Exhibition “Building up Basilicata”- Copenaghen

A one-century portrait of work and education through a collection of original photos.



costruire-la-basilicata-maniIn the year of Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture, the Italian Cultural Institute of Copenhagen hosts various activities dedicated to Basilicata and Matera, the city of Sassi, the European Capital of Culture in 2019, in a kind of ideal passage of witnesses.

Following the presentation of the first episode of the documentary “Matera 15/19”, the exhibition “Building Basilicata: Work and Training in a Century of Photographs” will be inaugurated. The aim of the exhibition is to promote the knowledge and valorisation of the Region and of the European Union’s action in Basilicata through the use of Community resources, for which the PO ESF Basilicata 2014/2020 has foreseen various interventions.

To propose the most complete possible view on Basilicata is the end of the exhibition, which is to be first of all a tribute to photography as art and then also vehicle for the recovery of an overall historical memory.


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June 15 – July 15, 2017. Exhibition extended until August 09 

Italian Cultural Institute, Gjørlingsvej 11, 2900 Hellerup
Copenaghen – Denmark



Basilicata across development and innovation. History recovered through photography

This exhibition traces an itinerary on the broad themes of development and, more specifically, on the history of work and education in Basilicata, in particular in relation to the European Social Fund, choosing to do so through photography. This is because, using Lello Mazzacane's words, Basilicata "has been represented more than described", too often through stereotypes designed to identify it as a primitive, agonizing land.

While this was certainly a reality common to all the places of our country at some point in time, it is equally true that photography has been a tool to support an ideological representation designed to mark a specific idea in the collective imagination of Lucania, which still persists with great tenacity and comes from a precise historical process. Here, then, documenting the history of the development of Basilicata, in a period of great economic and social crisis like the present one, has the symbolic value of prompting the spectator to immediate thinking.

The exhibition is divided into four sections, each one opened by a short introduction, in order to interpret and read the shown images. The first one, Ancient Jobs?, through a deliberately questioning title, intends to emphasise the continuity from a past that is not entirely extinct and a present which reconfirms that past in order to preserve it.

The second section, Basilicata under construction, together with the part dedicated to Training, is the soul of the exhibition, and tries to offer a picture story that illustrates the challenging but steady development of a region.

The third section, From schools of craft to the European Social Fund, reconstructs a path that, starting from the craft schools at the beginning of the twentieth century, moves towards the first entrepreneurial activities oriented manly towards social issues, and reaches today a Basilicata which is more and more oriented towards Europe, where the creation of new knowledge, covering the most heterogeneous fields, from scientific research to fine craftsmanship, becomes essential for the economic and social resilience of the territory.

Finally, the last section, Contemporary gazes, interprets the theme of work and training through the eyes of a Lucanian photographers' group. From their shots, the dichotomy of these times is fully highlighted, in which the sense of precariousness, linked to the uncertainty of the present, is alongside the desire to react through the development of new skills that, starting from past experiences, can be useful tools to guide us out of the crisis.

Basilicata and the European Social Fund

Training and work are historical themes that have always characterised societies and territories and are one of the keys to understanding the degree of civilisation and culture of a country.

This exhibition illustrates an arduous but fascinating journey, which in just over a hundred years has led Basilicata to become fully integrated into the social and economic fabric of Italy, despite the delays and deficits that must now turn into the impulse for further growth. The exhibited photographs tell of ancient crafts that have never ceased to exist in our communities, but have been transformed and innovated, engaging in a substantial relationship with the modern and most popular ones, born with the advent of the digital era and globalization; they show us the infrastructural development of the region through the involvement of brilliant and visionary minds; they tell us of the desire of individuals to emancipate through learning and education. The exhibition shows, in fact, that education and vocational training have been deeply evolving towards playing a key role in the economic, social and cultural development.

Not surprisingly, the "Europe 2020" strategy puts knowledge and innovation behind intelligent, sustainable, and inclusive growth goals. The role played by the European Social Fund (ESF), which was born in the new European context in 1957 with the Treaty of Rome, was of primary importance to the socio-economic development actions that accompanied Basilicata, and has far gone beyond its propulsive thrust nowadays.

Through the exhibition, it is possible to observe how the European Social Fund will continue with the 2014-2020 programming, what the opportunities offered and what the project recipients are.

The ESF OP Basilicata 2014/2020

The European Social Fund (ESF) is one of the five European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs). Since 2014, ESIFs operate within a common framework and pursue complementary political objectives. These funds represent the main source of the Union investments to foster the economic recovery of the Member States and increase employment growth, while ensuring sustainable development. The ESF is the main tool used by the EU to facilitate job market entry and continuous professional development, support employment and innovation, and promote fairer work opportunities. With this aim, the ESF invests in the human capital of Europe: workers, young people and those looking for a job.

The ESF Basilicata 2014/2020 (OP) is based on the analysis of the regional socio-economic context and the interpretation of regional needs emerging in the light of the Europe 2020 Strategy of the European Commission, the 2013 National Reform Plan, the European Council Recommendations of 2014 and the regional programming guidelines defined with the start of the new regional legislature on 19th December 2013.

The actions of the ESF OP Basilicata 2014-2020 are addressed to the various disadvantaged social categories, such as job-seekers or unemployed people, people at risk of long-term unemployment, workers who cannot benefit from social safety nets, women, young people, families in difficulty, secondary schools and students, as well as employed people, free professionals, entrepreneurs.

The ESF intervention is envisaged, aiming to extend and diversify employment prospects, thus improving the social inclusion of resident populations. In fact, in conjunction with the events of Matera European Capital of Culture 2019, diversified and synergistic actions will be put in place according to the objectives of the ESF OP 2014/2020.

The ESF OP Basilicata 2014/2020: objectives

The ESF Operational Program Basilicata 2014-2020 (OP), developed through close and steady collaboration between the economic and social partnership and the regional structure, is based on an integrated four-Axis intervention strategy, in addition to Technical Assistance, and has the following as main objectives:

- Job placement: paths will be set up to train citizens and help them find employment. Specific initiatives will be aimed at supporting entrepreneurs, through start-up funds, and also companies that are faced with a reorganisation or lack of skilled workers. Helping young people to enter the labour market will be a priority for the ESF.

- Social Inclusion: Projects will be funded to provide people with disabilities and those in disadvantaged groups the skills they need to find work and ensure their independence and financial security.

- Better education: initiatives will be funded both to reduce the school drop-out rate, to ensure that young people complete their training path and acquire skills that will make them more competitive on the labour market, as well as to improve vocational and university education opportunities.

- Strengthening institutional and administrative capacity: actions will be taken to increase transparency and improve public administration performance.

The OP has a budget of €289,624,168, of which 50% comes from the co-financing EU and the other 50% from the co-financing State and the Basilicata region, respectively.





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