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'The Fifth Siren' podcast
Portal of the Italian language

‘The Fifth Siren’ podcast

Categories: Culture and creativity -Cinema and Audio-visual
Five episodes to describe the city of Venice, its cultural transformations and the environmental crisis.
The Fifth Siren - London
The Fifth Siren – London

A project by FILL Productions, supported by the Italian Cultural Institute of London and Banor Capital, the podcast is an ongoing conversation with the city, which long ago was a myth, and today is a cautionary tale to be told. In each episode leading scientists, activists, scholars and writers (including Salvatore Settis, Guy Standing, Adam Lowe, Marigusta Lazzari, Markus Reyman, Karl Appuhn, Filippo de Vivo, Sophia Psarra, Rachel Armstrong, Andrea Segre, Giacomo Salerno, Alvise Papa, Fantina Madricardo, Georg Umgiesser, Tommaso Cacciari, Solène Rivoal, Franco Schenkel and Tommaso Gastaldi) explore the past, present and future of the city.

The title evokes the siren that, on 13 November 2019, released four rising tones into the air to warn the people of Venice that the water level was rising dangerously. The ‘Fifth Siren’ wants to break the silence by exploring what lies beyond the loudest alarm, and as an attempt to understand the new dangers – environmental, cultural, social, technological –  to consider while facing an unknown future.

  • Episode 1: Water. 

Available from Monday 4 October. On November 13, 2019, an exceptionally high tide hits Venice, creating damage the city has not seen before. People’s homes and shops are destroyed, the power cuts off and the city plunges into a dark, desperate night, trying to rescue what it can. Could this have been foreseen?

  • Episode 2: Veniceland. 

Available from Monday 11 October. Venice is a city full of possibilities, but it wears many disguises, disclosing only what it wants. For this very reason people are lured by its charm. Can its historical and cultural complexity survive the fate of becoming a playground for tourists?

  • Episode 3: Balance. 

Available from Monday 18 October. Throughout its environmental history, Venice has always struggled to find a balance between the city’s economic needs and the lagoon’s delicate ecosystem. Is it even possible?

  • Episode 4: Memory. 

Available from Monday 25 October. Venice is a living archive of historical memories, collected through centuries of trade and splendor. Not only records of Venetian history, but stories from the whole world can be found in the city’s archives. Yet the greatest challenge the city is facing today is depopulation. Are the archives enough to rescue a disappearing city? And what memories can an empty city create?

  • Episode 5: Evolution. 

Available from Monday 1 November. Under threat, and the only route for survival is change. In what way should the city transform? Is technology the contemporary religion that can ensure the future life of the city?

The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and on

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