“Beyond the façade” delves into the experiences of three people residing in South Tyrol living in the margins of society: a homeless person, a refugee and a former alcoholic. Following the example of the German artist Gunter Demnig, who positioned more than 22.000 Stolpersteine (stumbling blocks) all over Europe to remember the victims of the Holocaust, this project aimed to create some stumbling moments to invite the local population to raise awareness of the individuals that have been forgotten by today’s society.
The stories on mobile structures
The city of Bolzano saw the appearance of human-sized wooden structures portraying the three protagonists and their stories, forcing the passers-by to become spectators and go over the façade, to look beyond appearances and dare to have a deeper look at those who must continuously endure hardship and difficulties. The structures were positioned and transferred around the city, to mimic the movement of the subjects portrayed, becoming therefore tangible presences as people at the margins of society should be: although they appear invisible to careless passers-by they do not cease to exist altogether.
All of the wooden structures have been built by people with mental and physical disabilities at the “il Ciliegio” workshop.
At the same time the structures were moved around the city, the stories of the protagonists of “Beyond the façade” travelled virtually too, on the online pages of franzmagazine.com. Furthermore, some interviews with experts working in the related field provided advice on how local residents can help people who have been marginalised.
Flash mob and theatrical representations
A flash mob was staged to further explain the stories of the protagonists: performers asked passers-by to give them a hug or a smile to raise awareness on how a simple gesture could change the lives of those who are normally invisible. A concert and a public reading followed the flash mob to attract further attention to the cause. The protagonists’ stories were then used by the theatre company “Raccontami una storia” in a play that was performed in many public events.
2013 - 2015
South Tyrol (Italy)
City of Bolzano (Cultural Commission)
Cassa di Risparmio Foundation
In cooperation with
Bolzano Social Services (“Il ciliegio” wood workshop)
Consultancy centre for dependencies of Venosta Valley Caritas
Weigh Station for Culture
Theatre Company “Raccontami una storia”