We like to roam. Away from BASE, the neighbourhood and a geographical consciousness that can be limited or limiting. We like to scatter in search of inspiration, on the look out for good practices to be soaked up, and new connections to be forged.
We like mapping places that expand our consciousness.
Here are the places we visited in 2019:
Former tobacco factory, which, after being decommissioned in 1992, was partially restored by a group of artists looking to promote a cultural project for the area: Friche La Belle de Mai. Today it is a place of creativity and innovation, a creative neighbourhood space, founded on the sharing of information for social, economic and urban development. A model for grass-roots metamorphosis and engaged urban transformation.
La Friche promotes all its activities with the aim and desire to engage with the local area: cultural activities with schools and community centres, maintenance of playgrounds and sports facilities, the reopening of beloved local cinemas. In roughly 30 years, la Friche has gained a reputation, in Marseille and across France, as a new ground for experimentation, generating and harnessing synergy between the arts, culture, architecture and urbanism.
RED HOOK LABS
A trip to Brooklyn – and more specifically to the Red Hook neighbourhood – to check out Red Hook Labs, a be-corp founded by Jimmy Moffat, which is dedicated to building creative communities and self-sustainable businesses in the city’s outskirts and developing areas. They share BASE’s focus on the creative industries, and our choice to foster change through learning activities and initiatives that fuel the emergence of new forms of expression.
Labs is comprised of: Studios, Gallery and School. Each combine to make a truly dynamic space where the most talented emerging artists, alongside the most acclaimed, go to work, create, exhibit, teach, learn, collaborate, celebrate, employ and be employed. While photography is their primary language, this is influenced by other disciplines, such as fashion and journalistic reporting, in the pursuit of a constant interplay.
We dropped in on one of their annual exhibits – Labs New Artists – which brings together young up-and-coming talents from the world of photography who are currently without agency representation and have been selected by means of an international call. The show was brought to Italy for the first time and displayed at BASE, during Photo Vogue Festival.
Casa Netural is a house in Matera which brings together people from all over the world, providing a space in which to feel inspired and rejuvenated, and allow ideas around social, cultural and creative innovation to take shape. It houses a co-working space, a co-living facility, and an incubator for cultural and creative enterprises. It was established in 2012 as a community space where people could experience social innovation in their daily living practices, from work, to home life, and collaborative economy, promoting a vision of new enterprise that is more focused on the fundamental impact of human capital, the strength of networks between people and ideas, and community building.
The mission at Matadero Madrid is to nurture creativity in all its forms, with a particular focus on intersectorial offerings. A living, shape-shifting space that serves creative processes, artistic education and dialogue between the arts. It was developed out of a desire to contribute to the contemporary socio-cultural landscape, driven by their mission to assist in the building of present and future culture.
M9, IL MUSEO DEL NOVECENTO
M9, il Museo del Novecento (20th Century Museum) opened in 2019 in Mestre. The inspiration for this new cultural venue? To harness the immersive power of new technology in the telling of 20th century history. Situated in a town often seen as part of the Venice outskirts, but has become a centre of brand-new experimentation.
A centre for arts and culture located in Paris’ XIXème arrondissement, Centquatre-Paris is a collaborative artistic platform for the production and distribution of performance art which has been a venue for coming together and building relationships for over 10 years. Jugglers, tango dancers, and breakdancers rehearse in open spaces, making for an ongoing series of free, spontaneous performances that include professionals, beginners, students and visitors of all ages, origins and backgrounds.
One of those “infinite” unfinished places which favour free space and spark experimentation, transformation and learning.
An open-air museum of modern art. A group project which has kick-started an area on the outside of Sicily’s main tourist haunts and enhanced the stunning natural landscape around the Fiumara di Tusa, the old riverbed where the River Tusa once flowed.
BELMONDO – LA RIVOLUZIONE DELLE SEPPIE
Let’s set off from BASE and head south. A South whose identity is multi-layered, contradictory and characterised by the sharing and reappropriation of spaces and stories. We encountered the Rivoluzione delle Seppie which has been revolutionising the partly abandoned village of Belmonte Calabro over the last three years, creating new structures and opportunities for sharing.
For the last few months they have had a new home, BelMondo, a former convent restored alongside Orizzontale, a collective which supports community spaces. This new home, which sets out to be a local gathering place, brings together residents old and new – migrants, tourists, students – and employs a new approach to learning in all creative fields, developing formal and informal training initiatives and encouraging crossover and exchange.
We’ll be back soon with more inspirational roaming.