When in 1938 Orson Welles adapted the romance “The War of the Worlds” during the radio programme “The Mercury Theatre on the Air”, playing it as a real journalistic news, someone from the audience believed that the Earth was actually under extra-terrestrial attack.

The power of the media such as the radio in the 30s and the great interpretation of Welles achieved a rather unexpected result, producing indignation and raising protest against broadcasters.
What would happen if in the streets of Perugia the relocation of the Fontana del Nettuno was announced?
In the past years, statues in many European cities have been protagonists of protests, targeted as symbols of colonialism and fascisms. A statue is a totemic object, with symbolic values, an instrument to communciate a message.
Reflecting on the value and the role of the fountain, we proposed to create a provocation which is at the same time an excuse to train care and activism.
The intervention was based on the fictional announcement that the fountain was to be removed from its location and acquired by a private foundation.
A promotional campaign with posters and video and a construction site were realised to create credibility around the fiction. In parallel, a protest group was promoted by the partners of Edicola518 to create a counter voice.

During the artistic residency week, we collected and recorded people’s opinions from social media and live in the streets with interviews, to keep track of the ongoing debate around the news.
On the last day we organised a public meeting, with the aim of gathering support against the removal of the fountain: on that day we revealed that the intervention was fictional, and we gave the stage to people to express their opinion about the privatisation of the public domain, civic responsibility, the commons, and urban activism.

The project was selected through the Call for Artists launched by Edicola518 and Teatro Sant’Ercolano. With the support of Coop Centro Italia Sezione Soci Perugia 1.

Project concept, development, and realisation by Francesca Gotti and Giovanni Emilio Galanello
Publication by Teatro Sant'Ercolano and Edicola 518
Pictures by Giovanni Emilio