Between July 31st and August 5th 2023, the Villa Romana in Florence was taken over by children, supported by the associations Archipel and The Rediscovery Planet, under the artistic direction of Monai de Paula Antunes. It consisted of an intensive performative program inhabiting the interface between art and education, while also participating firmly in contemporary art practices and discourses. Much has been happening at several scales in efforts to decentralise in order to decolonise artistic practices, bringing important political issues to discussion and pressuring necessary world changes. Inasmuch breakthroughs have been happening by shaking curatorial hierarchies, renouncing the dominance of object orientation and hearing and honouring non-hegemonic voices -, there is an eminent necessity to reintegrate joy and experience in the alternative worldings we are all engaged in through the arts. Children’s universes across cultures are permeated by primarily sensorial environmental experience. They practice daily a dialogical non-anthropocentric forming of matter that truly engages with the relationality of objects. Children’s timeless play of creation and destruction and re-creation is an endless folding and unfolding of worlds - a generative purposelessness, a bodily trust, constant movement, sensuality and material-discursivity this project wishes to embrace and potentialise.

Archipel invited children for a week-long participatory process of taking over Villa Romana, enabling a laboratory for dynamic conviviality and public domesticity. The main guideline was to work with an elemental and playful world experience and therefore engaging with different qualities of earthly materials, sand, compost, rocks, allowing the momentary and also building micro-worlds in order to do micro-politics.

The Rediscovery Planet supported artists and children with pedagogical anti-discriminatory resources, practicing intersectionality through playfulness in narrative, movement and diverse forms of communication.

Dudu Kouate was a special guest conducting the formation of an environmental percussion ensemble with the children using improvisation and storytelling strategies, the ORCHAOSTRA.

The exhibition designed by Silvia Noronha showed the work developed by the children with the greatness it deserved. Therefore the biggest props go to Francesco, Fabrizio, Maria, Nour, Nuria, Obeida, Lila, Joia, Lia, Edoardo, Jacopo, Linda, Samuele, Samuel, Enea, Cosimo and Cosimo, whose participation carried enormous enchantment into this art project.


31.07 - 05.08.2023
Villa Romana Florence

Artistic direction: Monai de Paula Antunes
Artists: Silvia Noronha, Niko de Paula Lefort, Florian Bensen
Archipel e.V

special guest Dudù Kouate

Main educator: Marzia Duarte
special guest Ilaria Cavallini
The Rediscovery Planet

Francesco, Fabrizio, Maria, Nour, Nuria, Obeida, Lila, Joia, Lia, Edoardo, Jacopo, Linda, Samuele, Samuel, Enea, Cosimo and Cosimo
participant children

Field production: Carola Haupt
Cooking with children: Marta Consales

Villa Romana Florence
A House for Mending, Troubling, Repairing
Director: Elena Agudio
Curator: Mistura Allison
Administration: Claudia Fromm

© Monai de Paula Antunes
last update January 2024