Pollution returns in Bologna: why and when.

46 years after the event, it’s time to reconsider the accusation made by Pollution, asking where we are right now and where we will be in another 46 years. The issues addressed then are still valid today, but with a new consciousness.

The obvious problems with the capitalist economic model, some of which are attributable to the system’s effects on the environment, have led industrial production and international economic policy to propose alternatives attenuating the impact of this model of production on the planet, in the awareness that it is impossible to give up manufacturing entirely.

The accusation made by Pollution can now evolve, breaking away from the revolutionary overtones that inspired artists’ utopias at that time in history: it is now necessary to invest in economic programmes for the development of the responsibilities of the future, implementing a review of our ethical values in order to fight an ecological battle that offers opportunities for improvement.

This new sensibility is already affecting a number of key sectors of production, and the beauty of things is now considered taking into account their production process and life cycle.

Signs of a different consciousness, that can and must be applied to the fragile urban ecosystem, with respect for what defined it, offering creative technical solutions that promote its environmental quality and comfort.


In the seventies, promotion of a project such as Pollution to define the identity of a young enterprise – which has since then grown into a big group of companies – was a strong sign of responsibility, an ethical value few people shared at the time.

The Iris Ceramica Group addresses the challenges of industrial development and requalification every day, working toward a future “on a human scale” which must necessarily start with a form of planning and production that reconciles the requirements of production with technological experimentation and a focus on sustainability and the environment, on preservation and protection of the land we work in. An ecological conscience in a logic of production is the key to a future of sustainability and prosperity, a challenge requiring everyone’s action and commitment.

The ecological battle

46 years down the road, it is time to change the way we think of pollution, going beyond the dichotomy of man versus nature or environment generated by the capitalist model, not for merely ideological or ecological reasons but to underline the new relationship between man and nature, for it is only by establishing synergy between the two systems that we will be able to generate a stable, balanced ecosystem.

This is why it will be so important to talk to the new generations, who have an immediate relationship with technology and are aware that nature is variable, depending on human decisions.

We began with an aesthetic of pollution, but we have not yet come to an aesthetic of ecology.

If a tile representing a photograph of a lump of earth conveyed the message of Pollution 1972, can a whole ecosystem be born out of that lump of earth fifty years later?