Featured People: Teatro Valle Occupato

As Il Macello di Giobbe, the first collective production of Teatro Valle Occupato, will be performed at BOZAR in Brussels on 15 and 16 October, we highlight the 2014 ECF Princess Margriet Award laureate in our featured people section.  

Teatro Valle Occupato saved Italy’s oldest theatre from an uncertain future in 2011 by occupying it. Since then, the loose-knit collective of performers, directors, technicians and citizens transformed the space into one of Europe’s most ground-breaking cultural venues reinvigorating cultural life in the heart of Rome. The group focuses on keeping the Teatro Valle open to all by using non-hierarchical decision making to involve greater democratic participation. In constructing and defending culture as a process that is continuously shaped in public with others, this community inspires similar initiatives all over Europe. 

In March 2014, Teatro Valle Occupato was awarded with the ECF Princess Margriet Award for transforming the theatre into a space where culture becomes a right and a resource accessible to all. The jury chose to award the Teatro Valle Occupato in recognition of its collective energy in making culture a space for people to join in, where culture becomes a process that produces new values that challenge the dominant consumer-led models of culture.

Since early August, Teatro Valle Occupato and their Fondazione Teatro Valle Bene Comune (Foundation for the Commons) have embarked on a bold transition from a citizen-led cultural initiative to defining, together with the City of Rome, a new participatory model for the theatre. This is a continuation of the vision and the path the occupiers of the theatre took, in bringing urgent societal and cultural questions to the table and shaping the theatre as a space of commons. ECF and the ECF Princess Margriet Award jury express their solidarity with the Fondazione Teatro Valle Bene Comune and hope that the goals of the Fondazione will be realised and, through dialogue with the Italian political authorities, that this theatre will remain a space for radical public participation in defining and shaping Teatro Valle as an exemplary model of a cultural public space for and by citizens.

Watch a video portrait of Teatro Valle Occupato:

We also invite you to browse through the media coverage of Teatro Valle Occupato in the frame of the 2014 ECF Princess Margriet Award.