Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove di Metropoliz is simultaneously a film project, a gallery project, and a project of profound social and political commentary. The work centers around Metropoliz, a 200person encampment in a disused factory on the outskirts of Rome. The project was conceived by Fabrizio Boni and Giorgio de Finis. anthropologists and filmmakers who have collaborated for years on projects documenting emergency housing in city slums. Their aim was
to investigate the ideas and attitudes of those living in the Metropoliz camp by involving its residents in the creation of a film and other projects.
The project finds its genesis in an alltoocommon problem: eviction. In 2009, the largest Roma camp in Europe was evicted, and the camp residents found their way to an abandoned sausage factory, taking with them two filmmakers who had been working on documenting a housing prototype.
After the initial eviction of the Roma camp (and the everpresent specter of eviction from the factory) Boni and de Finish joked to each other, “They should have built a space rocket since there is no place for the Roma to live in the city. They should go to the moon.” The two began work on a film with a campy scifi premise: that the residents of Metropoliz might build themselves a rocket and take off for the one place where they would be safe from the threat of eviction: the moon. The film “Space Metropoliz” enlisted the residents at all stages: residents worked to build sets, act as extras, etc.
The completed film became a catalyst for ongoing work in Metropoliz, which gave rise to the ‘museum.’ The creation of Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove di Metropoliz translates to “Museum of the Other and the Elsewhere” and is meant to be held in contrast to Rome’s other modern art museums, the MAXXI and the MACRO. Building off the popularity created by the film, Metropoliz has attracted installations from numerous notable artists, and become a gathering point for scholars and activists interested in housing, eviction, and how to find peaceful coexistence in contemporary urbanism.
The popularity of MAAM as a cultural phenomenon has afforded the residents at least some protection against the threat of eviction, and the violence that often comes with being undocumented, untitled residents. While it does so, it continues to make assertive and necessary statements about permanence, mobility and eviction in modern urban Europe.
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