Fair Transport – Green Cargo glance #1

We didn’t get to see those perfect, polished or heroic images. Neither we heard the thrilling, impressive adventurous stories. All this, according to Stefano, can be found on-line anyway.

Instead we got to listen to anecdotes, these nice, sympathetic stories between the lines of the “big stories”. Tales, covering authentically and unagitated all sorts of smaller pleasures, complications, successes, challenges, flaws and treats. Reports on everyday life experiences with which one grows, without big fuss. And pictures conveying the joy of doing and crafting, images showing the daily routines of people, making Tres Hombres, an engineless, Sail Cargo Ship possible.

Shown and told by Stefano Plank, our guest the other evening, our first speaker in a series based around “trade, water and transport“. Stefano was involved in Tres Hombres for several years, still being in close contact with the operators and supporting their initial ideas as well as further projects. It was a real pleasure following him, his way of introducing his very personal experiences, his impressions and his following considerations. Full of joy and energy one could feel his faith in projects like Tres Hombres.

Tres Hombres is a 32 meter schooner, shipping cargo between Europe, the Macaronesian Islands in the Atlantic, the Caribbean and America, driven by windpower only. Fair Transport, a term developed during the developments with the Pierus Magnus for such undertakings, with its prime intention to sail cargo emission free, was nothing a wide public, ten years ago, would have been aware of (at least not in an industrialized world). Trading goods and freight navigation around the world was and still is clearly associated with, dominated and operated by an enormous machinery based on an economic system only aligned to the maximization of profits and cost-efficiency. Nevertheless there is a growing community establishing and probing alternatives – and fair transport is slowly becoming more relevant as climate change gets closer to our everyday life, the destruction of the oceans becomes more obvious and the facade that “business as usual” can continue, crumbles.

Obviously, neither this single schooner, nor similar projects like Grayhound, Avontuur, etc., will turn around the cargo shipping system on a grand scale. It won’t be these single projects perceptible lowering the horrendous emissions spat out by the approximately 60.000 cargo-ships running on heavy-oil, transporting 90% of all goods traded worldwide, enabling the way of luxurious consumption we are used to and playing a major role in destroying our planet.

Nevertheless – as Stefano puts it: “it might work at least some people as food for thought, as well as it gives these people, taking part in the undertaking a chance of great learning- and life experiences. And maybe the thought will grow into becoming a movement, similar to Greenpeace and start bigger scale communities”.

The series, the talk given by Stefano is part of, is a contribution within Changing Weathers, a pan-European project undertaken together with Zavod Projekt Atol (as coordinator) (SI), Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory (SI)Bioart Society Finnland (FI); Hilde Merete Methi, (NO); Stichting Sonic Acts (NL) and RIXC Center for New Media Culture (LV).

Changing Weathers is made possible with the support from: Creative Europe Culture, BKA-Kunst, Linz Kultur and Kulturland OÖ.

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