Matera 2019

Continuity and disruptions

In The Power by Naomi Alderman, future archaeologists are bewildered by trays engraved with an apple that we all recognise as tablets. In fact, often excavations serve both to rediscover the past and to discover the future.  

Matera 3019 is a leap into the future to build a better world. It challenges young people to create a new society, finally leaving behind '900 and its idiosyncrasies, and encouraging them to find new opportunities for association and discussions.

What is the distance between shame and pride? Seventy years have passed since Togliatti, visiting Matera, called the Sassi Districts a national disgrace, and a few less since De Gasperi ordered the eviction of the residents of that area which is now a UNESCO heritage site.

'You take delight' Italo Calvino said, 'not in a city’s seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours'.  A city thrives on memories and emotions intertwined in its streets by the inhabitants, and sometimes an answer can arrive even without any question being formulated.

According to an interpretation of contemporary psychology, there are four different kinds of shame that we have all experienced in life; among these, the sense of embarrassment that follows exclusion from a group stands out, the inability to process the concept of not being liked.
The original production 'The poetics of shame', from the theatrical collective #Reteteatro41, brings to the stage themes of marginalisation, courage and passion with a performance that deals with the urgency for collaboration between Europe and Matera.

Water covers 71% of our planet’s surface; the same percentage in which it is present in a child's body. And just like a child, the Earth needs to be cared for and defended against danger, protected so that it can grow healthy for future generations.

In his masterpiece Christ stopped at Eboli, Carlo Levi was one of the first to denounce the disastrous situation of the Sassi Districts, where in the last century the hygiene and sanitation conditions of the inhabitants have been abhorrent. In fact, the author describes in his pages life in those cavities, sometimes without doors and windows, but also outlines their infinite beauty.

For human beings, the instinct to tell their story is as primal as survival; the oldest written history document dates back to 4500 years ago and we can suppose that even long before then, stories were told around the fire. Myths and legends handed down to satisfy the human need to share collective knowledge.

Although it seems impossible to imagine a world without oil and derivatives, this industry is barely 150 years old, and its supply will be depleted in the near future. In the meantime, however, black gold has sparked wars, contributed to the creation of new materials, heated and mobilised entire generations, and inspired artists such as Pier Paolo Pasolini, whose work Petrolio (Petroleum), a text on which the author worked until his death and was published posthumously in 1992, is the starting point for this series of proposals offered by the scholars Giuseppe Biscaglia and Francesco Scaringi, and co-produced by Basilicata 1799.