Matera Città Aperta

Matera Città Aperta interrogates and experiments with the idea of limits, which can be understood as a physical and material separation but also as a non-visible separation. Limits are linked to issues such as diversity, division, the construction of barriers, the exercise of power, but also accessibility, inclusion, participation, breaking down and overcoming boundaries.

Matera Città Aperta is a show built in episodes that develop over the course of a week in a crescendo of scenic intensity and suggestions. In the city's main square, a line is drawn which divides the Matera into two parts. In the following days, the separation becomes material, growing gradually until it becomes an insurmountable limit, a wall that illustrates the contradictions in which we live: on the one hand a hyper-connected dimension, which connects distant places and people, on the other hand a social reality in which we face increasing separations and inequalities.

2019 will be the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the year in which England officially leaves the European Union, and the year in which new walls are erected to defend old borders, from the humanitarian corridor in the Balkans, to the new wall between Mexico and the U.S.A. We celebrate these events by involving the city in a dystopian provocation, with the intention of building, over time, new utopian visions.

Matera Città Aperta is a collaborative piece produced by organizations from Italy, England and Tunisia, and welcomes ideas from groups of citizens during open its open phases of creation.

The Architecture of Shame

Born in Matera and devised alongside the city's successful application to be named as European Capital of Culture 2019, Architecture of Shame is the product of a European research group dedicated to exploring the turbulent relationship between architecture and shame.

The driving ambition of Architecture of Shame is to build a "collective psychoanalytic session for European architecture" by seeking a critical way to talk about European identities and contemporary culture through the special relationship between the feeling of shame and architectural forms. Architecture of Shame will be executed in three phases: research, dialogues and actions. In collaboration with national and international experts and institutions, Matera will partner with Hyson Green in Nottingham, UK, and Favara, Sicily, as key locations to explore a prism of creative spaces and architecture.

Architecture of Shame aims to establish Matera a cultural research centre, and place Matera and its unstable socio-political and economic history as a positive example of a society transcending and reimagining what we consider and perceive as "shame". Architecture of Shame forms a leading part of the cultural programme of Matera 2019.

Image: The Uprising of the Oranges by Raffaele Pentasuglia


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39-41 Gregory Boulevard
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We would like to acknowledge the financial support new art exchange has received from our funders and partners.

Supported by

Logos for; Arts Council England, Nottingham City Council

Capital funders

Logos for; Nottingham City Council, East Midlands Development Agency, Neighbourhood Development Company, European Regional Development Fund, Greater Nottingham Partnership, Arts Council England