Ocean for all. Art for the development of a sign language eco-glossary Abecedarium

Abecedarium. The Ocean in Sign Language is the name of a multi-year educational and participatory project in collaboration with ENS, Ente Nazionale Sordi (Italian Deaf Agency), and CNR ISMAR, Institute of Marine Sciences.

The main idea of the project is to create an eco-glossary in sign language, beginning with Italian sign language, before moving to other countries and international signs related to the marine world and the climate emergency. The ocean covers almost the entire Earth, and all human lives depend on the ocean—from the air we breathe to the food we eat to what we wear. Yet the ocean is also endangered because of the great impact of human activities. 

To be able to care for the Ocean it is absolutely fundamental that everybody has access to artistic content and scientific knowledge without exclusion. We all need to be involved in safeguarding the planet, and everyone must have the information and tools required to access it. 

‘Abecedarium, The Ocean in Sign Language’ proposes a vision of an ocean sea as an open access for all to information. This is an engaging and inspirational ocean, where different expressions and experiences converge, and are also translated into tangible manifestations related to contemporary culture.  

Art, in the values it expresses, can be an effective means of social development to achieve this change. Building the possibility of interpreting our history together through training activities, and creating new forms of expression for new situations, for new worlds, means opening up to new areas of cultural growth, thereby guaranteeing processes of democracy, equity, exchange, and cultural interaction between the various components of society.


Valeria Bottalico

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Produced by:
Conducted by:
09/02 2024
Contributors: Angela Pomaro and Mirko Santoro
Conducted by Valeria Bottalico
  • Quality education
  • Reduced inequalities
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Climate action
  • Life below water