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Matera 2019, the outcomes of the creative residency program

By Press release December 15, 2022
Matera 2019, the outcomes of the creative residency program Photo by Matera 2019

"Nud (Nothing) - From common places to community places, through a diffused narrative for the town”, “The last things. Polyphony for Rionero”, “Basilicata calling. People of Tursi”, “We are Here - Celebrating local community recipes and life through public art installations”. These are the final results of the creative residencies in the Lucanian municipalities of Forenza, Rionero in Vulture, Tursi and Stigliano, presented over the weekend for the wrap-up of the "Creative Communities" program in memory of David Sassoli, promoted by the Matera Basilicata 2019 Foundation and Open Design School in partnership with national and European partners.

While bad weather did not allow the planned outdoor initiatives to take place, it did not stop the communities' desire to come all together at the conclusion of the three-week residency, during which the four selected creatives, the Happy Place collective for Tursi, the duo Anne Fehres and Luke Conroy for Stigliano, artists Marco Piscopo for Forenza and Anna Serlenga for Rionero in Vulture, developed a path of co-creation with citizens, supported respectively by four creative hosting communities, Tursi Digital Nomads , AppARTEngo festival, Proloco Forenza, Vulcanica, and four Lucanian creative enterprises, Casa Netural, Artepollino, Gommalacca, and Allelammie.

A large network that connected many different people, each of whom made their special contribution to try to empower the towns of our inner areas through art and culture.

The outcomes of the process were a series of products that communities and administrations can continue to work on. In Tursi, video calls were made between the local community and digital nomads from Berlin to share each other's tangible and intangible heritage. In Stigliano, along with murals inspired by local recipes shared with artists-in-residence, a digital map of public artworks in town was produced. In Forenza, a communication campaign, based on photographs and memories of citizens,  was created to bring out, through irony, the wealth kept in a small town, beyond stereotypes. In Rionero, an interactive map was produced with an unprecedented reading of the town through the voices of citizens who were born here, among the elderly and children, or who came here to live as migrants.

"The decision to have different subjects work together was, in our opinion, a winning formula for the success of the project," declared Rita Orlando, the cultural planning and networking manager of the Matera Basilicata 2019 Foundation. In fact, the intention was not only to bring artists from outside but to empower local communities, recognizing the local associations' ability to design and act alongside the artist through an active role in the process. The Lucanian creatives involved, on the other hand, had the opportunity to transfer their skills on co-creation, developed in the long journey of Matera 2019, but also to do training themselves through working alongside the project that the artist had in mind. Finally, local governments recognized the importance of this kind of artistic creation practice in bringing new perspectives to their communities. On one hand, in fact, temporary citizenship can become a virtuous mechanism for increasing the number of people living in places, transforming them and enabling them to the outside world. On the other hand, creativity and art, beyond the beauty of the creation experience itself, can become useful tools for generating economies."

The official website www.matera-basilicata2019.it has a section dedicated to the "Creative Communities" program with a focus on the four creative residencies, which will be followed by a series of collection and restitution publications related to project processes and methodologies.

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