illustrating its geographical, historical and geo-glaciological characteristics, together with a suggested itinerary. Finally, each mountain section is enriched by reproductions of documents and historical material on the first alpine explorations.
The comparison photo sets highlight the impact of climate change. Photo by Embassy of Italy in Vietnam.
Within the project framework, interesting online activities have also been organized on the Facebook page of the Embassy, attracting a great number of mountains lovers, including an online workshop on landscape photography, guided by photographer Hoang Giang Hai; a climbing workshop, guided by Thanh Tran (Rope Team Vietnam); a livestream talk with the first Vietnamese climbers to set the national flag on Mount Everest; and a science webinar about climate change “From Glacier to Delta”, raising awareness of this pressing environmental issue.
“I would like to invite each and every one of you to include climate change issues in your agenda, respect the land and territories in which you live and appreciate the mountain culture and brave people who live and work in such beautiful yet fragile natural environments,” Antonio Alessandro, Ambassador of Italy to Vietnam, said.
He also emphasized the impacts of melting ice in the Italian Alps on the Mekong Delta, affirming the importance of preventing climate change at global level.
The exhibition Italian Routes is based on the project “On the Trails of the Glaciers”, promoted and organized by non-profit Macromicro. “On the Trails of the Glaciers” is a scientific project that combines photographic comparison and research data to show the effects of climate change through the observation of glacier mass variations over the last 150 years.
The exhibition is a prominent contribution in raising people’s awareness about major impacts of climate change heading to the COP-26 conference co-chaired by the United Kingdom and Italy at the end of 2021 in Glasgow.
Watch the full video of Italian Routes virtual tour here
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