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Thursday, 30 March 2017 18:06

THE TOWN OF UTOPIA - CAMPOMAGGIORE VECCHIO

Localization

The immaterial heritage"The city of utopia" is radicated in the history and culture of the community of Campomaggiore and its inhabitants, each of which is a descendant ,guardian and keeper of the experience . Today the municipal administration promotes the knowledge and evaluation of good,and students who are analyzing it and are, on several occasions,recieving new elements and reasons of interest . Nowadays, increasingly new social and economic practices are emerging , such as the“share economy”, the sustainable negative growth, zero-kilometer food consumption associated with environmental protection,  the protection and enhancement of the historical experience of the "utopia city" has a universal value.

The town of Utopia is geographically born in the town called today Campomaggiore Vecchio and is currently referring to the entire municipal territory, because the new center was rebuilt about 4 km from the original settlement. This  is indissolubly connected to the physical space of the ruins of Campomaggiore Vecchio, because it is linked to it through its birth and to its economic, historical and architectural evolution. It is a space containing ruins, streets, squares, vegetation and anything else in an abandoned village since 1885. The ruins are an object of evaluation because of  the joint action of the public and the private . This fact is unique and  refers to a precise historical event and difficultly it is found elsewhere.

Description

 

Thematic areas Artistic
Cultural interest evaluation The theme of the city of Utopia and the hamlet of Campomaggiore Vecchio has attracted the attention of researchers especially since the early 80's of the last century.Sice the old village is a "foundation town" and the concept of social utopia was born together with it, it is obviously strongly radicated in the history and cultural tradition of the community. Compared to a population born from the mixture of native people, from Puglia and Campania, attracted from the prospect of a prosperous and happy common life, the concept of the "utopian city" is what constitutes the identity glue . Today, in the historical phase of  globalization which sometimes can be wild, this value must be preserved and presented to young generations who often don’t know about its existence.
Context "The city of utopia" is born from a unique cultural value  story  . In Campomaggiore "Vecchio", starting from 1741, a social experiment was carried out that led to the building and consolidation of a community based on the principles of utopian socialism introduced by the French philosopher Charles Fourier and the English  Robert Owen. The Rendina counts, from Campania, who had purchased the Campomaggiore feud( almost uninhabited )in 1673 in order to populate it, stipulated a kind of "public call"in 1741 with which they promised, to anyone arriving in Campomaggiore The free concession of two plots of land and the possibility of cutting wood, in the property woods , in order to make the beams to build new buildings. In return, they would give work to people by cultuvating their lands. This "social pact", along with another set of incentives,led to the fact  that many people "looking for luck and progress" came to the town, especially from Puglia, from the area of Bitonto  and from Campania. A small town was born, with the introduction of new cultivations, the olive tree in particular, with the development of  common zootechnics, the introduction of  advanced services (a public washroom, one of the first communal cemeteries of the Region, a mill, etc.) This mix of population was  organized in an original way also from the urban point of view.
Teodoro Rendina, one of the most important members of the family, commissioned the architect Giovanni Pattturelli, pupil of Luigi Vanvitelli, to design the new born town . The result was a "chessboard", that is, an urban structure in which order and equality reign, with roads that cross eachother orthogonally and where the houses are all of the same size. In the center there is the great square with the Baronal Palace and the church, one in front of the other. From the 80 inhabitants of the town in 1741, Campomaggiore counts 1525 inhabitants in the year of the landslide. Twenty times more in 140 years. Evidently, many people looked at that place as  a fruitful town and full of opportunities, almost a "new frontier".The intuition of the feudal lords of Rendina, who gave the farmers a piece of land to be cultivated and where a home could be built, in exchange of their manual work in the fields, was a genial "expedient" to use energies and insert the farmers in a collective growth project, soliciting its protagonism. It was the prelude of the spread of the private property. It was also the first sign of the birth of the bourgeoisie, and it stimulated the creation of”self made men”.
This is why in the last years Campomaggiore is called”city of the social utopia”.
Description of the managment mode The history of Campomaggiore Vecchio and the foundation of the town have been the subject of oral transmission among generations. It was a passage from father to son;even though the traumatic event of the landslide, which forced the abandonment of the old site and the construction of the new one, caused the loss of a large percentage of population. After loosing everything, they emigrated abroad. In the early eighties of the last century, the historical studies and document analysis made allowed us to understand that experience and its value . Over the past 30 years, a series of actions have been promoted to safeguard its memory. In 1985,100 years after that hydrogeological disaster, a series of events and conferences were created that underline the identity of the community and investigate about the foundational aspects. Schools and students are also involved in this journey, in order to transfer the sense of belonging even to the new generations. Then ,a work to restore the ruins was made,that otherwise could have disappeared. In 2007 there was the idea of ​​a logo that characterized the idea of ​​Campomaggiore as "the city of Utopia", to be used throughout the institutional communication and the promotion of the territory. Since 2010, the baron's palace has been secured, and from 2010 until the summer of 2014, the show "The city of utopia" has been performed, where fairy-tales about the events of the place are narrated. This is certainly the most important passage of the recovery of the place. Through this event, attracting tourists from outside the region, in an impacting way, the message of that experience is transmitted to an old and new audience.
Significant features From the conceptual point of view, the "The city of utopia" consists in the memory of a historical experience of building a completely unique social agglomeration, which can be compared to the municipalities that took place in Europe in XVIII and XIX. The philosophical characterization that derived from this has produced the effects that are still visible on the urban and architectural plan (the orthogonal and very wide streets, houses of the same size, public services, etc.) and historically has allowed the coexistence of people coming from different geographic contexts . Today, all this is expressed in the show"The City of Utopia".
The event is unique and represents historical events that took place in Campomaggiore.The municipality owns  the costumes, the software, the architectural projections and all the equipment needed to represent it in the best way. The show is usually programmed in 10 repeated performances, each one lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes, starting at 9 pm.
Characters involved:
- 5 nationally known actors performing live;
- 11 dancers, including 7 for stage dancing and 4 for athletic dancing;
- 2 acrobatic dance technicians;
- 1 technical director;
- 1 director and 1 assistant director who recruit and coordinate the entire cast;they stay in a directing cabin, at all trials and performances;
- 2 electrical assistants;
- 2 seamstresses;
- 1 choreographer;
- 30 children participating as background actors;
- several voluntary guards that control the town of Campomaggiore Vecchio,only during the night, for about 1 month.

The Municipality of Campomaggiore, with its staff, organizes the cleaning of the area of the show (about 16 thousand square meters), to set up the stage, podium(700 seats), the towers of the lighting system, and the"Diamante", that is, a metal structure of 6 meters of diameter with the shape of a diamond.
Some parts of the equipment are rented, including:
- a crane car, necessary for the acrobatic dance;
- a power generator (150 kw)to provide electricity;
- 3 chemical baths;
- three dressing rooms for actors and dancers.
The total cost to make the 10 performances of the  event is around 130,000 euros
Another important elements is represented by guided tours,guaranteed to tourists and visitors arriving during the year in Campomaggiore, where the history of the village and its origin are narrated and the ruins are visited.

Bibliography Di Giuseppe Damone:
- Lettura storico critica di una ghost town. Il progetto utopico di Campomaggiore-Cues Edizioni (2013);
- Quale futuro per i paesi abbandonati: idee progettuali per tutela e valorizzazione - Atti 2° convegno internazionale - Firenze(2014);
- (2013) La ricostruzione di Campomaggiore in Basilicata - Atti Workshop,ROMA;
- (2013) Il patrimonio delle ghost town tra memoria e valorizzazione. Atti 35° congresso internaz. Matera;
- (2013) Il rilievo per lo studio della "giovane archeologia":metodi tradizionali ed innovativi. Convegno Internaz.;
- (2012) Innovazione e tradizione per il rilievo e la rappresentazione della "giovane archeologia". Atti IV Congreso Internaz.-La Plata,Argentina;
- (1997) "Campomaggiore, archeologia dell'edilizia storica" di Pierfrancesco Rescio; Ed. CSCM;
- (1985) "Campomaggiore, storia di un paese lucano" di Giuseppe Filardi;
Articoli: l'Unità giugno 2007; La Stampa, 25 agosto 2010. Siti internet www.comune.campomaggiore.pz.it e www.cittadellutopia.it

 

Community Participation

Community Participation
The event involves the municipal administration, which promotes it; the local associations(the most important is  Pro Loco and the Teodoro Rendina association), which mainly deal with the greeting  of the spectators,the organization of  the guided tours and secretarial services; About 30 children in the country participate in the role of background actors in the show; Workers are called to do the porter activities  and to organize  the parking of motor vehicles; The economic operators who provide the food and accommodation to the cast and technicians; The entire local tourism system

 

Where to eat

Under construction

Fonte: APT Basilicata

Published in Itinerari