Valuing waste and demonstrating that you can have fun with little: here's why Gabriele Saluci, with his friend Lorenzo Fracastoro, he decided to build Postoki, a catamaran made of plastic bottles and recycled materials, to navigate the Po. And ask: why can't we simply have the freedom to enjoy a beautiful river? Gabriele and Lorenzo's little eco-sustainable nautical jewel will be exhibited at the Ecomuseum of Turin.
1) Who are you? And how did Postiki come up with?
We are Gabriele Saluci and Lorenzo Fracastoro. I, Gabriel, I'm a filmmaker and traveler, Lorenzo it's a naturalist. We are both lovers of nature and adventure. The idea behind the Postiki is undoubtedly that of doing something that would amuse us and that would give a strong message to those who came into contact with the company. There is an increasing feeling that in these post-industrial times, healthy fun is an increasingly distant and unattainable thing, we are surrounded by technology and the rhythms become increasingly frenetic: to have fun you always have to end up in excess. We wanted to show that it is possible to do something exceptional with waste and that it takes very little to have fun.
The main message, however, the real one, is to be able to give value to waste, especially plastic. Turin citizenship in terms of separate collection is quite diligent but the national average is not so high, there are areas of Italy where the concept of recycling is still very distant, especially because services are not offered. I must say that although there is a lot of effort in Turin, there are still many mistakes made in the differentiated sector and the waste is still high. The plastic of the bottles can have new life: building a catamaran is a metaphor rather than an example but to get the message to everyone, you need to do something that remains impressed due to its particularity.
2) How is the catamaran made and how much material did you use?
The catamaran consists of four tubes with a diameter of about 60 cm long 1.5 m and tied in two on the faces. It is therefore a structure 2.10 m long and 1.5 m wide. The second group of tubes is spaced to give more space on the walking surface and more stability. The pipes are structures of recovered wire mesh, of that for fences. The structure is held together by wooden beams, also recovered. The small catamaran will shortly be exhibited at theEcomuseum of Turin so it is also visible not digitally.
More than 700 plastic containers of various shapes and sizes were used to fill the pipes: from bottles of detergent to half-liter bottles of water that we collected from locals who kindly kept them aside. We got a buoyancy equal to 350Kg so you could fit perfectly even in 4 or 6, maybe we even exaggerated with the size.
3) How much time and how much money did this adventure cost you?
We have not spent more than a couple of tens of euros for screws and wire; the rest of the material is recovered material. In the construction of the boat, thearchitect Claudio Perino who had more technical skills than us and all the necessary tools. The two of us took two half days of work. So funny.
4) How did people who saw you comment? What reactions do your videos elicit?
The project had a fairly high media impact: it was published by numerous websites and online newspapers, on the front page, obtaining overall about 20,000 clicks on the day it was published. Moreover, the videos of this type of companies can have a lot of visibility thanks to social networks. In this case, the video was shared by around 2,000 people. The video I shot is very short, it serves to give an idea of what was done in the most "cool" way possible, even if I only had a few hours to edit the video. I used the term cool and I wanted to give this design an impression because, as I said at the beginning, for this type of project it is necessary to use a striking style.
5) How is the Po river from what you have seen from your catamaran?
It cannot be said that the Po is not polluted and dirty. Like all rivers of equal size, unfortunately. It is not by navigating on its surface that this can be seen, but the pollution is there and is primarily due to the discharges of organic substances from the cities and to farms and industries. The decomposition of organic substances that are discharged into the river consumes oxygen in the water, sometimes killing the fauna and destroying the natural balance. However, we weren't afraid of drowning. It would certainly not have been the first time for us to dive into the Po, it is not as shocking as it seems it is particularly dangerous, but pollution is a phenomenon that must be fought. Indeed, these are the cases in which it is clearer why we need to fight pollution. Sometimes it seems a far cry from everyday life but in reality it is right under our eyes: why can't we just have the freedom to enjoy a beautiful river?
6) What other similar enterprises have you carried out?
This is the first such feat. In winter we made ourselves known for having built an igloo in Piazza Vittorio, also in Turin, in the days of the snowstorm. The idea that time was a little more poetic. We stayed up all night building the Eskimo model shelter by cutting, shaping and assembling ice bricks. It was cold but the fun - and the fatigue - also warmed us up that time.
7) Any indiscretions on the next ones?
For the moment we have nothing similar in the pipeline, at least not immediately: Lorenzo works in Yellowstone in the natural park and I will soon leave Turin by bike for the Sahara desert to shoot my second documentary. However, there is the intention to fly; we said next time we would be in heaven. It will be a more challenging project which, however, will not require the use of plastic containers but unfortunately it will not be able to come to life for a year.
Interview byMarta Abbà