La Laguna Resiste by Joe Habben 

La Laguna Resiste by Joe Habben 

This ongoing body of research documents the various communities resisting the effects of mass-tourism, de-population, and environmental breakdown in the Venetian lagoon. 30,000,000 visitors overwhelm the dwindling population of 50,000 inhabitants annually. An unsustainable environment for both human and more-than-human inhabitants, this project amplifies their presence, whilst highlighting their absence within the territory. 


A universal symbol of habitation, the project adopts the semiotics of washing lines to subvert, domesticate, and reclaim ‘public space’ in Venice. The silhouetted portraits printed on bedsheets attempt to engage passersby with the groups who are protecting the lagoon through acts of resistance and nature-based solutions. The individual identities of these people are not the focus, however their collective importance is crucial. Hanging in the balance, these prints celebrate the power of community and both; the strength and fragility of the floating city. 

Joe Habben 


Joe Habben (1997) is a photographer and researcher from the UK, with roots in Brighton, Manchester, and Glasgow. In 2020, he graduated from the Glasgow School of Art with a BA (Hons) in Communication Design. With a strong passion for community, in 2021 Joe founded Catalyst Studios, a non-profit hub that supports creatives in Glasgow and promotes local talent in Scotland. Working internationally, Joe’s practice interests reciprocal relationships between natural and built environments. His projects have explored public space, refugee migration, globalization, human intervention, and the climate crisis. Through participatory documentary, Joe educates himself and informs others on contemporary global issues.