Street art – whether it likes or not for its fundamentalist followers – is by its very own nature ephemeral and exposed to the street. It can suffer vandal attacks, come down together with the crumbling wall on which it has lived in symbiosis or it can deteriorate due to bad weather or atmospheric agents. And the saturated air with pollution certainly doesn’t help.
A concept that, expressed several times in a theoretical level, in Rome it has been marked in a clear and visual way. Take Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn aboard the Vespa, as in the famous film “Roman Holiday” or Sofia Loren with the Oscar in hand, and again Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg, Francesco Totti and Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Pope Francis. Famous and artistic icons that share their immortality in the eternal city. Ephemeral and eternal. Two contrasts, an oxymoron made even more mocking because, in the artistic revival of Tvboy, these legends wear a mask to protect the face from smog while supporting a sentence: “Clean air now”.
A desecrating street art that comes as a jab on the chin. In the chaotic nature of the capital it is impossible not to stop and look at them along some of the Roman symbols: where can Fellini appear if not in his Cinecittà? And Loren in the alleys of Trastevere where she played the “Ciociara” and thanks to which she won the Oscar in 1962? And then the Colosseum, but also the Trevi Fountain, manifesto of “La Dolce vita”, Pope Francis in Borgo Pio, not far from the Vatican.
The Italian street artist Tvboy and Greenpeace have joined forces for a provocative campaign to raise awareness on diesel pollution: a blitz where art takes on responsibility and asks for so much. The environmental association, in fact, is asking the mayors of the cities most affected by the pollution of NO2 – specific nitrogen dioxide of diesel vehicles – to provide for the restriction of the circulation of cars.
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a specific carcinogenic gas of diesel vehicle emissions, responsible in Italy for over 17 thousand premature deaths a year (a negative record in Europe). Its pathogenic effects are mainly on the respiratory tract, the blood system, and cardiac functions. It is particularly harmful to children, causing respiratory infections, asthma, pneumonia, delayed development of the nervous system and cognitive processes.
«We are at the point where an elementary right, much more radical and irrepressible than others, like the act of breathing, is put at risk. In this circumstance – explains Tvboy – I willingly put my abilities at the service of this protest: a world in which a breath of air is a threat to health is an inhuman world ».
A senseless, oppressive pincer that must be dammed and Greenpeace is ready for its battle: «After months of requests, finally the administration of Rome has said ready to meet us – says Andrea Boraschi, head of the Energy and Climate Campaign of the association -. The capital was in 2016 the city with the highest average values of NO2. It is the responsibility of the mayor Virginia Raggi, like the first citizens of Turin, Milan, Palermo, to envisage progressive stopping policies for the most polluting vehicles, starting with diesels; and building a new mobility system to stem a huge health crisis that affects children above all».