Informal Common Grounds

La città autoprodotta/ the self produced city

Self Made Urbanism Rome, an art exhibition on the informal urban fabric along Via Casilina, was shown in autumn 2013 at neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) in Berlin. One year later the project returns to Rome with a series of presentations and debates and gives artists, activists, scholars and associations an opportunity to reflect and discuss forms of self-organization and self–production of the city.

For centuries Rome has evolved by means of the material and social production of its citizens, in their practices of daily life and in various urban cultures that form the city. This social production responds to various necessities of its territories, from the urgency to satisfy primary needs like housing to the creation of social and cultural spaces. These practices draw a counter-geography of spaces inside the planned city. They are a result of self-organization, of internal and international migration, and acts of resistance to the dynamics of neoliberal development, of relational conflicts and a practice of the right to the city that in the current phase reformulates urban spaces as commons.

The self-production of the city comes in many different ways: from illegal building to the informal, from Roma camps to self-organized quarters, from the reappropriation of housing, to cultural and social, free and independent spaces.

These meetings go through the history of the city along Via Casilina and its quarters: The case of Pantanella, Pigneto, Mandrione and Tor Fiscale, Tor Pignattara, the Roma camps Casilino 700 and 900, Tor Bella Monaca, Borghesiana and Finocchio and conclude with an exchange of experiences on a national and international level.

S.M.U.R. an international project of urban, social and artistic research by a group of architects, artists, activists and scholars that have explored Via Casilina for many years, following historical developments and political practices from the bottom. In fact the Casilino axis bears witness of incidents that have left deep traces in the urban fabric, in the visible imaginary (if you think of the neorealist movies) and in the collective history of the city to become a cultural matrix in the present.

S.M.U.R. meets Teatro Valle Occupato and Metropoliz, two emblematic experiences, contemporary urban laboratories of political, social and artistic experiments that redefine metropolitan space oscillating between various action strategies and new cultural models. This collaboration is the base for a common reflections during the events