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In Scampia there is Chi Rom e Chi No

The neighborhood of Scampia makes the difference and becomes a point of reference for the city.

You might have watched Stanley Tucci TV Show entitled “Searching for Italy”. On the first episode, broadcast on February 14th, 2021, he visited the Chikù restaurant, the community kitchen in Scampia neighborhood where culture, gastronomy and free time are spent together.

In one of the so-called infamous neighborhoods of the city, Chikù restaurant is among the projects carried out by Chi Rom e Chi No. In Neapolitan “Chi Rom e Chi No” literally means “Who sleeps and who doesn’t”.

Over time, the need to defeat the complexities that brings Scampia neighborhood victim of drug dealing and neglect has been fueled by the willing of change. Where the institutions have left a void, people’s ability to network and collaborate has managed to find the ability to read the differences and put together the different potentials of individuals.

This has made Scampia a vanguard of social innovation compared to other districts of Napoli.

Get ready for the Urban Ecomuseum and for the project signed by Chi Rom and Chi No.

Chi Rom e Chi No puts into practice pedagogical, social and intercultural interventions together with the Rom and Italian communities in the Scampia district.

They started twenty years ago as an informal group and began to operate in the area by implementing valid initiatives of aggregation, sharing and participation.

During the pre-feud period they organized a theater workshop. They depicted Aristophanes’ “Birds” outdoors. Everyone attended to see the show inside the Rom camp.

Since then, other committees and other initiatives have sprung up.

In 2006 they became a social promotion association that carries out a cultural revolution through real and daily actions, and initiatives in which all people participate regardless of gender, age and origin.

They won international awards and then moved to the gastronomic cultural center Chikù.

Barbara Pierro: “For ten years we have operated working inside the Rom camp, building relationships between inside and outside the Rom camp. We brought the city inside the Rom camp in order to make people meet their culture. And also we brought the Rom people off the pitch, into the city. That space was a gym for us, we made our bones there. We worked on a process of social cohesion between differences based on the authentic, horizontal relationship. Not a charitable relationship but one that inspires people to participate.”

The Chikù project brought the Rom women, with a makeshift van, to bring food delicacies to Palazzo Chigi. They also participated in the Venice Biennale bringing a work on architecture and food.

During the years the association has created a network of collaboration with other groups and associations that allows an even better experience in the implementation of the initiatives.

Chi rom e chi no is a connector. As a group of people they collaborate with others who, just like them, also have the need to collectively build something that is not a project that ends but that has continuity directed toward the improve the place and the people who live there.

Bypassing the clichés and the obvious phrases that lead to Gomorrah and the Camorra, let’s go into the space of Scampia to get to know it a little more in depth. Will take a look at it from other points of view that are far more interesting than the TV’s references mentioned above.

Scampia is a district located on the northern outskirts of Napoli.

It presents an ecosystem that has within it a diversity of people, stories, situations.

A stratified neighborhood inhabited also by people who come from other places in the city, indeed from Europe.

Barbara Pierro: ”Being a new neighborhood, the rapid changes and transformations were not yet fully defined. People came to inhabit it in advance, that is, when the structure and spaces of social architecture were still being defined. Many moved there soon after the 1980 earthquake.

A Rom community has lived there for about 40 years and the natural expansion of the city has also played its part. Scampia is a lively district on a cultural and social level. It is not difficult to say that Scampia is an avant-garde neighborhood and a reference point for the entire city for a series of cultural, artistic and social experiences.”

Innovations that, in some way, were the basis from which the idea of the Urban Ecomuseum started.

More than a neighborhood, with its almost 80,000 inhabitants, Scampia can be considered like a small town. Obtaining interest from all the people is almost impossible. However there is significant interest and participatory involvement that also comes from outside the neighborhood. Working with transversal groups of people (schools, associations, informal groups) means that they are able to reach different groups of population but also of heterogeneity.

Claudia Scarpitti: “Since there are cultural activities, we aggregate around interests. This is why people come from other parts of the city. There is involvement of young people in participating in events in the area and various initiatives that interest the public according to the period of the year, such as the carnival that brings the whole city of Napoli to Scampia which is a suburb but has its own center, a strong identity which it has built independently over the years.”

The Scampia carnival was born, in 1983, from GRIDAS (Gruppo RIsveglio Dal Sonno that means Group Awakening From Sleep) which is a historical association of the territory, one of the oldest social centers in Italy. Chi rom e chi no was born from this cultural heritage.

For years, GRIDAS has been a self-financed South American style carnival, a popular carnival conceived by Felice Pignataro. Each year the construction of the masks and floats is done by choosing a topical theme. During the event they parade through the streets of the neighborhood. There are allegorical floats located in different points of the neighborhood as a symbol of re-appropriation of the spaces that were crossed by criminals and gunshots before and during the feud.

Today the carnival brings together people from all over Europe. Delegations arrive from all over for the popular carnival.

Carnival is a tradition that sees the use of masks to denounce the distortions of the system. In Scampia everything is built with natural, recycled materials.

Carnival is a form of resistance, which lasts over the years, and has become a cultural aggregator that evolves through a revolution.

It is an example of how the neighborhood, thanks to what it has been able to build, has become a point of reference also easily accessible by the subway.

In the neighborhood there are parks, lots of greenery and assets they want to work on.

They argue that this area has specific

characteristics and peculiar characteristics compared to other districts of the city of Napoli that are worth making known.

Unique and important things for the rest of the city.

The Urban Ecomuseum is an institution that tells the territory and also represents the affection towards the more modern part of the city. It is the exhibition, narration, and enhancement of assets that are linked to the territory and which are part of it.

The assets to which the Ecomuseum refers include the social and cultural history of the place.

The idea is to create series of contents to tell the territory through free workshops and participatory workshops.

The first workshop was that of graphics and visual identity held by academics and experts in the sector. It is a collaborative operation through which it is possible to imagine the neighborhood from a graphic point of view starting from the gaze of the people who will participate in it. It is a continuously evolving project.

In March, the Chikù terraces, which overlook the park, were set up as the first seat of the Ecomuseum.

In April, the contents covered in the first workshop will be translated as mapping, storytelling, video and audio narrative elements, social network pages, website creation.

The Summer program will also include theatrical, musical and artistic events.

Be updated on initiatives and courses by following Chi Rom and Chi No on Instagram/chiromechino.
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