Global Soil Partnership

Erosion from space to the ground | Photo exhibition

The Global Symposium on Soil Erosion (GSER19) exhibition showed soil erosion from different perspectives, ‘from space to the ground’, and highlighted the role of man as both a cause and potential solution. Combining art and science, the FAO Atrium became a space where staff, scientists, policy-makers and guests could interact and reflect on soil erosion, the most significant threat to our planet’s soils. The papier-mâché sphere represented the world. A fragile ‘world of paper’ supported by a column of soil that crumbles under the weight of soil erosion.

European Space Agency (ESA)

The photo exhibition showcases a selection of photos of soil erosion and land-use change as a driver of soil erosion. Eight satellite images captured by the European Space Agency (ESA) show the dramatic effect of soil erosion from space. 

Italian Space Agency (ASI)

Four other photos by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) illustrated how land-use changes such as deforestation, land conversion and increase in croplands can accelerate the process of soil erosion. 

Erosion from the ground

Photos of soil erosion from the ground faced internally the ones from the space, towards the 3D globe. Mirrors positioned on alternate panels represented a tribute to the Italian artist, Michelangelo Pistoletto, whose ‘mirror paintings’ inspire social change by allowing the spectator to become an active participant in the artwork.

All participants and guests saw the threat of soil erosion from above and below. They saw themselves reflected in the mirrors with the fragile world appearing behind them because man is a central figure in the soil erosion narrative. 

Art Curator: Giusy Emiliano