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Two white doves facing each other over an olive branch are the main image of a piece that exposes the absurdity and contradictions of war.

Two white doves, symbols of peace, are currently facing each other in the Town Hall’s Square in Valencia, over an olive branch, yet another symbol of peace. The Municipal Falla of Valencia for 2024 aims to prompt citizens to reflect on the dualities in wartime conflicts. The monumental work, designed by Valencian artist Escif and brought to life by fallero artist Pere Baenas, can be seen until March 19th in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, when the flames will give way to a new cycle in the traditional Cremà.

“Two Doves, One Olive Branch” is a sustainable, bold, and symbolic falla that addresses universal concepts at a time marked by the wars in Ukraine and Gaza. This artistic statement also prompts us to question what balance is, if there exists “poverty in opposition to wealth, victory in opposition to defeat, strength in opposition to weakness, and us in opposition to others,” as highlighted by its artist. Above all, it is a falla filled with hope, a call for peace so necessary in the tumultuous times we are living in.

On one hand, we see a classic falla that recovers some ornamental elements like the lateral support structures, the monumentality of the main figures, or the folklore. But it is also an avant-garde falla that not only proposes a visual language that breaks with everything seen before but is also a model of a falla completely responsible and sustainable with the environment, marking a path within the world of fallas. For the year 2024, in which Valencia holds the title of European Green Capital, this work also highlights the relevance of birds as urban companions, crucial for the ecosystem balance and good urban health.

A 100% sustainable falla

Regarding the construction materials, in the commitment to achieve a 100% sustainable falla in its entire traceability, pine and poplar wood have been used for the structure, towers, and framework. For the volumes and scenes, NEOPS, known as the green cork, which does not contain any petroleum derivatives either in its composition or its manufacturing process, has been employed. Finally, for the paint and varnishes, paint from the Italian brand Renner has been used. It is a pioneer in its sector both in its composition and its manufacturing, as it is produced with 100% renewable energies.

The assembly challenge

The central piece has a height of 21 metres and has posed a significant transportation challenge from Baenas’ workshop in Gandía to the centre of Valencia. Alongside the main figure of the doves, there are a series of scenes with poetic messages that claim irony and satire as a fundamental part of the universal language of the fallas. These scenes address different themes within the dual approach framework presented by the main figure. From a Prussian queen dressed as a guerrilla fighter, a small nod to the duality between power and counterpower, or a wild duck next to a large rubber duck, confronting fiction and reality. The law of gravity, a giant “Apple” fell on a boy who was distracted with his mobile: progress crushed by a scientific law. We also find a cork doll that refers to the great ghost of the legendary Ghostbusters movie, it seems friendly, but it is the evil monster from the final screen, perhaps burning it invites us to think about new, more sustainable materials to build the fallas.

Lastly, it is worth highlighting that the artist decided to rescue a scene from the past falla of La Meditadora that never got to be erected properly due to COVID-19 and that, with a great symbolic charge, shows the group of migrants jumping the fence, this time instead of a golf course fence, it’s the fence that protects from the pyrotechnic show or mascletá.

And with this constant approach to addressing dualities and balances, Escif invites us to look differently and not forget the present. Because, regardless of its size or universality, and even though this work will meet the same fate as the rest of the monuments, the falla ‘Two Doves, One Olive Branch’ should be thought of as a symbol of peace.


Report by Carlos Catalán Ruiz

Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’

Fallas photo copyright José Bravo






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