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SEA BEYOND ENGAGED THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AT THE “OCEAN&CLIMATE VILLAGE” TRAVELLING EXHIBITION IN CHINA

October 16, 2023

SEA BEYOND ENGAGED THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AT THE “OCEAN&CLIMATE VILLAGE”
TRAVELLING EXHIBITION IN CHINA

Two-day programme hosted in the coastal city of Qingdao to raise awareness on ocean preservation

Milan and Qingdao, 16th October 2023 – SEA BEYOND, the educational programme developed by the Prada Group and IOC/UNESCO, brought the “Ocean&Climate Village” travelling exhibition beyond Italian borders, for the first time to China, after being exhibited in Milan, Venice and Naples. The exhibition was hosted on October 14th and 15th in Qingdao (Qingdao Haitian Center, floor 81st  and 82nd), a coastal city home to prestigious marine research centers, with a high concentration of professors specialized in ocean.

The exhibition, specifically designed for students from elementary to secondary school, has seen a high level of attendance by the local community and visited by more than 5,000 people over the two days.

The “Ocean&Climate Village” – originally created in 2021 by IOC/UNESCO as part of the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development – aims at raising awareness of the importance of the ocean among new generations, exploring the link between ocean and climate, and at the same time empowering young people to become active agents of change. To this end, the exhibition features tools developed to engage students: virtual reality, images of marine creatures and interactive games where visitors are invited to engage with the content and share their opinions. A cartoon character has been created with the purpose of being narrator and guide.

21 young biologists from the local marine institutes volunteered as guides, driving the attendants across the five subject areas of the exhibition: “The ocean planet”, “A changing climate”, “Focus: China case study”, “Marine biodiversity and eco-systems”, “Solutions for the ocean we want”.

Important Chinese marine institutes have contributed to the success of this edition, adapting content to the local context: FIO (First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources) and DCC-OCC (UN Decade Collaborative Centre on Ocean-climate nexus and Coordination Amongst Decade Implementing Partners in P.R. China).

Several activities were carried out during the event. On the first day, two panels discussion took place:

  • The opening panel discussion was held with: Francesca Santoro, Senior Programme Officer of the IOC/UNESCO, Qiao Fangli, Director of DCC-OCC, Robert Parua, Educational Specialist in the UNESCO Multisectorial Regional Office for East Asia, You Yang, Art Director of UCCA Group – and covered project presentation and the importance of education in the new generation’s growth. 
  • The second session was called “Blu Voice – Protecting the ocean in the spirit of science and exploration” and attended by: Li Xian, Actor, Prada Ambassador and Padi Youth Ocean Ambassador, Sui Haidong, Manager of Marine Conservation Projects of SEE Foundation, Yang Guangbing, Associate Research Fellow of FIO, moderated by Kong Lingyi, Vice President for Marketing and Branding, UCCA Group. Panelists discussed the topic of sound pollution and the damage caused by it, they shared personal and professional experiences and called on the audience to act and contribute, within their capabilities, to help marine conservation.

Further workshops were carried out by UCCA Foundation for Art and Education – that promotes the dissemination of culture through artistic educational programs – targeting kids aged 6-12, with the aim of enhancing their understanding of sea creatures and environmental protection. In the workshop titled “The phantom Pain of Pollution” participants created unique and mysterious sea creatures with sea water, applying the principles of chemical crystallization. In the “Floating Rhythmworkshop participants mimicked sea creatures with their body. Both workshops have been designed for this specific occasion by young artists and conceived to convey ocean literacy principles through arts and creativity, to ensure kids learn in a practical and simple way. A total of around 60 kids took part.

Prior to this edition, the “Ocean&Climate Village” was hosted at the Triennale in Milan (October 2021), the Arsenale in Venice (March 2022) and Castel dell’Ovo in Naples (March 2023). The Prada Group took part in all editions, presenting the SEA BEYOND educational programme.

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