Voices from the Lagoon” by Federica Patteri shows the beauty of the Santa Gilla Lagoon
Photographer Federica Patteri dedicated her photographic book “Voices from the Lagoon” to the Santa Gilla Lagoon, one of the most important naturalistic areas around the Mediterranean.
The Santa Gilla Lagoon is one of the most important ecosystems not only in Sardinia, but in the entire Mediterranean area. An area of extraordinary charm, which inspired the art of Marina Federica Patteri, photographer born in Dorgali. On her website, she describes her homeland as “close to one of the most inaccessible coasts of the Mediterranean. Cliffs, stacks, steep walls in which beautiful and inaccessible seascapes are set”.
Another name of the Santa Gilla Lagoon is the Cagliari pond. Patteri dedicated her photographic book “Voices from the Lagoon” to this territory. The book took two years of work, full of waits, patience, intuition and luck. Published by Kappabit editions, it collects shots of different periods of the year and is available in the main online stores and bookstores.
Santa Gilla, an area of great historical and naturalistic interest
The Cagliari pond, or Santa Gilla Lagoon, is one of the most important wetlands in Europe, both in terms of extension and biodiversity.
The word pond must not be misleading. The Sardinian word refers to any humid area other than a swamp. However, Santa Gilla is essentially a lagoon. This area, due to its various fauna, has been protected for some time. In particular, according to the EU directive no. 409 of 1979 (“Wild birds”) it is a special protection area (SPA). Furthermore, it is a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
The Lagoon is located near Cagliari, along the initial stretch of the western coast of the Gulf, between the regional capital and other municipalities, such as Elmas, Assemini and Capoterra. It covers an area of 15 thousand hectares, up to the mouths of the Fluminimannu and Rio Cixerri rivers. Its history is linked to the abundance of fish in its waters and the commercial exchanges that animated the area, thanks by its particular position.
In the lagoon there are traces of human settlements from the 7th century, but some scholars believe that people frequented it since the Bronze Age. Some archaeological finds on the east coast suggest a Phoenician presence. But also in the Punic Period there was an urban settlement with a port on the eastern coast of the lagoon.
During the Middle Ages Santa Gilla became an important hub. Several wars were fought here, such as the one between the Genoese and the Pisans to dominate the Giudicato of Calari.
Some significant transformations took place in the 16th century, with the building of Ponte della Scafa, a bridge of boats and boards, connecting the island of San Simone to the easter mainland. In the same period, some hydraulic reclamation modified the bottom of the Lagoon.
Subsequently, in the 19th century the ecosystem underwent serious degradation. It became a landfill for industrial waste and land for the construction of railways. Anyway, the actual degradation started after World War II, with water pollution due to industrial and civil discharges. The fishing activity shrank, while the floristic and faunal composition drastically changed. Eventually, the construction of the canal port between the 70s and 80s irreparably compromised the part of the Lagoon closest to Cagliari.
But the naturalistic resources of Santa Gilla make it a treasure to protect. In this area live many species of birds, some very rare. These include pink flamingos, cormorants, herons and many others. Here they reproduce, nest and live. It is not uncommon to find birdwatchers’ positions here and there, since in the Santa Gilla Lagoon it is possible to admire about 70 species of birds. Mammals, reptiles and amphibians also proliferate in the Lagoon.
The presentation of “Voices from the Lagoon” at Palazzo Doglio
A place like the Lagoon attracts the most attentive and sensitive photographers, who can capture aspects that not everyone sees. Patteri’s photographs show the peculiar beauty of the Lagoon. An environment with countless colors that switch in a few moments, changing the surrounding landscape. The shots also show the human presence, starting with fishing, an expression of a lagoon culture whose origins lie in the mists of time. All together these elements tell the enchantment of the Lagoon, the impending degradation, its identity.
The book has a dual nature. On the one hand it is a photographic collection, on the other it is a multimedia device. Thanks to dynamically generated QR-codes, the book allows the online access to extra content. Therefore, the consultation is an immersive and multidimensional experience, in which the photos are accompanied by historiographical insights, news, music, poems.
The presentation of the book “Voices from the Lagoon” will be at Cagliari at Palazzo Doglio, the date is not yet set. It will also be an opportunity to dialogue with the artist.
Do you want to come to Sardinia and spend a cultural holiday? Book a stay at Palazzo Doglio in Cagliari.