“Bologna by Night” by Valentina Medda

An urban art project by Valentina Medda for the city of Bologna (after Amsterdam and Paris)

Bologna by Night is an artistic project by Valentina Medda that aims to explore the perception of danger in urban space from the female point of view, investigating what this perception is built on.
Designed as a versatile format that is enriched by the diversity of the contexts in which it takes place, it now reaches Bologna after Paris and Amsterdam.
A first phase of the project was carried out in collaboration with the Danza Urbana festival in Bologna as a performative action in the historic city center. On the days of the festival, from 5 to 9 September, 15 walkers (involved through a workshop) were invited to physically map the center of Bologna at sunset, becoming aware of the chosen routes and those avoided according to the rules of exploration indicated by the artist . Through the physical experience of walking, using their body as a first instrument to access the surrounding environment, but completely invisible to an audience of spectators because they are autonomous in their nighttime movement, each woman has so identified on their map those places, those streets, those squares, those alleys crucial to her for a free use of the city, bringing out those reasons and impressions, those feelings and those instincts that dictate their daily behavior in crossing the city’s places.

From 15 June 2018, the maps of Cities by night_Bologna are on display in the new space / garage of the Teatro Arena del Sole in Bologna, on the occasion of the Right to the City Festival – Atlas of Transitions Biennale. The artist has thus given a visual follow-up to the performance by Bologna by Night, with the aim of returning an unprecedented vision of the city through experience and personal storytelling.
“Working on the link between place and memory, cultural differences and individual specificities, – says Valentina Medda – I am interested in understanding how to build a sense of familiarity with the place, what is perceived as threatening and what depends on feeling threatened. What are the dynamics that make us feel at home and what role does the body play, with its variables of gender, ethnicity, age, ability, in the creation of this relationship …? In my work I am interested in the body as a bearer of culture and diversity: in Bologna we will play the Flâneuses … questioning the typically male practice of flâneurie! »
The sharing of the various reports, in addition to the 15 final maps, reworked by the artist from the individual experiences, will offer a complex and composite portrait of the real accessibility of women to the urban space of the center of Bologna, highlighting the dynamics through which one constructs or denies the sense of belonging to a place.

The project will be completed with an artist publication in which the fifteen maps will be collected.
Bologna by Night is also realized thanks to the collaboration with the etnosemiotic Gaspare Caliri, who took care of the preliminary laboratory together with the artist on the days of 2 and 3 September, and Borgo22, which hosted him. In collaboration with the Freeda.it group, a young company dedicated to social innovation that has activated an online platform for a “city seen by women”, an ad hoc map of Bologna has been created on the project. We also thank the ONLUS Casa delle donne per non subire violenza (House of Women for not being subjected to violence) and the association of promotion of the digital intercultural Next Genaration IItaly.

Valentina Medda is an artist, activist and educator from the Italian artistic and political underground and part of the New York DIY scene. Born in Sardinia and loyal to her navigating ancestors and thinkers, she has traveled and lived in various cities, four countries and two continents. In recent years she has been artist in residence at Cite ‘de arts and Le couvent de Recollet in Paris, Flux Factory in NY, Les bains connective in Brussels, OPEN / CARE in Milan and Maison Ventidue in Bologna. He received fellowships and grants from ICP – the NYC’s International Center of Photography, Kodak Color Elite, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and TINA Art Prize. His artistic practice, which draws on his philosophical studies and his background in the physical theater, unfolds between performance, image and intervention / installation, standing at the boundary boundary that delimits, and binds, public and private, body and architecture, city and social affiliation. In addition to working as a mentor for the NYFA-NY Foundation for the Arts Immigrant Artist Program and as a teaching assistant in public schools, Medda is carrying out a site specific intervention project in the domestic spaces (“Healing Interventions”) and a participatory project translation of urban signs in tattoos. www.valentinamedda.com