Matera 2019

Roots and routes

A divinity and a human being: this is the theme that inspires the Proteus project. Proteus is a shape-shifting Greek god, and Leonardo Sinigalli one of the most famous and versatile residents of Montemurro. Seven different areas will inspire seven different themes, with seven different colours and seven different itineraries. Montemurro celebrates its multifaceted nature and its ability to transform itself, while remaining itself.

Imagine walking along a road and never turning, to find yourself back at the starting point. Now stop imagining, because this road exists - not only a road but an entire town, Rotondella, waiting to be discovered. The settlement, called in antiquity Rotunda Maris, has an urban configuration that is unique and shaped like a globe.

What element unites Matera’s culture with Albanian culture? The so-called Arbëreschë Community. In 1468 a number of Greek and Albanian groups fled from the Ottoman threat. They found refuge in Basilicata, in the three districts where the 'Arbëreschë Comunity network' is organised.

The project, organised by the 'Mediterranean Centre for Art' and recognised by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, will be a journey through tradition and the ancient Arbëreshë culture, in a celebration of the benefits brought by these peoples.

'We will make Italy or die' was Garibaldi’s motto during the war that led to the unification of the country. A violent and bloody road, linked in this area to the firsts episodes of banditry. In these lands a conflict brought the repression of more than a hundred male and female brigands. This fundamental period in the Unification of Italy will be recalled by the town of Ripacandida during the events of its Capital for a Day.

Tired of the 21st century? How about a walk through Hannibal’s battlefields, to meet the Emperor Augustus or support a gladiator? Ancient Rome awaits us in the heart of Basilicata, in the largest Archeological Park in the region: Grumentum.

The site, built in the 3rd century BC, developed into the most important Roman city in Basilicata, and will come back to life thanks to actors and re-enactments animated by a screenplay inspired by the Julius-Claudius sculptural group found here.

What do movies like 'La lupa' by Alberto Lattuada, the 'The Gospel According to St Matthew' by Pier Paolo Pasolini and 'The Passion' by Mel Gibson have in common?  All of them have been produced in the Sassi (Matera’s Ancient Cave Dwellings), an enchanting and inspiring location which will regain its original beauty through art.

To enjoy the magic of Senise you have to go back in time. Starting from the 16th century, the village was a great cultural and artistic centre, with intellectuals and visionary artists. Senise 2019 wants to take us back to that world, by reading their works in a contemporary way. It will be a three-day journey through poetry and music, panting and jewellery, literature and theatre.

With patience and perseverance, a drop of water can wear away stone. The town of Paterno wants to lay its first stone of a large and evolving project, dedicated to the water heritage of this area. Aware of the tourism importance of the Great Agri Aqueduct, the artistic residency Mater aquae Pater lignum will start in May 2019, to enhance almost 250 km of the water supply network which runs between Potenza and Matera.

Basilicata is the land of the soul, that inspires silence, meditation and spirituality. Since AD 1000, many religious communities have settled here, leaving their traces. This was during the Byzantine era, when many monks lived in the southern part of Basilicata, seeking shelter from border wars and seeking solitude. Monasteries and abbeys were built in the most fertile areas, around which villages grew up.