Naima Morelli

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technotown
Who would ever expect to find a technology  wonderland right in the heart of the Villa Torlonia, Rome? Learning through play is the motto of Technotown, a building dedicated to children and teenagers to experiment with technology, nature and creativity.

Technotown consists in nine rooms equipped with different technologies, from Lego Mindstorms to the first plant ever to have a twitter profile. In this place children are no longer approaching technology in a mindless and lazy way. They are rather using it to imagine a sustainable future and developing new ideas.

I visited the place for a video report for the news agency Teenpress, guided by Technotown’s manager  Gabriele Catanzaro. It has been a blast of energy and excitement. Technotown is the sort of place which reinforces my hopes for a better future. In their own little world, Technotown is forging a new generation of lateral thinkers and innovators. It’s a thing of beauty! And now for the video…

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quagliozzi
I have to admit the video reports with the TeenPress guys was something I was missing from my life. We are finally back with a new micro-series with the self-explanatory name “Giovani Creativi”. For these installments creatives of  all stripes join us in our studio in Pietralata, Rome. We chat about their artistic practice, creative process, everyday life and day-to-day struggles. We have started with Cristiano Quagliozzi, painter, sculptor, installation and performance artist, who opens up about his upcoming project and gives us his definition of artist. Enjoy the video!

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ornella
I was invited to write a short curatorial text on the work of the Palermitan photographer Ornella Mazzola for the exhibition “PALERMO DENTRO ” held at Palm Beach Hotel, Cinisi, Sicily. Ornella is a talented friend and colleague and I highly recommend to check out her website – or even better visit the exhibition, if you happen to spend these last warm weeks in Sicily. The show will be open to the public from the 19th of September to the 24th of October. Below my text in English and Italian.

ORNELLA MAZZOLA
“Palermo Dentro”

Are the people making the places, ore the places making the people? In the series Palermo Inside by Ornella Mazzola, we go back to the chicken and egg paradox. There is no right of way, because people and places become inextricably linked. For the inhabitants of the most working class neighbourhoods in the city’s historic center – Kalsa, Albergheria, Borgo vecchio, Vucciria, Ballarò and La Marina – boldness fights with resignation. The People is actually made up of a myriad of stories that intersect, while maintaining their singularity. You see that in a gesture of woman, maybe aggressive, perhaps reluctant. In solitary play of children in silent spaces. In the foosball on a sultry summer afternoon. Ornella is able to crystallize a series of habits that constitute the soul of the city as much as their own buildings. Here human beings shows themselves in their theatricality. The city is a stage from which mysterious figures emerge, like a premonition. In the end, what everything comes down to is that you can take the people out of Palermo, but you can’t take Palermo out of the people.  

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sintattica

The Italian magazine Art a Part of Cult(ure) has just published my review of the exhibition “Sintattica”, featuring artists Luigi Battisti, claudioadami e Pasquale Polidori. The show was curated by Francesca Gallo at Museo Hendrik Christian Andersen.

Here is the link to the review

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crack1
A few weeks ago one of the coolest festivals in Rome took place at Forte Prenestino, an ex-jail turned occupied centro sociale. CRACK Fumetti Dirompenti is devoted to independent publications, comics, street art, zines, graphic work, art and books. This has been by far the more fun report for TeenPress; I have found so many friends joining the festival, each one looking for something different and getting a variety of inputs from the event. The theme this year was “The Capital”, alluding to the recent Italian scandal of Roma Capitale, but also to the relationship of artists with economic powers and dynamics. Enjoy the video (plus a couple of pictures below).

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tiburtino
Tiburtino III, Rome. In a neighborhood deprived of green areas, a small park is everything to kids and their families. This park has been built in the seventies, putting down buildings to make room to play. For TeenPress my colleague Ornella and I followed a party in the park organized by the Ludobus – a bus bringing old-school games to the peripheries of Rome. We sat with the people coming to bring their kids to the park and with regular dwellers. Tiburtino III is definitely a tough neighborhood, but the sense of community and the presence of people with incredible faces and attitude, makes it really welcoming and super-interesting! As you can tell from my jolly attitude from moment one in the video, we had loads of fun! Just get to the end of the video to see the bloopers… ah, Romans from the outskirt! You are so damn charming!

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locandinapic
Thursday, June 25 at 5pm the Library of Oriental Studies at Sapienza University of Rome  will host the presentation of the book  “Arte Contemporanea in Indonesia, un’introduzione” by Naima Morelli. The presentation will be introduced by Filippo Salviati, professor of Eastern Asia archeology, art history and philosophies, with the partecipation of Michela Becchis, art critic and art historian, Francesca Gallo, professor of contemporary art, and Claudio Cozzolino, Press Office at Embassy of Indonesia to the Holy See.

The book is an introduction to Indonesian contemporary art, which now occupies a prominent place in the international art scene, from both a market and cultural standpoint. Placing itself in the dialectic between the global and the local, the book analyzes how in Indonesia the cultural, artistic, political and social context have influenced four generations of artists. The author guides the reader in the contemporary art places in Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Bandung and Bali, looking for the answer to the question: is there really something called Indonesian contemporary art?

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sanbasilio0
While with our fluttering dresses and carefree attitude we might not look like the toughest girls on the block, we gals of TeenPress love the borgata. So this time around we ventured to San Basilio, one of the most difficult neighborhoods of Rome. While San Basilio has a cozy architecture and great graffiti pieces, it is mostly talked about for its crime, killings and drug trade. In making this report my colleague Ornella and I had a couple of weird experiences ourselves. From a group of shirtless guys throwing clothespins at us from a window, to kids on scooters intimating us to put away our camera, not everybody was so friendly. At the same time, in the Centro Aldo Fabrizi we found an oasis of peace and protection. We documented the activities of the center in this video, hoping that it will be able to keep on growing a new generation of responsible and caring adults. 

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appietralata3
When I first came to Rome, I had my head full of Pasolini. I was in love with the idea of the borgata, but I ended up living in the more central Piazza Vittorio – which was pretty cool as well, but for other reasons – Chinese mafia anyone? Back then I was continuously thinking about the borgata with this sort of detached romanticism, but never dared to go there to explore it that much. Six years later – six months ago as I’m writing this – I went for a job interview with the news agency TeenPress. I was thrilled to know they were located in Pietralata, one of the historic borgate of Rome. But even then, for a long time I didn’t went beyond the short walk from the bus station to the door of the TeenPress office.

This report, dubbed “Pietralata Mon Amour”, gave us the chance to go deeper into the history of the neighborhood. The students of the local high school, together with the project Area Agio and the association GoTellGo, developed an app (called APPietralata) to explore Pietralata. It is a sort of audio guide which activates by walking around the neighborhood. I find this kind of projects just awesome on so many levels, and in the video below we explain why…

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taiji1
The second part of our report for TeenPress “Apriti al Mondo”, is centered on the activities of the association “Apriti Sesamo”, aimed to promote cultural integration. We visited the school Ciamician in Rebibbia, at the periphery of Rome, where Chinese dancer and educator Mei JiaoYin practices Taiji Qigong with a group of unruly Roman kids. At the end of the report my colleague Valeria and I were so excited we wanted to give it a shot ourselves. And now for the video (in Italian)…

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sesamo1
It’s an endlessly fascinating world for a restless gal. So here’s a new video for TeenPress, the news agency based in Pietralata I’m collaborating with as interviewer. I have to admit I’m enjoying this job more and more, as I get to discover new realities I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered – let alone interact with. For example, I have been living in Rome since 2009, but I have to admit have never been to Rebibbia. I mean, why would I? This periphery of Rome is known just for its prison, and nothing more – at least that’s what I thought.

What we find out is that Rebibbia is an extremely multicultural area. No doubt multiculturalism is awesome, but clearly there are many problematics attached to it. Especially when it comes to education. In this report we explore the great job of integration the association Apriti Sesamo is doing at the local school Palombini. We hear from teachers, educators and children.

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Pinkswing_Park_Agus_Suwage_David_Linggar
“In a constant relating western and eastern art, Naima dissects and offers interesting models that make legible the ‘new’ culture even to those who aren’t introduced to it”

Arts writer and curator Maila Buglioni has written a very interesting review about my book “Arte Contemporanea in Indonesia, un’introduzione” for the webmagazine Artnoise. Check it out here (in Italian).

Picture above: Pinkswing Park, Collaboration work for CP Biennale by Agus Suwage and Davy Linggar, 2006. Courtesy of Tyler Rollins Fine Art.

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