Dolomeyes press conference

The new campaign for the Fondazione Dolomiti UNESCO signed by Brodo Studio.

The campaign of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, realised in collaboration with the Associations of Refuges and Mountaineers of the Dolomites Region, has been launched.

At the beginning of a summer that will be marked by important tourist flows in the Dolomites World Heritage Site, the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation has developed a communication campaign on the conscious use of water in high altitude refuges and on the conscious frequentation of the mountains, together with the refuge managers, represented by the various associations that bring them together, and the mountaineering associations of the Dolomite region. The aim is to raise awareness of respect for the fragile environment of the Dolomites and an understanding of the role of refuge managers.

The presentation took place in Belluno, at the headquarters of the provincial administration, on 18 June, in the presence of the president of the Province of Belluno Roberto Padrin, the director of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation Mara Nemela, the president of the Association of Alpine Hut Managers of the Veneto Region Mario Fiorentini the vice-president of the Trentino Mountain Shelters Association Roberta Silva, the president of the Friuli Venezia Giulia CAI Silverio Giurgevich, the president of the Veneto CAI Renato Frigo and the director Cristiano Perricone for BrodoStudio, the Udine agency that devised the campaign.

“The summer of 2021 in some ways marks the restart after Covid, and we all hope that it will be a fruitful season for tourism and accommodation, huts in the lead. The mountains, which were already seen as safe and healthy last summer, will be a popular destination again this year. High-mountain tourism, however, is not the same as tourism in other locations: it requires care, caution and above all respect for the surrounding environment, which in our Dolomites is pure magic. I would like to thank the Dolomiti UNESCO Foundation for this project, which reminds us how respectful we must be of our mountains and how important it is to raise awareness, even in a sympathetic manner, among those who frequent trails and refuges,’ said Roberto Padrin, President of the Province of Belluno, speaking in his capacity as a member of the Board of Directors of the Dolomiti UNESCO Foundation.

the aims of the campaign

It will be difficult not to be reached by the messages of the campaign: videos, social media, web, tutorials, and actions in the area that will feature the monstrous ‘Dolomeyes’ (the eyes of the Dolomites), a character borrowed from the Dolomite narrative and representing the fear that habits and attitudes that do not respect the mountains can ruin the delicate ecosystem of the Dolomites; hence the campaign slogan: ‘Fear at first sight’, that fear that risks replacing the ‘love at first sight’ that the Dolomites always generate. 

“The ‘Dolomeyes’ monster recalls the figure of the wild man (salvan). This figure has been present since time immemorial in the imagination of Alpine peoples and marks the symbolic boundary between wild and domesticated space, between nature and man. He frightens civilised man on an unconscious level. With his perturbing appearance, he guards the insurmountable border between the natural environment and disrespectful human behaviour,’ is how Annibale Salsa, a member of the Scientific Committee of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, illustrates the link between the protagonist of the campaign and the figure of the Wild Man, who we find present in the cultural heritage of all the Alpine valleys.

The campaign “Dolomeyes: Fear at first sight!”, was developed by BrodoStudio of Udine and was born from the bottom up, as is the style of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation: a working group made up of refuge managers and representatives of mountaineering associations worked for a long time to identify the messages to be conveyed to hikers.

“Dolomeyes is the first project I had the opportunity to deal with as a new director, and it is a perfect example of the working method with which the Foundation interacts with the territory and the communities. The involvement of stakeholders – in this case mountain hut owners and representatives of mountaineering associations – is already synonymous with success. Dolomeyes is a container, a cultural laboratory within which we are today taking our first steps, the contents of which we will continue to write together with mountain professionals,” commented Mara Nemela, Director of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, today at her first public appearance after her recent appointment.

This was confirmed by Silverio Giurgevich, president of CAI Friuli Venezia Giulia: ‘Around the UNESCO Dolomites, we are forging more and more alliances for more sustainable mountain use. This prestigious recognition has allowed us to dialogue between apparently distant and different territories, creating transversal projects across administrative borders’.

A frequentation that changes and grows, an increasingly international tourism, the refuge as a destination and no longer as a starting point, a lack of awareness of the limits and characteristics of the mountain environment, and finally water: a resource as precious as it is scarce. The Dolomeyes project takes its steps from here.

“Often, in fact, those who go to the mountains do not know the reality and unconsciously seek the fulfilment of demands that cannot be fulfilled, because high altitudes obviously cannot offer all the comforts and rhythms characteristic of city life. This is why it is important to trigger a path of awareness on the part of those who frequent the mountains. Only an aware visitor does not run the risk of seeing his or her expectations unfulfilled, but seeks out and lives the ‘limits’ imposed by the mountain environment as an opportunity for an authentic and unique experience,’ says Mario Fiorentini, president of the Association of Alpine Shelter Managers of the Veneto Region and manager of the Rifugio Città di Fiume.

A SPECIAL FOCUS ON WATER SAVING

Among all, special attention will be paid to the issue of responsible use of water resources, as requested by refuge managers. Water is a precious commodity and its supply is a service that is particularly difficult to guarantee at high altitudes: hikers staying overnight in refuges must therefore be made aware of this and guided to avoid inappropriate requests, such as taking more than one shower. “More generally,” emphasises Roberta Silvia, vice-president of the Rifugi del Trentino Association and manager of the Roda di Vael Refuge, “greater awareness on the part of guests can be a concrete help in the daily activities of us refuges, because it reduces opportunities for misunderstandings and makes the management of resources more efficient, all the more so in a period in which even the anti-Covid19 regulations make an alliance based on dialogue and mutual understanding between us and hikers indispensable.

Triggering a cultural change and awareness on the part of those who frequent the mountains is the aim of ‘Dolomeyes: Fear at First Sight! “To promote this change, it is essential to convey certain messages in a clear and simple manner. – emphasises Renato Frigo, president of the Veneto CAI – A communication campaign like this one, colourful, fresh and innovative in its language, flanks the great work of training responsible mountain frequentation that the CAI has been carrying out for decades in the area. This is why the Alpine Clubs of the Dolomite Region could only react positively to this communication action promoted in synergy with the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation.

A campaign that is different from the usual, not very institutional in its language and with a decidedly ironic and parodistic tone. Director Cristiano Perricone of BrodoStudio traces the contours of the imagery from which Dolomeyes draws its inspiration: ‘It is one borrowed from certain b-movies and blockbusters of the 80s and 90s that later became cult hits. Monsters don’t exist, or maybe they do. Being monstrous, we know, can belong to human beings, in the mountains as elsewhere. When faced with certain behaviour, who is the real monster? The double, the wild man, the golem, the undead, have appeared in our tales since the dawn of time. The idea behind it all is to be able to speak “of the monstrosity” to several generations, to the nostalgics of They Live and The Goonies as well as to the lovers of Stranger Things, through a direct, simple and light-hearted language typical of horror comedy and adventure films for children. We leave to you the pleasure of discovering and rediscovering these worlds, hoping to have given you some healthy thoughts and even a smile.