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04 2017

They are selling Macao: Love&Bordello

Macao, Milan

Therefore, we wrote.
’Dear Municipality of Milan, dear Mr Mayor, dear urban planning officer, and dear Sogemi spa, represented by its illustrious President.’
We have used an explicit, bureaucratic, and non construable language to say: ’You do have to sell Macao? Let’s find a way to let the city buy it.’ It would be essential to develope a dialogue with You, illustrious institutions, in order to develope this pathway. A pathway that could become a model, to opening new doors, to transforming Milan into a bold city and a hub for innovation - a key word.

We have used a plain and straightforward language to ask for nothing more than courage, an act of beauty and strength in the face of this sad necessity - to balance the takings of Sogemi- a graceless, mismanaged and peripheral subsidiary owned 99% by the Municipality of Milan, it is also the holder of both the building complex in Viale Molise and the whole area of the former Ortomercato - the largest abandoned area in the entire urban context of Europe.
Therefore, we wrote. And waited.

We have waited for an open discussion with the Municipality; a promised debate that never occured while, day after day, Sogemi’s selling plan became more real and closer. A open public call will be published in a few days, and then, someone will dare to say to us ’you can participate in it just as any other honest citizen would do.’ Why? To let us be squashed by holding companies, real estate developers, or whoever can afford to keep an enormous - once dead, then reborn, now ready to be sacrificed again - building closed and empty? Because this is what the public call will be about; not about giving space to civil society, associations or citizen groups, but about taking home as much as possible by selling the building to who can afford it - investement funds and big corporations aimed at profit and speculation. What about cooperation among associations, local development, and innovation aimed at inclusion?

[We were in thousands underneath the Galfa Tower. We where thousands when, five years ago, we changed the narrative, invented words, raised a dialogue. Under the Tower that still today has yet to become something, soon to become a luxury for the few; we were in thousands]

The societal fabric, the governance of territory, the void and filling of urban space, have been at the crux of the questions we have asked ourselves since the making of Macao. After two years of hard work we presented a resolution to the Municipality Council headed at the time by Giuliano Pisapia. Clause after clause, the resolution drew a governance model in which the correlation between political action and use of the city spaces was not limited to the creation of political consensus, but allowed citizens to use the city urban spaces in unusual but creative ways as a direct reaction to their necessities. Because, let’s admit it, this is what we really need - tools that allow us to find answers where we’ve found nothing else than silence so far. That resolution has never been discussed or approved. No answer. Just silence. Wanting a change in order to remain the same. Silence. Inaction.

[During these 5 years Macao has hosted almost 2000 artists. Dozens of collaborations with universities and institutions. Hundreds of productions supported and/or created in every possible field of arts and culture. An audience of hundreds of thousands. You like numbers? Comparisons are your measuring stick? You love statistics? Do your comparisons. Compare the value created, of how much still could be achieved if time is provided and this experience is protected and secured]

Why risk it? Why risk and attempt it? If the desires of the citizens are not enough, if it is not enough to enable participation, direct democracy and innovation or the fact that Milan wants to become a cultural capital; if it is not enough to aspire for more, imagine beyond, anticipate tomorrow: because we will be a thorn in the side here as much as elsewhere

[In Palazzo Citterio you had us surrender using the Army’s force. There were urgent works to be done, Fine Arts, contracts and Ministeries involved. Urgent works that still have yet to start. You had us surrender using the Army’s force to fill the void: your politics create the void]

So if this silence, this waiting, this letting things happen as they will, that there will be an open call on Viale Molise 68 in which we cannot take part in; if this is your choice, notable administration, this will not be a choice that will tame our will.
We wrote, we waited and now:

LOVE: Never before have we needed to be in as many as now, to multiply the complicity, the solidarity and the struggle to strengthen this path. Macao has always been for all, we are so many!
Pre-register to the association to buy Macao>
LOVE (again): we need to talk to the whole city, we will fix the price together! > Public meeting on April 22.
And then: LOVE & BORDELLO > as much it will take.

[From the thirty-first floor of the tower, dropping down to the earth and uprising the city. To say: We could even think of flying]


To discover the future of Galfa Tower, with consideration given for the cities well being.

To discover the current state of abandonment of the Palazzo Citterio:

To read the Council Resolution text that we developed between the summer of 2014 and autumn/winter 2015:

To get an overview on the actual ability of city administration to promote social innovation: