EUNIC clusters Naples and Rome presented the 2nd edition of social theatre inclusion project designed for socially disadvantaged groups in the South Italian region Campania. Clusters and the Campania Foundazione dei Festival organized theatrical workshops lead by European stage directors for adolescents at risk, women victims of violence, migrants, the disabled, people with psychiatric disorders, etc. The festival gained the Eco Festival Certification and built its final performances on the SDG´s themes. The project brought together professional figures (stage directors, facilitators) with gifted target groups to communicate through the liberating ritual of stage culture.
Social Theatre Workshops
The project organised 10 international social theatre workshops aimed at the involvement of different fragile groups based in Campania (5 in Naples, 5 in the Campania Region) that led to 10 open rehearsals. The workshops were attended equally by women and men, mostly of age between 18 and 25 years, from socially disadvantaged groups (poverty, criminality, immigration, etc.)
The project started on the 16th and 17th of November kicking off its second international edition by premiering a documentary theatre performance titled Why Not Me? at the Archa Theater in Prague. The performance also marked the beginning of the Akcent – International Festival of Documentary Theatre. The show represents the result of two residencies held at the NEST Napoli Est Teatro by director Jana Svobodová with its company of young actors, firstly in December 2021 and then in June 2022. The event also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of the first Italian Institute of Culture (IIC), founded in 1922 in Prague, and supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,the Italian Embassy, and the Italian Cultural Institute in Prague.
Two workshops for university students in Naples were led by the Czech theatre director Jana Svobodova, entitled “The Hiden Power of Theatre” (28th November: Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, 29th November: Università Suor Orsola Benincasa)
Final public meeting
The final public meeting took place on 3 December 2022 including a presentation dedicated to Pier Paolo Passolini, and a presentation of the results of the research on the impact of the previous edition of Quartieri di Vita on the Campania region (conducted by the students of a Directorate of Cultural Heritage). The research presented the analysed questionnaire conceived and administered in a period of time between the "pandemic" of 2020 and the staging of 2021. The objective of this survey is to support the planning and design of the next edition of "Quartieri di vita", so as to enhance the objectives of the Fondazione Campania dei Festival taking into account the wishes, needs, and suggestions that emerged from the comparison with the various targets who participated in the previous editions and who will hopefully be able to participate in Quartieri di Vita in the future. The responses received made it possible, in fact, to highlight how the edition that has just passed has humanly and culturally enriched, despite the inevitable difficulties, all those who participated, generating a wealth of experiences that everyone has brought and will continue to bring with them during their career and life.
Associated activities of the eco-festival were, for example, planting of orange trees, in collaboration with Lega Ambiente Campania and voluntaries of Circolo La Gru.
The original objectives to develop a long-term project capable of responding to the challenge that contemporaneity launches to our territories, guaranteeing psychological well-being and environmental sustainability according to SDG priorities were reached. The project has fulfilled all the original objectives laid during the project design. They did not need to implement or adapted any aspect thanks to the years-long experience with the realization of the project and the calm pandemic situation.
An important impact of the 2022 edition is the growing interest in the project of the Campania Region and the great interest of the media.
Both the involved institutes and artists expressed their interest to continue the collaboration in 2023. More follow-up projects (following the example of Jana Svobodová from the Czech Republic) are being born these days. La Sapienza University is working on researching the concrete impact of the project on the Campania region and on the involved disadvantaged social groups. The research will concentrate mostly on youth, women, and immigrants. The project was officially labeled as an eco-event. No plastic was used during all the workshops, showcases, or other activities connected to the project. All the participants were encouraged to prefer trains as a means of transport, where possible. During the showcases, all the participants could use a little bus to move from one theatre to another.
When you experience deep happiness, you have to realize its genesis and treasure it. The Quartieri di Vita project has this power. It goes beyond social theatre and cultural diplomacy. The 2022 edition brings together eleven European countries and eleven theatrical realities in the Campania region, to experiment a daring path, which brings life’s suburbs to the stages.Petra Březáčková, Referent of the Eunic cluster in Rome