Climate change: a car destroyed by giant hailstones is the provocation presented by CESVI and Factanza

The installation can be seen in Via Paolo Sarpi, at numbers 19 and 21, from Tuesday 20 to Sunday 25 February. The project is conceived and produced by the CESVI Foundation and Factanza Media, which have always made climate issues a priority. 

Milan, 20 February 2024. ‘Climate change does not exist’. This is the sentence that stands out on the provocative installation that appeared at the opening of Milan Fashion Week, once again sounding the alarm about the climate emergency and its global impact. An almost apocalyptic scenario unfolds in Via Paolo Sarpi: passers-by encounter a car severely damaged by gigantic hailstones, and one of these hits the very inscription ‘Climate change doesn’t exist’, signifying that denying or ignoring the emergency does not shelter us from it. 

The project, conceived and produced by the CESVI Foundation and Factanza Media, together with Mirror, was in fact created with the aim of transforming an abstract concept into an engaging visual experience to stimulate profound reflections on individual and collective responsibility. 

Extreme weather events, in fact, are increasingly present everywhere, even in our country. The city of Milan still bears the ‘wounds’ of the violent rains and hailstorms that recently hit it, just as the devastating floods put Emilia-Romagna to the test. These are not transient or unpredictable phenomena, but the effects of global warming, which causes storms to become increasingly violent. 2023 was the hottest year ever recorded, with an average temperature 0.60° higher than in 1991-2000 and 1.48° from the pre-industrial level. Between 1970 and 2021 there were 11,778 extreme weather phenomena in the world, with $4.3 trillion in economic damage and the death of 2 million people, 90% of them in developing countries. 

But if we think that a destroyed car can be a tragedy, CESVI and Factanza urge us to remember that this is not even remotely comparable to what happens regularly in other countries around the world, where extreme weather events sweep everything away, causing death and devastation. As happened in Pakistan between 2022 and 2023. This is why, not far from the installation, a multimedia totem shows us the impact of climate change around the world with an in-depth look at Pakistan, a country that is a symbol of climate injustice: one of the hardest hit in the world by extreme natural events, even though it is one of the lowest producers of greenhouse gases. Floods in 2022 flooded one third of the country, so that more than 33 million people were affected and more than 8.2 million forced to leave their homes. But the emergency also extended in 2023 to Punjab where more than 750,000 people were affected by extreme rains with over 630,000 people displaced and nearly half a million acres of crops damaged. 

“The message is clear: if we think that what is happening in Europe and Italy is dramatic, it is necessary to look further afield, often to countries already affected by the climate crisis and battered by poverty, hunger, disease, and war, trapped in a vicious cycle that leaves no escape for their inhabitants. Climate change exacerbates inequalities and injustices both internationally and locally. On the one hand, the countries that suffer most from the impacts of climate change are by no means those that have contributed most to the genesis of the phenomenon. On the other hand, in each individual country it is the poorest and most marginalised communities that are the most affected,’ said Gloria Zavatta, President of CESVI. “The decision to raise the alarm on the climate emergency at the same time as Fashion Week allows us to focus on an issue of absolute importance at a time of great visibility for Milan, a city of fashion, but increasingly attentive to issues related to sustainability”. 

The installation can be seen in Via Paolo Sarpi, at numbers 19 and 21, from Tuesday 20 to Sunday 25 February. “Factanza has always been at the forefront of the challenges related to the climate emergency and we believe it is our duty to act as a vehicle for awareness and change. The installation in this sense becomes a symbol and a reminder to recognise the reality of climate change and its devastating consequences,” commented Bianca Arrighini, CEO and co-founder of Factanza, one of the leading digital platforms with a community of over one million users on social media. “This is not just a show of solidarity, but a tangible commitment to the cause. Taking this project forward means highlighting the stories and human impacts of climate crises, promoting concrete actions that remind us of the importance of immediate global action”.  

The initiative is being implemented as part of the ‘Humanitarian Assistance for Vulnerable Flood-affected communities in Pakistan’ project, funded by the European Union. 

The situation in Pakistan. According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2021, Pakistan is the second most vulnerable country in the world to extreme weather events. Floods displaced 10 million people4 in 2022 alone, while more than 1,700 died and two million homes were devastated. In the affected districts, the average rate of severe acute malnutrition is 12% (3.5 million children), while the destruction of drinking water sources has caused an exponential increase in diseases such as malaria, dengue, cholera and typhoid. The greatest impact of the emergency, once again, concerns the poorest people: between 8.4 and 9.1 million inhabitants have been pushed below the poverty line.               

CESVI, present in Pakistan since 2005, focuses on disaster preparedness and response activities. In Sindh it supports communities and local authorities with training activities and has set upriver water monitoring systems. With the project ‘Humanitarian Assistance for Vulnerable Communities affected by floods in Pakistan’, supported by the EU, it brings life-saving humanitarian aid, promotes reconstruction and improvement of living conditions, provides economic and health support. The project supports over 200,000 people.