Anonymous, 24. Mär. 2010, 14:09h (Wanderrudern)
London to Istanbul 2010. On the rivers of the Old Continent to take man back to nature, nature back to man, man back to man. For a New man.
The questions. Can we continue to “use” the Earth without limits, without sense? Can we continue to destroy, consume, throw away? Is a “sustainable” life possible? Are conferences, campaigns, grapevines on the internet enough? Is there not perhaps a need for simple, yet epic gesture? A new and ancient gesture?
The facts and figures. 5,200 kilometres, 6 months on a rowing boat, day and night, 1 million oar strokes on the Rhine and Danube from the English Channel to the Black Sea. And to help him across 15 countries from London to Istanbul, passing through England, France, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Turkey, there will only be the wind and a sail. All of this not for a sporting achievement but to build a new relationship with nature, water and rivers.
It is the feat of 44 year old Giacomo De Stefano, born in Asti but
Venetian by adoption. He is more than just an environmentalist. He
defines himself as a “new world traveller”. The miracle of the feat is
written in the budget: 0 euro. It is centred on a “gift economy”,
cost-free. Private businesses, friends, partners: they are working with
him, providing him with tools and ideas; they are creating conditions to
make possible something exceptional.
One man. Who is this
crazy man? Who is this prophet of the water, this “man on the river”
who seems almost to be playing the role of Forrest Gump in a boat?
Giacomo describes himself as a “simple person”. After spending many
years of his life working as a researcher and a documentary film-maker,
he made it his aim in life to make men and women of the consumer culture
conscious (at any cost) of how their style of life is decisive for the
environment. He lives on a boat in the Venetian lagoon; he lives with
little, because often “less is more”, and he can withstand almost all
conditions. In 2009 his first project, “Un Altro Po” (http://www.unaltropo.com) took him along
the River Po from Venice to Pavia, a journey with daily broadcasts on Radio
24 and with more than 200,000 contacts on his blog.
to Istanbul 2010
Man on the river. In April, “Man on the River” will begin in
London. Six months in a rowing boat, using only his arms, the arms of a
man who describes a new humanism, beyond the technology of engines with a
thousand horse-power. Why “Man on the River”? For centuries, rivers
have been the principal thoroughfares for linking civilisations, and of
supplying water to human communities. It is no coincidence that almost
all major cities have grown on the banks of a river. Today, most
waterways are left to themselves, favouring other forms of polluting and
costly transport and, worse, dumping both urban and industrial waste
and sewage into the rivers, bringing a slow death upon river life. With
“Man on the River” Giacomo wants to give centrality back to the rivers
that flow through Europe: beginning in the Thames, he will cross the
English Channel, follow the French canals to Strasbourg, then enter the
Rhine up to Nürnberg; he will then enter the Danube, crossing Vienna,
Bratislava and Belgrade until he reaches the Black Sea. From there on to
Istanbul for an expected total duration of five months. In the wake of
his boat he will also try to trace life in a new world, the way to new
economic opportunities, a form of tourism which is more respectful and
sustainable. Demonstrating that not only can one travel with little and
respect nature but that this form of tourism is immensely more
emotionally-rich and satisfying.
Change if you can. “Man on the River”: a journey across the heart of
Europe, a green heart that is searching to destroy a black and polluted
heart, with the cry “Change if you can”. Could it be the original and
alluring European version of the American
More info on
If you want to row with us
we will be very happy.
See you Giacomo