“Reading cities”, a new communal library between art and territory is created in Priverno
"The project – says Stefania Crobe, creator of the new library – will allow a ‘high’ cultural accessibility in places where some opportunities are usually precluded; this means, in the words of Michelangelo Pistoletto, ‘farming the city’. We invite private individuals and institutions to donate books on the subjects of contemporary art and culture, the public space, the city and the territory.”

In Priverno, in the province of Latina, a new library dedicated to art, architecture, design and town planning is being created. Behind the scenes of the initiative “Reading cities” is the Rebirth / Third Paradise ambassadress Stefania Crobe with the association SITI, which, with the new communal library in progress, is working at the creation of a base of art and culture for the city. The project conveys a message: overcoming or dissolving the borders and the distances (real or perceived) between the centre and the suburbs. In fact, in Priverno, a village among the Lepini mountains away from the big cultural centres, a new library could be the source of literary knowledge young generations could also draw from. The citizens themselves have started the special library, but the residents are not the only protagonists.

Crobe has in fact invited both private individuals and associations to contribute to the growth of the library, asking them for the donation of books (catalogues, monographs, essays, magazines, etc.) on the subjects of contemporary art and culture, the public space, the city and the territory, just to mention a few of the key topics. The first responses have been positive: a few nationally renowned artistic and cultural organizations (e.g. the association of the National Museum of Cinema in Turin, the Educational Department of Castello di Rivoli, the publishing house Allemandi and the Spinola Banna foundation), as well as many private individuals, have activated themselves to help the cause sending their publications. Specifically, the invitation to donate is addressed to private individuals, publishing houses, public and private, profit and non-profit cultural institutions. In time, important educational opportunities could rise in the suburban area thanks to one of the quintessential instrument of culture: the book. To personalize the mix of volumes, on the first page of each one the benefactor will be mentioned and thanked.

But what is the association SITI? It was created in 2014 within the context of a doctoral research in Engineering of Architecture and Town Planning (Department of Civil, Building, Environmental Engineering) at the University La Sapienza in Rome. It is a project conceived and curated by Stefania Crobe herself and wants to be a platform of collaboration among professions characterized by the same vocation, to activate innovative processes of knowledge and new cultural landscapes. SITI is also a Third Paradise embassy, and has been selected by Regione Lazio for the volume “Lazio Creativo 2018” as one of the “100 best creative experiences in the territory”. In the official statement we read that “SITI stands for Social Innovation Through Imagination, but also Spatial Incursion, inasmuch as it has the objective to create short circuits through artistic and cultural practices (placing itself between the institutional and the informal). With SITI, art and culture don’t simply work in the public space, they actually build it. A material and physical space, but also immaterial and abstract, relational. SITI activates innovative processes of knowledge and production of the public space through art, with all the semantic load able to read and interpret the past to plan the future.”

“For SITI, – explains Stefania Crobe – ‘Reading Cities’ represents a further step to bring the centre to the suburbs and the suburbs to the centre. Guaranteeing a ‘high’ cultural accessibility in places where some opportunities are usually precluded means, in the words of Michelangelo Pistoletto, ‘farming the city’. All our work employs art and culture as devices to activate processes of urban and social transformation, to generate a new urbanicity (which crosses territorial as well as disciplinary boundaries), in which the artistic practice contributes to make the territories generative, transforming spaces into places of meetings and relationships. In this perspective, marginal areas outside the city boundaries find a renewed function and the ‘province’, usually considered a marginal area, finds a new catalyst. If art is at the centre, the centre is everywhere. This is our Third Paradise, which we practice and nourish every day. The project stays open: once we have gathered a certain number of books, they will be catalogued so that they can be searched on-line on a specific database. The communal library is growing, and, on the backdrop of art, can place itself at the centre of a responsible social transformation.”

How to contribute to help the library? Sending books to “SITI c/o Crobe Stefania, via San Lorenzo 52 | 04015 Priverno | LT”. Please write to info@sitilab.org or call 3316293387 for further information.