Macao belongs to everyone, let’s protect it!
On Saturday May 5th, 2012 many citizens and workers in the fields of arts, entertainment and culture entered and occupied the Galfa Tower, in order to create Macao, a new arts center in Milan. The tower is owned by Fondiaria Sai, whose honorary reference is Salvatore Ligresti. The tower is located in a historic office skyscraper in the center of Milan, which has been left abandoned for more than fifteen years.
In an extraordinary way, the creation of a new space for arts involved thousands of people, that for the past week have been working hard to make this space livable and visible. A lot of us every day come to Macao and experience the sharing of purposes and vision, engendering a fresh new perspective about the creation of an arts and culture center in the city.
We have been receiving numerous requests, by academies, universities and intellectuals that want to participate in the Macao project, by sharing their knowledge, providing their own means of production, conducting classes and workshops in a space that, increasingly, is emerging as a never before imagined space of beauty and cultural enrichment.
We believe that this process of participation, filled with wonder and enthusiasm can really represent the birth of a new perspective and a way to rethink culture, especially during these times when, too often, culture itself is considered as something relegated to secondary importance, because of a generalized crisis that keeps preventing us from imagining a future that is truly filled with opportunities. We instead, believe that Macao continues to show, with strength, tenacity and vision, another concept of thinking about power relations and another way of understanding the current times. All this is contagious.
That said, the threat of imminent eviction is very great and we should not leave this wonderful process in the hands of the logic of police repression.
WE ASK TO ALL OF YOU, ALL CITIZENS, ARTISTS AND THINKERS, TO SHARE AND SPREAD THIS APPEAL TO PROTECT MACAO.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to sign the call of support!
May 5th, 2012, Milan- We are very happy to announce the opening of MACAO, the new arts centre in Milan, a great experiment in building using a bottom-up approach, a space for the production of art and culture. A place where artists and citizens can gather together in order to invent a new system of rules for a common and participatory management which, in an autonomous way, will redefine their time and the priorities of their work, allowing them to experiment new common languages.
We are artists, curators, critics, guard room, graphic designers, performers, actors, dancers, musicians, writers, journalists, art teachers, students, and everybody who works in the field of art and culture. We’ve been mobilizing for one year, meeting in assemblies to discuss our situation as precarious workers in the fields of artistic production, entertainment, media, entertainment industry, festivals and the so-called economy of the event – in the context of a world increasingly enslaved by Finance that exploits and absorbs the primary task of culture, namely to be an economy of sharing.
We represent a large share of the workforce of this city that has always been an outpost of the advanced service sector. We are the multitude of workers from the creative industries that too often have to submit to humiliating conditions to get a living income, with no protection and no coverage in terms of welfare and not even being considered as proper interlocutors for the current labor reform. We were born precarious; we are the pulse of the future economy, and we will not continue to accommodate exploitation mechanisms and the redistribution of loss.
We opened MACAO in order to let culture strongly regain a piece of Milan, in response to an all too familiar scenario, in which the city is ravaged by public procurement professionals, unscrupulous building permits, according to a neo-liberal logic that has always humiliated the inhabitants and pursued a single goal: the profit of few and the exclusion the many.
Since last spring, many citizens, artists and cultural workers have given life to new experiences through practices of occupation of public and private abandoned spaces. Such experiences are proving to lasting in time, by taking care of culture, territories, work, new forms of economy and new forms of collective intelligence. Artistic production must therefore be entirely re-thought, we must take this time and this right in a serious and radical way, by directly being responsible for what is ours. Macao is precisely this, a space for everyone, that must become an active laboratory where art, entertainment, culture, education and information workers are invited. Here artists, intellectuals, lawyers, activists, writers, film makers, philosophers, economists, architects and urban planners, neighbourhood and city inhabitants should take the time to build a social, common and cooperative dimension.
We have a lot of work to do, we must transform these words into real practices, more and more constituent and effective, in order to build alternative models to those in which we live. Everything depends on us. We should not take anything for granted, producing competent inquiries, debates, analysis and confrontations concerning all the territories that produce inequality and expropriation of value, not to mention new forms of capitalist ideology – which is disgusting. We need to have joy and humour to transform this commitment into a human, collective and liberating moment. We should take care of this space so that it can host everyone. It is fundamental that in this space art and communication cease to be ends in themselves. On the opposite, they must explode and find their motivations in this fight, building new imaginaries and bringing into light the world that we see. Viva Macao and keep up the good work!
We fought alongside and within these networks: Lavoratori dell’arte, Cinema Palazzo in Rome, Teatro Valle Occupato in Rome, Sale Docks in Venice, Teatro Coppola in Catania, L’Asilo della Creatività e della Conoscenza in Naples, and Teatro Garibaldi Aperto in Palermo.
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