Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CleaNap: guerrilla cleaning in Naples

by Annalisa Tancredi

Waging a guerrilla, armed with brooms and shovels, against administrative malpractice and negligence for historical and cultural places of Naples. In Campania, a dozen of young students and precarious under 32, called "The angels of rubbish", decided to clean Neapolitan squares and places of worship, organizing some guerrilla cleaning flash mobs. They are CleaNap - Piazza Pulita, a voluntary movement born on Facebook and become, in a few months, one of the most covered by national and international press. In few days the fans number grew up, active citizenship joined the idea of shaking the city swamped by lawlessness, administrative inefficiency and waste.

On June, 4, the first ecology-swoop started from Piazza Bellini, then the ecology-from-below movement reached Porta Capuana, Santa Maria la Nova, Piazza Matteotti. Now CleaNap is a voluntary association for social solidarity and environmental sustainability and in next year intends to clean up Vesuvius National Park, to contrast its decay. Emiliana Mellone, one of the organizers, tells us something more about the association.

How was the movement born?
CleaNap was born as a viral proposal shared among Neapolitans citizenship. I created an event on Facebook "Let's clean Piazza Bellini, each of us equipped with broom, gloves, maps: occupy squares!"; I invited my virtual friends, social network sharing mechanisms did the rest. We were 100, 200, then also 400! Later, people met in squares joined the team of friends and after this summer we set up a voluntary association.

What about "The Sound of 3R", your proposal for EWWR?
It was a flash mob seeking to involve passers-by. We emphasized the importance of recycling, reuse and reduction through games and questions and a musical and improvisation acting performance. We contacted the Bateria Pegaonda who played with instruments made from recycled objects.

What about the future? Have you planned other guerrillas?
In December we will be involved in the Asia's campaign "Four days of differentiation" about re-using paper and cardboard and composting. About long term plans, CleaNap is the Italian partner of Let’s do it! for the 2012 World Cleanup, a campaign made by volunteers coming from more than 100 countries, for cleaning up countries from illegal junk. We have a very ambitious project, cleaning up the Vesuvius National Park!, that needs to be endorsed by a massive support from all citizens, private and institutions. We need many people from all over Italy who want to join us for cleaning a national symbol that in last time has been victim of illegal spills. If many people will take part in the initiative, then we can achieve important goals: not only the recovery of abandoned junk in nature, but also a real structural intervention, which needs also the help of the institutions.

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