Matera 2019

Continuity and disruptions

Future Digs is based on the concept of an archaelogical “dig” to be carried out on the theme of the future. The idea is to dig into the future of culture in its many different aspects in order to uncover some issues to be considered.

Matera, 3019. One thousand years later. This was the prompt for the idea of leaping into the future to understand the dreams and visions of a  young generation who wanted to re-create, in the new millennium, a new relationship with urban and green spaces and with a continent, Europe, that was re-thinking forms of living.

The Beautiful Shame is a performance project which lies somewhere between theatre, video, dance and music, taking its cue from the meeting that Palmiro Togliatti held in Matera on the 1st April 1948, when he defined the health and hygiene conditions of the Sassi di Matera “a national shame”. Carlo Levi, in his Cristo si è fermato a Eboli (Christ stopped at Eboli), several years earlier, had highlighted the tragedy in which the approximately 20 thousand inhabitants of the Sassi lived, but also the infinite “beauty of Matera”.

The past of Matera and Basilicata is deeply linked to the presence of water: the first human settlements, the first forms of agriculture, the countless forms of life, everything moves to compose a symphony of nature. Today, water is a commodity in danger, polluted, lost in a thousand rivulets and a thousand excuses, a sometimes forgotten element. Legambiente Matera has been using its energies for some time to tell this story of water and life, through actions linked by the common thread of the territory, of safeguarding, of the possibility that others can enjoy, for the longest possible time, a precious and irreplaceable heritage.

The relationship between architecture and shame as a yardstick of the values of contemporary Europe, which identifies itself by the ‘cultural intimacy’ of its inhabitants. With a format based on three phases (studies, dialogues and actions), European citizens will be involved in a discussion where Matera and its history, which saw it as ‘the shame of Italy’ once and a ‘UNESCO heritage site’ forty years later, are a positive model of cultural reversal, a stimulus to deal honestly with errors and prejudices, for constructing a critical look at its present, in order to define a truly evolved future.

The Atlas of City’s Emotions aims to create a new way of visiting the city through the use of an Emotional Map made by collecting the memories and stories of the inhabitants and, bit by bit, the visitors themselves. The material gathered will give life to the Atlas of the City’s Emotions.

#Reteteatro41, a collective of professionals committed to the theatre sector presents “La poetica della vergogna” (The Poetry of Shame), a theatre performance on the theme of shame, created by a group of internationally-renowned artists. An original work that focuses on the issues of urgency and the encounter between Europe and the city of Matera through a new language that combines body and word, communities, actors, non-actors and researchers.

Teatri Uniti di Basilicata (T.U.B.) presents two original plays by Milo Rau and Roberto Latini, which reinterpret new contemporary myths and can be included in the theme of Cats, Eyes and Sirens. Both take rise from the reflection on issues related to environmental contamination caused by man, from the conveying of collective knowledge through fables and myths, reinterpreted through unique plays.

The project – curated by Giuseppe Biscaglia and Francesco Scaringi – takes inspiration from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s unfinished novel ‘Petrolio’ (petroleum) and focuses on the ecological question (the complex relationship between ‘man and nature in the Anthropocene era’) through theatre, dance, performing arts and thought, through the production of activities and original works with the presence of internationally acclaimed artistic personalities, able to involve local realities and spur interest and attention from a European audience.