Lighthouses know a thing or two... They preside over ever-changing horizons and look out as far as the sea stretches. They light up the routes of others and have surveyed the sea from a vantage point since their conception. Little is certain about them but one thing is sure - they were born in Genoa.
Those who are born in Genoa, like Slam, can see the lighthouse par excellence from the moment they come into life. They see ‘The Lantern’, which guides sailors safely from the sea into port.
And what ties Genoa city to its port? The answer to this question can be found at the Zones Portuaires Festival, an international event that reveals to us all the connection between these two worlds (city and port) through visits to worksites, workshops, exhibitions, sailing trips and shows. The festival offers a meeting point with mutual exchange between the city and the area beyond the port’s Customs Clearance. It reveals little-known areas, opening them up to the public so that they can start to understand what goes on in a shipyard, how a dry dock works, or what silos are used for.
And this year, the festival is aided in this mission by the lighthouses. There will be an exhibition dedicated to lighthouse keepers, evocative images narrated with thoughts and words. Stories of light traced on the sea, on the islands, on the faces of people. The lighthouses of the Upper Tyrrhenian all take starring roles, in homage to those who look out to sea from a different perspective. Here we reflect on just one of those lighthouses, with a story that stands out from the rest.
The lighthouse of St. Venerius (the patron saint of lighthouses) which, on the island of Tino, leads the way through the Gulf of Poets. Once there, it comes naturally to look up at the blue sky and then let your gaze drop to the highest point of the island. We have come here for this, to discover it and understand its people, study it and see what it sees - day and night, with its constant rotating gaze. We ask the Frigate Captain, Stefano Gilli, in charge of lighthouses in the Upper Tyrrhenian, to tell us about his first ‘encounter’ with a lighthouse. And we see that his face lights up with a smile, like a kid enchanted. That was the moment his future career chose him, and his eyes twinkle as he remembers and tells us.
Yes, because lighthouses are a bit like friends, some you meet and others almost never cross your path. But you know they’re still there, always. And they will stay there, lighting up the night forever. This mission for safety inspired the creation of Lumen: the sailing clothes line by Slam that reflects light in low-visibility conditions. The nylon fabric is covered with aluminium-coated glass microspheres that capture light, even in low-visibility situations. Because light is the be-all and end-all, even if only reflected.
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