— Works

riesi as a festival*

Fig. #01-03.  Front and back cover impressions from the publication / Detail from the inside of the book displaying a visual table, 2021.

          Riesi is a small town located in the hinterland of Sicily (Italy) and is classified as a Rural Municipality: one urban environment tracked across the country’s Rural Areas – “marginalized” lands that are located far from the Essential Services’ providers and which are dramatically suffering from demographic contraction. Riesi, in particular, is characterized by an increasing depopulation trend, caused by both the collapse of its cultural framework over the recent years and the lack of working opportunities for the young, who therefore choose to emigrate towards other shores in search of new opportunities and stimuli. 

          How can we provide a new horizon to its inhabitants in order to enhance local resilience and build a better future for the city?

Fig. #04.  Slideshow visualization from the various chapters of the research — from contextual documentations to SUPERSUOLO Festival concept, 2021.

          The project aims to shine a light upon the draining context of Rural Areas through an extensive design-driven research on the topic, with contributions by many cross-disciplinary practices, such as Margherita Manfra + Giuseppe Grant (Orizzontale), Rita Elvira Adamo + Matteo Blandford (La Rivoluzione Delle Seppie), Gianluca Fiusco, Andrea Paoletti, Nicola Giuliani (Terraforma Festival), Arianna Desideri, Filippo Barbera, Chiara Erhardt & Luca Steinert.

Fig. #05-06.  Vandalized artifacts across the deserted landscapes of Riesi, 2020. / Cultivated lands enduring around soil erosion in Lesotho (Africa) as a metaphor for cultural resilience, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

          The first part of this research presents a comparative review of data and strategies concerning Rural Areas, starting with an eye on the world and converging upon Riesi as a focus context, through an historical, demographic and socio-economic analysis of its inhabitants; moreover, this section is enriched by contributions from many practices and stakeholders. 

Fig. #08.  Shot of a case study (Manifesta 12 — hosted in Palermo, Sicily), 2021.

          The second half is characterized by a review of case studies, clustered as (x) projects and organizations which work in the same focus area, (y) that share patterns with my study; and (z) a selection of inspirational case studies from the world of visual arts and cultural events. After this comparison, the design process develops as a collaborative activity through workshops with both local citizens and external contributors. At last, the thesis showcases the proposal of a concept in the form of an arts Festival, conceived not only as a singular event but rather as a cultural framework for Riesi, whose program and phases may develop as a continuous flow over time.

Fig. #09-10.  Front and back cover impressions from the publication upon harvested soil in Riesi, 2021.