Aprender a crear resiliencia comunitaria a través de la comunicación y la tecnología
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Fattoria dell'ArteRocca Reina – Teatro di Andromeda is a multifunctional ecosystem, built in the late 1980s by the will of its founder and sculptor Lorenzo Reina. It consists of a farmhouse, a donkey farm, some crops, a vegetable garden, and orchards gravitating around an outdoor stone theatre located at almost 1,000 metres (3,000 ft) above sea level, in the place where the creator wanted to concentrate positive energies, which he believes were revealed to him by his herd of sheep.
It is there that they would alway " linger to graze, seemingly caught by enchantment". The development of the complex was long and troubled, as his father wished the young Lorenzo to carry on being exclusively a shepherd. Lorenzo spent his amongst sheep, dogs, a single book. At night, he would carve alabaster into blocks, by the light of a torch in a stable.
One of those nights, he turned his eyes to heaven, to which he asked to make him "insatiable with his art " and his call was heard.
As to the origin of the theatre, Lorenzo quotes St John’s Gospel: "The Spirit, like the wind, blows where it wills" (Jn, 3.8). The 108 constituent blocks refer to the number of stars in the Constellation of Andromeda whose galaxy (M31) "will collide with ours in about two and a half billion years" while the orientation of the cavea points to the stretch of the Sicilian Channel from which the sun rises on the summer solstice.
This family business is made up of 3 partners and is aded by 2 seasonal collaborators.
Every process within this ecosystem is based upon environmental sustainability, starting from the stone building material, which comes from the ploughing of the hilly fields nearby. The life cycle of the theatre follows that of Nature, thus activities hybernate in winter and restart in spring. The visual impact is mitigated by blending it into the landscape, rather than superimposing unto it; acoustic pollution is limited by the company policy of letting in groups of no more than 30 people, and only by reservation, in order to preserve the quiet of the place.
This philosophy is also applied to the other branches of the company where not only organic farming and breeding are practiced, but a wide range of cultural events too, such as:
1. Cumpanis (2015) on the production cycle from wheat to bread, and
2. Water points (2021), a contemporary art exhibition on the universal theme of water through which 10 artists meet on the occasion of the Sustainable Development Week sponsored by the Italian National Commission for UNESCO. The exhibition has a triple value of environmental, social and economic sustainability in an area hosting one of the richest springs in Sicily, one whose exploitative by an International corporationt paradoxically causing locals occasional supply shortages!
The proximity to a well-known attraction, St Rosalia’s medieval hermitage, combined with the healthiness of the places, have spontaneously generated a small tourist hub contributing to the social and economic welfare of many catering and hospitality businesses in Santo Stefano Quisquina, the closet town, 200 metres downhill from Rocca Reina.
VALUES AND DISCIPLINARIES
Rocca Reina and the Andromeda Theatre have not yet joined any disciplinary for the simple fact that they none exists in their artistic field, but are certain of hope to have passed their energy to those around them and the visitors. "People leaving Rocca Reina are happy" says Libero Reina, 26, the founder's eldest son and company director. "My father was considered crazy". The values that the ecosystem pursues are those of art. Libero has, in fact, embraced his fatherly inspiration, deciding to train as a musician and - as such - has participated in the 19th Fabrizio De André Prize. Thanks to music, he has been able to travel around the world, but remarks that "every departure ticket from the Sican Mountains implies a return".
SCALABILITY AND RESILIENCE
Libero thinks that – aside from the uniqueness of the Theatre – the ecosystem model can be replicated and declined as a multifunctional farm (or other enterprise). What matters is that "it is not lost in the void like Stonehenge, but integrated into the landscape".
The Reina model, therefore, does not reduce cultural and environmental resources into fossils to be looked at, but rather breathes life into them, by extracting their inherent value. As for crisesin general, and in this case of the most recent one originating from Covid19 in particolar, it has"shuffled the cards, telling everyone that the real quality of life is in the small towns and that it is made up of simple and essential things such as the possibility of walking in the open air, to be able to stay clear of crowds during a pandemic and from sources of pollution for the rest of the time".