Matera 2019, the power of culture

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

All roads lead to Matera. This ancient city in the southern Italian region of Basilicata is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it will be the European Capital of Culture for 2019. Indeed it has unveiled the programme of events it plans to run from 19 January to 19 December next year. And the Enel Group will be flanking the city on this great adventure.

The 54 initiatives on the calendar will take place throughout Basilicata but will also involve all of Italy’s Regions and the 27 EU nations with a total of €48 million invested in the programme in all.

Details of the events were outlined at a press conference held in the Matera’s “Gervasio” auditorium which was also addressed by the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities Alberto Bonisoli and representatives of local bodies and institutions.

Around half of the projects, which were supported by a €6 million fund made available by the Fondazione Matera-Basilicata 2019 (the Matera-Basilicata 2019 Foundation), will be staged by cultural associations from the Basilicata region and will involve 3,000 citizens, 117 artists and curators, as well as a hundred or so international partners. World premieres of original productions make up 80% of the programme.

Enel sees culture as the life force that brings different geographical areas into dialogue and thus contributes to their sustainable development by strengthening their capacity for innovation. These same core values are shared by Matera 2019: “Open Future,” a journey that is both open and shared, and thus multifaceted. 

Specifically, our Group will be supporting the Lumen Social Light project to “clothe the 2019 Capital City of Culture in light.” Beautiful lights illuminating a variety of objects across the city will all be turned on simultaneously as part of the opening event on January 19.

Lumen is a future-forward take on the ancient tradition of illuminations: symbolic areas of Matera scheduled to host the programme’s various events will be lit using large map pointer-like objects designed by light designer Giovanna Bellini.

Social Light, on the other hand, focuses on the connection between these art installations and small illuminated works created by citizens to create new public lighting models and offer an emotionally resonant new perspective on even the city’s most anonymous spaces.  

The experience will be further enhanced by a series of workshops, for which applications are open until the end of November. These will involve the Open Design School to help participants learn by working side by side with artisan businesses. 

Three of the projects presented were created in partnership with the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, which is the other 2019 European Capital of Culture. The programme also benefited from input from a slew of partners from beyond Europe. The city will, for instance, be staging the 27th edition of the EU-Japan Fest with Japan, in addition to organising new events with Argentina, Tunisia and Jordan. 

Visitors will have at least five cultural initiatives to enjoy every day in 2019: an exhibition, a live performance, a walk along originally-equipped and fitted out nature trails, a talk given by a local citizen from Matera or Basilicata and the presentation of symbolic objects or materials from their own culture to the exhibition that will close the event.

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