“After. After History, Afterlife” at :After Festival, Sicily


Winner of the public notice “Festival Architettura – II edition,” promoted by the General Directorate for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture, “:After. After History, Afterlife” is the first architecture festival on a regional scale that proposes an exploration of Modern Sicily, to be held from 22 to 29 April in cities and towns in the provinces of Palermo, Trapani, Caltanissetta, Siracusa and Catania.

The festival is conceived as a Grand Tour of the Sicilian territory of the last 100 years. The event is characterized by an experiential nature that through urban walks, visits, talks and encounters will explore architecture, places, landscapes—realized, forgotten or unfinished—with the aim of identifying a different interpretation capable of triggering a new awareness on themes deeply rooted in the recent history of Sicily—the heritage of modern architecture, the industrial and post-industrial landscape, decolonization.

“:After. After History, Afterlife” becomes at the same time a research program on Sicily that wants to question the island beyond its historicization: what does it mean, and how can one change one’s perspective and perception on what has always been perceived as ‘tradition’?

“The name of the festival “After History, Afterlife” contains a declaration of intent, namely the idea of overcoming the postcard image of Sicily, based on a romantic dimension of a culturally rich past, the preamble to a narrative in which the South is underdeveloped and backward (after history); and to start again with a historicization that intends to change the point of view and investigate the multiple potentialities of the Sicilian territory by offering a second life to its architecture (after life). This is a first fundamental step towards the concept of sustainability, giving a second life and new value to what already exists,” the curators explain.

Thanks to an intense program organized over eight days and various stages, the festival follows a dense itinerary, starting from Palermo and heading eastwards, touching on Gibellina and its utopian project, the large industrial poles of Augusta, Gela and Termini Imerese, then Borgo Rizza, the abandoned rural village built during the Fascist era, and finally Catania and its peculiar territorial relationship.

“The choice of the places on the tour, which cannot and is not intended to be an exhaustive restitution of the themes and types of Sicilian architecture, is instead a possible mapping of places that become levers for telling the story of Sicilian modernity, its problems and contradictions, and its unexplored potential,” the curators conclude.

Organized by
Fondazione Studio Rizoma

Curated by
Pietro Airoldi, Lisa Andreani, Jacopo Costanzo (WAR), Zeno Franchini (LOTS/Marginal), Francesca Gattello (LOTS/Marginal), Valeria Guerrisi (WAR) and Izabela Anna Moren (FSR)

at :After Festival, Sicily
April 22–29, 2023

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