ˇNunca Mais!

Miro Villar and the Prestige Disaster


A message by Galician poet Miro Villar about the disaster caused by the oil tanker Prestige was read out at a public forum held recently at St. James Cavalier by Inizjamed. The Galician poet was in Malta last August, a few months before the disaster happened, to take part in an artistic project run by Inizjamed. He was the foreign guest at two events held at Couvre Porte in Vittoriosa during which he showed slides taken by photographer Xan Muras of the wonderful coast which a few months later was to be drowned in black tar.


Miro Villar’s message was translated into English by poet Stephen Cachia (picture left): “With regard to the disaster of the Prestige, we cannot be optimistic and there are moments of great desolation, especially when I visit those places linked to my childhood and which are now covered in black tar. We now have a time-bomb in the middle of the ocean, since though it is quite certain that the Prestige has sunk it is also certain that out of its cracks, oil is still seeping out, ton after ton, threatening our coasts time and time again (one black tide after the other).

In this case, our authorities have not risen to the occasion (as usual). The images of sailors collecting the black tar with their own hands, without any equipment, proved this clearly enough. Therefore now is the time for cleaning up our shores but also for taking decisive action so that this tragedy never occurs again! ˇNunca mais! (Galician for "Never again!", the name of a civil protest movement set up after the Prestige disaster).
For more information about this issue I suggest you visit the website:
www.vieiros.com. The large petroleum corporations together with the complicity of our authorities, starting with the European Union (which allows single-hull ships to set sail) and our own regional government, which has been completely "absent" during the course of this tragedy, should feel guilty about what has happened.

On the other hand, civil society has been the great protagonist throughout the course of events, both people coming from Galicia as well as from other nations. They have been close to us and done their best to help clean our shores. But there are many ways in which different persons can help, not just by collecting tar (something I cannot do as I am suffering from a hernia at the moment), but also by suggesting ideas and by working so that disasters like these do not repeat themselves ever again. ˇNunca mais! Never again!”


January 2002


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