Cycling Visionaries Awards – Project Details

Borracce di poesia

Borracce di poesia

Borracce di poesia - Water bottles of poetry - was born in 2007 combining two passions: urban cycling and rhymes. The poems, originally written in Italian, are spontaneous reflections by the project-creator who narrates the world from his saddle emphasising the cyclist’s point of view. The quatrains link the historical traditions of cycling to the modern role of bicycles in today’s urban mobility.

Like a swimmer I turn my head for a breath
As between the lanes I am passing through
To escape the fumes I move out of my depth
However my bike brings a new point of view.


What?
The project Borracce di poesia - Water bottles of poetry - consists of a collection of almost 200 quatrains in Italian (one stanza of 4 lines, with 11 syllables in each line). The name was devised from the image of the water bottle on a bicycle that, instead of containing water, encloses a poem which, once read, refreshes the urban cyclist's perspective of their daily cycle. In order to appeal to a wider audience, English versions of the poems are also available.

Who?
The project team consists of the project creator and poet (Alessandro Ricci), who works in collaboration with a photographer, graphic designer, web designer and English translator.

Why?
Urban cyclists encounter situations both risky and hilarious. The poet, when recounting his personal experiences to friends, discovered an enjoyment in turning these situations into rhymes and from this the project, as it is today, was born.

The poetical approach takes a light-hearted form to promote both the cyclist's perspective of urban mobility and heighten the awareness of the problems that they encounter daily when getting from A-to-B. These difficulties include: encounters with other motorists, traffic jams, bike theft, road safety and the unpredictable nature of the weather.

When?
Over the last few years the project has partaken in a number of cycling conferences and festivals throughout Italy, in particular:

- Tweed Ride, 2013 (Rome)
- Bici Nuragica, 2012 (Sardinia)
- Bike Pride, 2011 (Turin, Piedmont)
- Scatti ciclabili, 2010 (Florence, Tuscany)
- Festival Nomadi e Stanziali, 2009 (Asti, Piedmont)
- L'eroica, 2008 (Gaiole in Chianti, Sienna, Tuscany)
- Ciclomundi, 2007, 2008, 2010 (Portogruaro, Venice).

For more information about all the events we have attended visit our website.

Where?
In the beginning, the project consisted of public readings at cycling festivals throughout Italy. Members of the audience were invited to select a water bottle, and read out loud the poem that was enclosed. Due to the success of these events a website was developed where poems are regularly uploaded alongside latest news and articles relating to the world of urban cycling.

Social-networking sites have enabled the poems to be read world-wide especially with the addition of English versions of the poems. However, on a more local scale, the project promotes the awareness of the urban cyclist by organising exhibitions and meetings with important members of the national community, as well as distributing the poems on bike racks and bicycles themselves to connect with individual cyclists.

A series of t-shirts bearing the project logo and poems are another form that the project has adopted to spread its message. Future projects include printing the poems onto other cycling equipment and accessories.

Follow us at:
www.borraccedipoesia.it
Fb: Borracce di poesia
Twitter: @BPoesia

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Alessandro Ricci
Pescara, Italy

Category: Cycling and the Arts

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