Bologna has its own MET. Cantieri Meticci and the art of cross culture

No it’s not the Metropolitan Museum, but it promises to become quite an institution. MET, Meticceria Extrartistica Trasversale, is the product of Cantieri Meticci‘s decennial activity. Initially known as Compagnia dei Rifugiati (“The refugees’ company”), its was created by  former Teatro dell’Argine’s playwright and director Pietro Floridia with the aim to strongly promote, support and create art among refugees, migrants, active citizens, students, new residents of Bologna. Mind you: nothing pitiful, not a “charity project” but a strong channel of study, performance and artistic growth that also helped the underprivileged to access an art career, or at least a form of expression. Again, not a game or a pastime but something to be taken seriously.

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Within the years Cantieri Meticci grew steadily, won European bids and did a wise work of networking with Festivals and professional companies (mostly of theatre) from other countries of Europe, the Mediterranean area and Asia, with Iran having a prominent space right now.  In 2015 Floridia and partners managed to create Quartieri Teatrali, an artistical tribute to geographical marginality  in 6 different places chosen among churches, mosquees, community centers and Arci circles, over 20 theatrical laboratories, about 80 spots for artistically encounters mixing up migrants and locals and several workshops and partecipations to international projects. Check here and here to get the idea.

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And eventually this all needed a place where the best could be shown and excellence could flourish.  Debuting tonight with a party that continues for the whole week end, MET is that kind of place where you will be able to eat, drink, watch shows, attend to workshops and admire beauty, art ad integration in its most elaborated and fruitful way. I had the chance to visit it in advance among a group of fellow bloggers and journalists and it was a real, genuine surprise.

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While driving there (deep periphery: a clear and neat choice from the organizers) I thought how funny it is to have a “Gorki Street” in Bologna, where we also have, in honor of the town’s strong “red” tradition, “Lenin Street”, “Stalingrad Street”, “Marx Street” and so on. Once there, it was difficult to find the address on the invitation, lost as I was in this early Seventies’ labyrinth of concrete and desert corridors and galleries: the shadow of a little mall. Not quite a shadow in fact: it hosts a big Coop supermarket, a bar and several communal areas. The sky was grey and I felt like in old style East Berlin. It wasn’t a bad feeling, quite the opposite. That silent, working-class area really reminded of certain old-style parts of Kreutzberg but in a sweet nostalgic way. It echoed of community and scarce resources equally shared.

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Than I asked the african guy who was stationing outside the supermarket where the theatre was and once I turned the corner the impression of being in Berlin came back,  strongly. The place – the new MET – is amazing. State-of-the-art recycled furnishing, perfect lighting, a warm yet contemporary feeling all around, video screens mounted into wooden chest of drawers, tables that are also viedo-installations, amazing illustrations at the wall. And a sincere enthusiasm that was also clear in the face and words of Bologna’s council representative for the arts and culture Bruna Gambarelli, whom I’ve already met on several press occasions but who this time was clearly involved in a way that was much more than institutional.

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So what will you be able to do at MET? Attend an “atelier” (with subjects covering video mapping, tagtool, carpentry, comics, storytelling, foreign-language theatre, tailoring), watch a theatre show, eat at the “RistoyArte” at the video-tables, watch the many stories enclosed in the archive enclosed in apiece of furniture. And, most of all, mix and mingle in a nice and hygge (there, I said it again!) atmosphere, away from the city center (but come on, in Bologna everything’s round the corner!), in a neighborhood that reminds you of another, less obvious Bologna, but so much more genuine, interesting and cool. Really guys, do not miss this place.      MET is in Via Gorki 6, http://www.cantierimeticci.it

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