Stalker, an open network of artists and architects, has been involved in the last years in the field of research and activist practice into the issue of the right to housing for the Roma people in Italy. Envisioning their artistic work as a catalyst for the self-empowerment of communities facing discrimination and inequity, Stalker worked with a group of Roma activists in Rome demanding the possibility of dignified habitation for their community. In the Roma Pavilion, Stalker show a film documenting a concrete action titled Once Upon a Time there was Savorengo Ker, the Home of Everyone (2009), directed by Fabrizio Boni and Giorgio de Finis, which follows a collective of people building an experimental dwelling, utilizing the remarkable skills and knowledge accumulated by the Roma over the centuries. In their testimony, Stalker discuss how one might extend the potentials of this action to an extreme by undertaking a new “building” project, this time of a space shuttle. Here the collective effort of Roma people, but equally importantly, migrants and refugees from Peru, Nigeria, Sudan, Morocco, Ukraine, etc. who are occupants of Metropoliz, a squatted abandoned factory in Rome, leads to the construction of an imaginary vehicle that could bring them, if only symbolically, to the moon: a place not yet marked by the divisions of private property, war, or discrimination. The space rocket is thought of as scenography for a movie—inspired by Voyage dans la Lune (Georges Méliès, 1902)—that will be filmed as a part of a documentary about Metropoliz. The project, titled Space Metropoliz, launched in the Roma Pavilion, tells not only personal stories of injustice, but also irrepressible hopes and dreams for a better future. (Maria Hlavajova)
STALKER/ON (founded in 2002) is a creative research network composed of artists, architects, video-makers, and researchers from various disciplines. Initiated by the Stalker Group, Osservatorio Nomade (ON) proposes experimental strategies for intervention and participation using exploratory spatial practices and interactive tactics that relate to a specific environment, its inhabitants, and their local culture in order to construct a “collective imaginary” for a specific place. Through these practices, Stalker/ON projects aim to catalyze processes of self-organization and cooperation in the social and environmental fabric of the sites in which they work. Traces of these interventions often take the form of a collectively constructed mapping of specific urban environments. Stalker/ON is based in Rome.