Costa Smeralda Prize 2019: The winners are Ian McGuire, Mimmo Nunnari and Seabin of LifeGate

Promoted by the Costa Smeralda Consortium and now in its second edition, the prize dedicated to the sea will be delivered Saturday 27th April in Porto Cervo.

Ian McGuire with Le Acque del Nord (Einaudi) for fiction, Mimmo Nunnari with Destino Mediterraneo (Rubbettino) for essay writing and the Seabin project – by LifeGate PlasticLess for the Blue Innovation category, the project of the waste bin for the sea able to collect the microplastics, are the winners of the second edition of the Costa Smeralda Prize, recognition entirely dedicated to the sea as a cultural, vital and scientific engine.

The Jury of the Costa Smeralda Prize 2019 composed by Alberto Luca Recchi, Simone Perotti, Roberto Cotroneo and Francesca Santoro, after a careful evaluation of the finalist tercet selected from the 39 literary works in the competition and the 12 innovative projects chosen by the Medsea Foundation, declared winners considering the evaluations resulting from the Consortium’s Jury. The reason of the Jury was summarized by Simone Perotti: “The three winners of the 2019 Costa Smeralda Prize take us from the ports, to the Atlantic whaling boats, to the deep Mediterranean. And it’s a rich and articulated journey that deserves attention. Among the pages of “The waters of the north” we tremble for the threatening Henry Drax, the very incarnation of evil, a character on the frontier, a cog in a far wider and more terrible warp than his violent nature. With “Mediterranean Destiny” we travel in the geopolitics and in the millenary culture of the “Sixth Continent”, seen through the eyes of a mature love, the one that does not deny even the rough and painful vision of its current condition, but never ceases to regenerate hope from its infinite resources. With Seabin, a sea-cleaning project, we see the possibilities that the idea and technology, if applied to the greatest planetary emergency, offer to safeguard the sea, starting from the symbolic and real center of nautical life: ports. Three valuable contributions, able to excite, inform, keep hope alive”.

Prize will be given to the authors of the books and projects during the awards ceremony, with free entry, scheduled for 4.30 pm on Saturday 27 April at the Sala Smeralda of the Cervo Tennis Club of Porto Cervo.

The enhancement of sea literature and the promotion of technologies to better protect it delineate the identity of this prize that from literary reflection and public awareness of the protagonist-sea, turns into concrete action to protect it.

Even the guest of honor of the 2019 edition of the Prize, the beloved scientific popularizer Piero Angela underlines this aspect: “In every drop of the sea there is our past and our future. Billions of years ago these drops crossed the cosmos imprisoned in asteroids and comets. Then they were the incubators of life. Today the sea (which supplies most of the oxygen we breathe) is the largest living museum of wonderful shapes and the largest archaeological museum, full of precious objects, art treasures, statues and masterpieces.
But the sea is also a great regulator of the climate, a giant pot that is dangerously heating up. If we don’t decrease the increase in the temperature of the atmosphere the sea may be the cause of epochal cataclysms. We don’t see what is happening and we don’t think about it, but we should look more often at the sea, more carefully and with more love. Any initiative that brings it to the center of our attention offers a precious starting point for our reflection and help for our future.”

It’s precisely in this direction that a concrete initiative was born as part of the projects for collective mobilization of the territory promoted by the Costa Smeralda Prize, Adopt a beach: on March 28th, 130 secondary school students of the Municipality Arzachena left the classrooms to commit themselves personally to the reclamation of sandy shores.

Those same students, to whom we will hand over the future, are also the protagonists of the literary competition A sea to be read, always born within the collective mobilization initiatives of the territory promoted by the Costa Smeralda Prize, centered on the same theme of the main prize on which converges. The journalist Stefano Salis will decree the most convincing and evocative composition, with the sea as a protagonist, among those developed among the 125 students of the third secondary schools of the Municipality Arzachena. The winning student will be awarded with the Special Mention for the Costa Smeralda Prize 2019 during the ceremony.

Another Special Mention will be assigned to Ida Castiglioni, an extraordinary woman, a writer of the sea and an incomparable sailor, the first Italian to have crossed the Atlantic alone. Her history, her commitment and her challenges represent a testimony of an extraordinary symbolic synthesis for the Prize, which wanted to award it with special recognition.

Capable of attracting writers, scientists and influential guests to Sardinia, including Piero Angela and Maxwell Kennedy (Robert Kennedy’s son will present his book Sea Change), the Prize will honor the winners of each category in Porto Cervo on April 27th during the long weekend (26-29 April) of events, debates, emotions and discussions whose artistic direction is entrusted to Beatrice Luzzi who summarizes: “A prize in balance between humanities and applied sciences, able to raise the level of attention and consideration about a priceless asset which is the sea and about the sea literature, the origins of our culture, too long unjustly neglected and now more than ever useful tool to recover the common denominators of our civilization.”

And in fact the setting up of the Sala Smeralda, where the award ceremony will take place, curated by the artist Giorgia Concato, will be inspired not only by the letters of the ancient alphabets of the Mediterranean (up to the signs of the computer glossary) and the meeting, and useful debate, between human and applied sciences typical of the Hellenistic period, but also to the plot, to the canvas of Penelope that waited Ulysses lost in the unknown of the sea, to the looms, as a heartfelt tribute also to the plots of the great Sardinian artist Maria Lai to whom the Prize is a dedicated to the 100th anniversary of his birth. The guests of the prize will also be offered artifacts able to interoperate all the meanings of this experience: the bottles (exhibited at the Milan Triennale in the context of the Broken Nature exhibition), traditionally intertwined with the rush by the expert hands of the San Vero Milis artisans involved in the ‘Is Fainas co-op’ promoted by the MEDSEA Foundation, but also the typical Sardinian baskets expertly proposed by Angela Boeddu with a modern technique: recycling paper.

The Prize fully summarizes the constant commitment of the Costa Smeralda Consortium in defense of the sea. As President Renzo Persico reminds: “Our efforts are always aimed at continuing and pursuing the original intuition with which the Consortium was born: an integrated tourist complex mainly aimed at environmental and landscape sustainability”.

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