What do Snails Think About Nuclear Power Plants?

What Do Snails Think about Nuclear Power Plants?

Daniela Medina Poch

Intervention in public warning system

Audio 10:00. Video documentation 5:36

Tivissa, Catalonia. November 2022

In current neoliberal worlds, the infrastructures and technologies that surround them have been so thoroughly adopted and adapted to certain lifestyles that they seem ubiquitous, in effect a background noise that we have learned to ignore. From within these frameworks, it is difficult to distinguish the apparatus that lies behind them, not merely on a technical level but also in regard to the models it pursues and sustains. What does electricity sound like?

What do snails think about nuclear power plants? is a sonic piece in public space in Tivissa, Catalonia that investigates futures with energy sovereignty and more-than-human perspectives. Surrounded by three active nuclear power plants (the Ascó Power Plant and the Vandellós Nuclear Power Plants I and II), the municipality of Tivissa has installed a warning system throughout the town to sound the alarm in the event of a nuclear emergency. These alarm systems are also used to communicate other official announcements.

What do snails think about nuclear power plants? is an intervention that gathers interviews with residents ranging in age from seven to 103; it investigates possibilities of post-nuclear futures in Tivissa. The piece, which was broadcast as a sound composition from Tivissa’s public alarm system, offers a framework to conceive more-than-human perspectives and to imagine emerging possibilities rather than emergencies.

In Tivissa snails seem to be very important: there is a Plaça i Barri del Cargol, snail square, and neighbourhood and when you walk through the olive and almond trees you can find a lot of empty snail shells. Snails are indicators of the humidity and water of the environment and in recent years there has been a decline in the snail population. Coincidentally, Tivissa and Terras de l’Ebre, as industrial regions that supply energy to Catalonia, also have a repopulation challenge.

Around 30 interviews were conducted with the questions: ‘What do snails think about nuclear power plants?’ and ‘what should emerge in Tivissa after the nuclear power plants are dismantled?’. The final sound piece which was broadcasted through the whole town includes excerpts from the interviews and a poem. After the transmission, the audio composition circulated through WhatsApp channels amongst neighbours who were interested in listening to it again.

The sound composition includes the voices of Ana, Loreto, Rodrigo, Ramón, Fany, Guillem, Rosa, Mariona, Dolores del Carboner, Montse, Vicens, Josep, Juan, Nela, Leire, Merce, Rut, Pau, Jordi, Magda, Esther, Lluis, Marisa, Rigoberto, Ebaristo, Ana, Marga, Tere, Jasin, Nuria, Eulalia, Marta, Cris, Noelia, Barabra, Montse, Javi, Jovanna, Stephanie, Teresa, Loredana, Tatiana, Lucia, Albert, Dario, María and mine.


Metaprotesting Metaprotesting
Metaprotesting Metaprotesting Metaprotesting Metaprotesting

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