closed The Fountains of Za’atari.

The show

Inauguration: April 13, 2019, 6:00 pm

On the occasion of the European Photography Festival 2019, entitled “Legami. Intimacy, relationships, new worlds ”, Collezione Maramotti presents The Fountains of Za'atari, an articulated project by the artist Margherita Moscardini developed since 2015 starting from the study of refugee camps as urban realities destined to last. Although still conceived as temporary realities, according to UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the average length of a camp is 17 years. The Za'atari refugee camp was established in 2012 in a semi-desert area in the north of Jordan, to welcome Syrians fleeing the war. In 2014 it reaches a population of 150,000, making it the second largest camp in the world. Today there are about 80,000 residents and Za'atari is recognized, by extension, as the fourth largest city in Jordan. Moscardini worked outside and inside the camp between September 2017 and March 2018 , carrying out a census of the courtyards with fountains built by the residents inside their homes. This mapping was carried out in collaboration with the journalist Marta Bellingreri and the working group directed by the engineer Abu Tammam Al Khedeiwi Al Nabilsi, with the aim of producing a book-catalog of the courtyards. The Fountains of Za'atari project is a device designed to generate a sales system for sculptures that reproduce the models of Za'atari courtyard with fountain in 1: 1 scale and can be acquired by city administrations or institutions and presented in spaces European audiences. The creator of the fountain will be the direct beneficiary of the sale, thus generating a virtuous system of support for the economy of the field. In Moscardini's idea, the sculptures generated on the model of courtyards with fountains will have to benefit from a special jurisdiction with elements of extra-territoriality, which over time qualifies them as spaces above which the norm is suspended, "black holes, power vacuum on the ground national". This ambition answers the artist's questions: how is it possible to transfer the condition of the stateless person who seeks refuge, in plastic terms? Outside the symbol, what is an object that bears all the immunities from which (for particular conventions) organisms and states of the planet benefit? A first stage of The Fountains of Za'atari project was presented at the Pastificio Cerere Foundation in Rome in 2018, thanks to the victory of the first edition of the Italian Council tender promoted by MiBAC. In Reggio Emilia, Moscardini's project grows and is enriched by an important level of elaboration, becoming a device complete with all its elements. In fact, the following will be presented: the first public sculpture (on which the process of legal conversion of extra-territoriality was initiated) in a city park - supported by the Maramotti Collection and welcomed with enthusiasm and collaboration by the Municipality of Reggio Emilia - and a book of artist who encompasses and expands the themes of the project in different directions. The book will be published in 2019 and will consist of two volumes. It will include an unauthorized guide of the camp - illustrated through its private monuments - which as a catalog will function as a tool for other European administrations and institutions to purchase (and reproduce) the fountain courtyard models. The second volume will include some substantial theoretical contributions on the topics touched by Moscardini's research: the increasingly important role of cities as organisms capable of reacting efficiently to the shortcomings of national states, which today more than ever claim their sovereignty; the need to rethink refugee camps as urban areas destined to last and even as potentially exportable models; the creation of a virtuous system of selling fountains / sculptures to implement the economy of the camp; the study of a juridical path to attribute to the sculptures elements of extra-territoriality, in the perspective of being able to qualify them as objects above which the norm is suspended; the condition of the one who without a state, seeks refuge, as a paradigm of our time. Finally, in the Pattern Room of the Maramotti Collection a temporary exhibition will be presented with in-depth elements on the project: works, videos and drawings developed by Margherita Moscardini over the last few years.

Works on display

Timetable and tickets


Via Fratelli Cervi, 66
42124 Reggio Emilia


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