Exhibition, workshop and protest in collaboration with Fondazione Sandretto and activists at Social Climate Camp.


Artists: Marwa Arsanios, Carolina Caycedo, Eclectic Electric Collective / Tools for Action, Andreas Gursky, Arthur Jafa, Sara Leghissa, Sandra Mujinga, Muna Mussie, Rory Pilgrim, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Ghita Skali, Alberto Tadiello, Artur Zmijewski.

Qualcosa nell’aria (Something in the air) is a group exhibition opening the third season of Verso, a programme of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, designed and produced with the Youth Policies Department of the Piedmont Region. For the exhibition a replica has been made of El Martillo, the inflatable Hammer that was once the icon of the climate justice protests at the COP16 in Cancún, 2010. As an extension of the exhibition, a Tools for Action skill share workshop was organised with activists of the international Social Climate Camp at Turin and El Martillo wasonce brought back to the streets.

Workshop by Bambi van Balen in collabortion with Wonko the Capable.

Curatorial Statement

Qualcosa nell’aria (Something in the air) suggests a dual perspective: on the one hand, it alludes to the potential of an emancipatory and transformative collective action; on the other, it proposes an in-depth analysis of an element that, due to its transparency and imperceptibility, is often considered neutral and non-political. The exhibition focuses on air, understood as a material around and through which important contradictions and conflicts are expressed today, within the political, social and economic dimensions. The air is observed as a scenery crossed by transgenerational shouts and demands against oppression and for climate justice, but also by the sound of clashes and hostilities in the streets and in the sky.

The works of thirteen artists examine, deconstruct, claim the choreographies of protest that take place in public space. They channel air to build technologies of defence and offence, tools that can gather or disperse bodies. They portray the collective life of the new generations, constructing the possibility of a community space animated by ecological perspectives, but also of a place dedicated to intimate reflection on one’s own identity. They investigate the link between environmental change, the economics and processes of marginalisation, exploitation and cultural and material extractivism. In the exhibition the air is politicised and stripped of its innocence, read in close connection with the power dynamics that operate between human beings, and between the human and the non-human.


Workshop and protest, Social Climate Camp, 25.-29.July 2022 in Turin.

Building inflatable cobblestones as a way of encounter and sharing skills, creating connections between different communities and future worlds. Questions that were posed for the workshop:

How to queer the protest routine?
Can dreaming be a form of activism?
How to slow down time?
How to welcome?
How to create memories for the ones that were before us and will come after us?
How is pleasure a form of resistance?

It was inspiring to get meet young Italian queer climate activist from generation Z, such as Elena, Noah and Nevy. The battle cries from the movement in 2019-2015 remained the same, although the urgencies intensified.

For the exhibition and march a replica of El Martillo, a 10 meter inflatable Hammer was brought back to life. El Martillo originally appeared in 2010, when it was sent in a suitcase from Germany to Mexico to support the protests during the Cop 16, the Cancún Climate Conference. The sculpture was inspired by the anonymous quote from the 1930s Society Union: “Art is not a mirror to society, but a hammer with which to shape it.” With the action we wanted to push for different narratives in the climate struggle through activating international networks and bringing a commonist symbol into the march. The act was a first performance of the Eclectic Electric Collective. (See publication El Martillo, by Eclectic Electric Collective, 2012.) After the march, iridescent stones are distributed to climate comrades in Italy, Germany and even Iran.