As part of the 5x5x5 program of Manifesta 12 in Palermo, the Decolonizing Architecture Advanced Course, taught by Alessandro Petti, will hold a public seminar and an architectural intervention and present a project of critical re-use of the Casa del Mutilato – a fascist building designed by Giuseppe Spatrisano and inaugurated by Benito Mussolini in 1936.
The heritage of colonial fascist architecture dossier for the critical re-use of the Casa del Mutilato in Palermo
The end of the one-year project takes the form of an architectural intervention; a prosthesis to the Casa del Mutilato which will act as a tool to reorient the future uses of the building and pragmatically start a much needed restoration process. A prosthesis is required when there is a deficiency in the main body; a scissor lift will provide access to different parts of the building in need of renovation, where new interventions are possible. The prosthesis scissor lift also functions as a “mobile balcony” providing a platform for invited guests to recount mutilated histories, from genocides in the former Italian colonies to the internal colonization of southern Italy.
During the evenings of June 18 and June 19, invited guests, including Mia Fuller, Mekonnen Tesfahuney, Nicola Labanca, Shourideh C. Molavi, Peter Lang, Vittoria Capresi, Sandi Hilal, Andrea Bagnato, Emilio Distretti, Rahel Shawl and more, will debate the legacies and ruins of Italian fascist architecture and their mutilated histories. Following the two day public seminar, researchers, associations, and individuals are invited to take part to the first plenary meeting of the “Coalition for re-use of the colonial fascist architecture”. The coalition was established with the aim of producing research and planning interventions for the re-use of colonial fascist architecture by, and for communities that directly or indirectly have been affected by past and present forms of fascism and colonization.
When: June 18th-20th, from 7.00 p.m. to 11.00 p.m.
Where: Casa del Mutilato, via A. Scarlati, Palermo.

June 18
18:00 Theatre performance
Trialogue between Giuseppe Spatrisano Lina Bo Bardi and Pietro Maria Bardi
Tatiana Pinto
18:30 Lecture
How to Re-Situate Fascist Monumentality
Mia Fuller
20:00 Conferenza (in Italian)
Costruzioni di colonie
Nicola Labanca
21:30 Artist talk
Conventions on the use of space
Adelita Husni-Bey
June 19
18.00 Performance teatrale (in Italian)
Trialogo tra Giuseppe Spatrisano Lina Bo Bardi and Pietro Maria Bardi
Tatiana Pinto
18.30 Public Presentation
Dossier for the re-use of the casa del mutilato in Palermo
Decolonizing Architecture Advanced Course (2017-18)
19.30 Seminar
What is the Next Power after Fascism?
Vittoria Capresi
In the square of the Empire
Emilio Distretti
Mussolinia and the Invention of the Environment
Andrea Bagnato + Anna Positano
June 20
18.00 Public Assembly
Coalition for re-use of colonial fascist architecture
Individual and associations
Download the full programme as pdf
During the period of the two world wars, under the fascist regime, Italy built a vast number of public buildings, housing and monuments that have shaped Italian cities and former Italian occupied cities such as Asmara, Addis Ababa, Rhodes and Tripoli. In the last years, these built structures have been celebrated and completely detached from the fascist, violent and genocidal regime that produced them. With the re-emergence of today’s fascist ideologies in Europe – and the arrival of populations from North and East Africa – it becomes urgent to ask: What kind of heritage is the fascist-colonial heritage? How do the material traces of the Italian empire today acquire different meanings in the context of migration from the ex-colonies? Should this heritage be demolished, simply reused or re-oriented towards other objectives including reparations from Italian colonization?
Participants: Hala Alnaji, Patricia Aramburu, Matthew Ashton, Nadia El Hakim, Anna Maria Furuland, Benas Gerdzuinas, Radoslav Istok, Carlota Jerez, Tatiana Letier Pinto, Ilaria Lombardo, Yasmeen Mamoud, Ambra Migliorisi, Fernanda Ruiz, Bert Stoffels, Mauro Tosarelli, Nina Turull Puig, Victoria van Kan
Decolonizing Architecture Advanced Course 2017-2018 – Royal Institute of Art (RIA) Stockholm
Professor: Alessandro Petti
Teaching assistant: Elof Hellström
Read more about the course Decolonizing Architecture