Sunday, July 24, 2022

Botticelli: Sacrificing cultural heritage for gimmicks

Botticelli - Primarvera

Before I start this post let me tell you that I was one to speak about environment and the heating of the planet long before it was fashionable to do so. My whole lifestyle is too "green". Still, there are areas which are of major debate to me.

So it seems environmental activists have glued their hands on Botticelli's Primavera painting in the Uffizi gallery in Italy. International media mentioned the activists, their mission, and their cause. Mission accomplished? Well, here's where the debate comes.

Ruining cultural heritage - and I am sure Botticelli's Primavera ranks as one - is no laughing matter. 

Sadly this is how the communication world is being run these days. Gimmicks, leading to eyeballs on social media, and on to the next one. Little or no strategy behind anything. Basically this is what is called Clicktivism/Slacktivism as opposed to activism.

Don't believe me? Think back of the #bringourgirlsback campaign. Remember the furor? Remember how much it trended online? Remember how everyone who was anyone either reshared it or retweeted it or re-whatever it? The result? Negligible.

Look I do not want to be nasty, and I suppose everyone who reads this blog knows at this point that I have tremendous respect for Tahaab Rais and his work, but I also wonder how his film about the 47 years of electricity problems in Lebanon will impact daily life (see here). 

As we drown in a world of "grand actions" and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility - which turned out to be a hypocrite act - see here) I really wonder where we are going in terms of communication. Because grand, shocking, media-stealing actions are now a dime-a-dozen. The world is full of them and basically we just look at them, then look away. 

Everything is done for the here and now. For the fleeting eyeballs on social media. For that - not even - 15 minutes of fame (these days if you make it to 15 minutes then you must be Kim Kardashian in some latex suit). 

And then what?

And then the world is left impoverished because Botticelli's Primavera will now require restoration.