Francesco Fiscardi: An Ethno-Artistic Exchange

Francesco Fiscardi’s art is centered on the living nature of landscapes, especially where the land and water meet and have been altered by human life. Writing in Ojibwe about the issues he raises related to climate change, ecological knowledge and human relationships to the earth, Margaret Noodin offers a poetic echo of his images.

Lake Retba is one of many lakes in need of protection and is currently under consideration to become a World Heritage site. A shallow inland body of water north-east of Dakar in Senegal, Lake Retba, also known as Lac Rose, supports dunaliella salina, a form of algae able to survive in hypersaline bodies of water. https://www.lakeretba.com/ For over 4,000 years humans have lived beside the lake, piling used shells into mounds and gathering salt which some researchers say has prevented the lake from filling entirely. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/africa/senegal-s-pink-lake-is-on-the-verge-of-disappearing-how-to-protect-it-93979  In recent years as industrialization has impacted the lake, casuarina trees, with their ability to shelter the shoreline, have also been an important part of the equation. https://www.indefenseofplants.com/blog/2019/1/2/meet-the-she-oaks

How we can be part of a universal network, rather than simply see the earth as a set of resources, is one of the questions the art of Francesco Fiscardi raises.

A row of flowers in the Woodland art style by Neebin Southall

Oginiigamaa / Lake Retba – Senegal

Oginiigamaa

Oginiigaming
In the rose water

misko-ataagibiig ozhaabobidoonaawaa
red algae absorb

ozaawaa-waaseyaawin
the golden sunlight

mii zhiiwitaaganiwiwaad
becoming salt crystals

gaaskanazootawaawaad gete-ensan
whispering to the middens

miinawaa mitigomizh-ikwewan
and the casuarina branches

omaa jiimigooyang Gizhemanidoo
here we are all kissed by God

nandodamaageyang asiginigaazoyang
asking to be gathered.

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