Night Air

Night Air is a series of online transmissions that aims to make pollution visible by bringing forth the various side-effects of modernity: from colonial exploitation of people and resources to perpetual inequalities brought about by the destruction of the environment and common land – in other words, destructive capitalist practices that shape both our environment and human-nonhuman relations. Night air is a myth originating in the miasma theory (Greek for ‘pollution’), which thought that smelly air from the decaying organic matter caused illness. The smell would intensify and worsen by night, so night air became synonymous with poisonous and noxious vapours that could even cause pandemics such as cholera or plague. Only with the development in medicine and various scientific endeavours connected to the London cholera epidemic in the mid-1800s, germs replaced the ‘unhealthy fog’ as culprit for diseases. And even if it is now completely abandoned, night air still echoes in words such as malaria (‘bad air’ in Italian), which actually connects air-borne poison with flying pests such as the disease-carrying mosquitoes. Part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

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