Regione Friuli Venezia-Giulia Regione Friuli Venezia-Giulia Provincia di Gorizia Comune di Gorizia Parco Culturale Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio Istituto per gli Incontri Culturali Mitteleropei

Who are we

EXBORDER, the name of our association, comes from the idea of setting up a project of cultural policy and not by chance has it been created in Gorizia. EXBORDER may evoke a fairy tale ("Once upon a time there was a border...") or make us think about the possibility of drawing something vital from the ashes of that border which is a real laboratory of diversities and now represents the new European barycentre.

We could also think about the beauty of horizons that we enjoy when we cross those borders of different cultural fields (literature, art, cinema and science, journalism, psychology, anthropology and so on). Events and characters will actually dance in several places in the town under the umbrella of the annual image chosen for the Festival of Culture.

Alberto Princis


At the heart of the EX BORDER project is the preparation of an annual cross-border event, and the following publication of a monography: literature (poetry, narrative), philosophy, art (figurative art, photography), cinema and human sciences - in a holistic sense( scientific publications, psychology, history of religions, anthropology etc.). Different parts of a unique knowledge could be mixed: however, they are still distant from the common people. As a result, they have been divided and only an economic and media oligarchy can rule on them. Publication doesn't mean necessarily simplification and coarseness.

Several disciplines could contribute to the event, bringing a different topic every year, an image or a metaphor where they could merge with their differences, echoes, cultural fundamentals: the laboratory is mixture, alchemy, secret relations among things, surprise, distance. The gamble consists of bringing the reader/audience closer to different worlds using different languages and working for the chosen image. For example, from 1992 to today "I quaderni della luna" (magazine edited by Mr. Silvio Cumpeta) has proposed the following images - as titles of the respective editions- with a literary profile: "Questioni di luna", "Il vino e gli angeli", "L'ebbrezza", "Contro Itaca", "Fiere della carne", "Tradimenti", "Barbari", "Nella paura"... For example, we can also imagine titles such as "A naked mind", "Heart of stone", "For every comfort", "The excuse for all things", "Cassandra's umbrella", "Universal illusion" etc... Or borders of the memory, which was - in my opinion- a very interesting topic in 2004, in the light of Slovenian entry into Europe in May of that year.

Several cooperation fields of EXBORDER will be selected and targeted but they will also be considered as unexpected, creative fields, originating from different expressive and research fields. The final object - based on a prepared plot - will be the result of the principles underpinning the "commedia dell'arte", the unexpected, the freedom of aesthetic choice, filled with a sort of aristocratic democracy which is the main competitor of beauty and its appearances. Imitating nature and time, attaching importance to thought and craft, to the full coherence between art and madness, to ideals devised as world visions, EXBORDER is a floodlight, a rigorous and open light stream: it's not a political entity, nor sectarian or corporative, not a confessional one. It's a polysemous and polymorphous, critical and self-critical entity.

This project method could also offer the opportunity to look for private sponsors linked to a production or a role, or a role similar to or compatible with the chosen topic.

As a result, all texts and works will concern the images and the metaphors proposed that year, whatever discipline they belong to: the individual work is part of a common thought and feeling.

The events organised by EXBORDER will be the basis/axe of the main project idea; that is to say, the cultural meeting, a mix of languages and disciplines, bringing a single idea or an image. In synthesis, the idea of hospitality in our rather suspicious times. The first edition, or the "manifesto" of Ex Border with the theme "the borders of memory" should come out between the end of 2004 and the beginning of 2005.

Beyond the publication of the monography, the EX BORDER project includes an annual poetry meeting (with authors coming from the cross-border zone, from the "macro-region" or the Mediterranean and Central-Balkan area). Guests such as cross-border writers, high quality guests and Nobel prize winners or candidates could be a valid attraction, especially when mixed with further proposals and local realities (cultural and tourist).

Visual arts could also be included - if suitable partnerships have been set up - in several exhibitions spread throughout the province and could mix different artistic genres (figurative art, photography and installations)- as well as a scientific and interdisciplinary conference: all initiatives will always concern the image and the above-mentioned metaphor.

Film shows will be included according to the chosen topic, with old and new films, and a meeting about the relationship between literature and cinema: this theme will be discussed by writers, directors and screenwriters. A number of active centres already exist throughout the territory and the DAMS of Gorizia and the Association “Sergio Amidei” have been supportive.

Several initiatives, authors and artists could be the guests of Italian, Slovenian and Friulian families living in Gorizia: in this way, we could ensure economic savings and a positive anthropological impact. The project obviously focuses on this result. After having informed and involved the citizens, a collection centre for all applications should also be organized. This is an opportunity to be exploited in order to educate towards openness and hospitality. Culture would enter homes, at breakfast, through artists, poets, scientists. We attach great importance to the fact that artists - even those who are globally well-known - accept the hospitality of local families. Awareness-raising campaigns for Slovenian, Italian and Friulian families in Gorizia will be conducted through advertising and newspapers and, according to the applications we receive we will decide the chosen ones, based on human dignity/hosting criteria or linguistic competences rather than wealth or tradition – because these people will be the spokespeople of a new perception of hospitality and a new education towards living together: of a common cultural life that will be experienced not just during the conferences or the specialised press meetings.

Other artists or writers - who we call “emerging artists” as they are not yet well-known - will have the opportunity for discussion and appreciation. Such events should also offer the opportunity to visit tourist, historical and artistic sites in the wine lands - depending on the period chosen and involving the economic players and sponsors. A positive "side effect" could be an improved visibility of our territory, stimulating the curiosity both of our guests (who will write and recount about our places) and of the tourists.

This kind of tourist events should have a cross-border nuance: increasing the number and frequency of such meetings and events will culturally benefit both communities, since only those with a narrow-minded outlook would fear it.

As a result, ideas, stories, poems, images will be mixed in a shared and familiar gastronomy - avoiding formal behaviours. A welcoming land, a deeper and healthier breath, an exchange, an escape from resignation and isolation. An economy enlarged a little through means of imagination.

We hope to be supported by tourist entities and companies in this project. It would be beneficial for both the public and private sector. We are thinking not only of projects which have been already set up by EXBORDER, but also of projects that we are planning along with further proposals for our territory; intellectual skills, administrative and technological competences should also be involved, inside and outside the public administration, and different partnerships could be required according to projects and purposes. Local investments are useful if they are not wasted in vain plans or in structures outside the territory, without any internal advantage from an economic and figurative point of view.

Old and young people in contact. Fewer adverts and more constructive projects, where the anima mundi is the protagonist, the Renaissance idea of the world's soul. The body of the world. Small local gestures for a better global awareness. The beauty of nature, places of art and wine, and the cuisine of our territory. The music of different languages which intertwine.

The artistical director
Alberto Princis

October 2003