Hidden Histories 2021
HIDDEN HISTORIES (2020-2022) is a site-specific public program consisting of performances, workshops, talks, and urban explorations, meant to reflect on the cultural and historical heritage of Rome from a decolonial perspective.
HH 2020 was initiated in Rome, under the pressing circumstances that have affected society during and after the lockdown, aware that the need to regain possession of the public space – in particular of the historical centre and some symbolic places of the city – as well as the need to physically meet again, have become more important than ever. Within this project, the invited artists are commissioned to create new works that not only dialogue with specific places linked to the social, political, and community life of the city of Rome, but also contribute to the dissemination of counter-narratives and propose alternative interpretations.
How to investigate a past still to be realized, a deliberately forgotten history, starting from those symbols, monuments, and buildings present in the public space that are symbols of colonial thinking? How to use the cultural heritage that surrounds us to trace patterns of inequality, oppression, canonization, and normalization that still pervade our societies today? And again, how to activate moments of public awareness on the current contemporary challenges – gender violence, the climate crisis, new forms of colonialism, etc. – looking back to the past?
Starting from these questions, HH 2020-22 deals with the places of the historical stratification of the city as spaces of aggregation for artistic interventions, but also and most of all, as objects of reflection necessary to trace hidden stories such as historical, political, and artistic processes that determine the prevalence of some forms of knowledge over others; the historical and cultural paths that mark the hierarchies and hegemonic positions between West and East, North and South; the processes of marginalization of cultures and communities; the nationalist celebration of Italian imperialism and colonialism that still persists in the public space.
In a historical period in which political language has shown its inadequacy to articulate interpretations and alternatives for our complex society, HH collaborates with artists to redefine and revisit our past by putting it in dialogue with the future. By including different perspectives on the concepts of multiplicity, pluriversity and polyphony, the program aims to re-politicize not only the public space but also our collective memory.
Hidden Histories is supported by Roma Culture and is the winner of the Roman Summer Public Call 2020-2021-2022 (Avviso Pubblico Estate Romana 2020-2021-2022), organized by the Cultural Activities Department and created in collaboration with SIAE.