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Rome's Wide Shut
September 12, 2011
An insight through Roman nightlife and creative cultures in the wake of the sudden eviction suffered by beloved venues on the right bank of the Tevere
- Text by Tommaso Fagioli
The Estate Romana and the banks on the Tevere river have been empty for several days. It's an unprecedented, early administrative shut down for venues that Satellite Voices has been fans of, like Magick Bar, Levi's River Dock. In short, a history of denied permits. The venues should have been celebrating the end of season in style, promoting the forthcoming events for Fall, thanking sponsors, employees and the public. Instead, through a perverse mix of bureaucracy, accountability and responsibility within the City of Rome, the venues were asked to demobilise under the unflinching gaze of agents of the Municipal Police, who have not been able to provide sufficient, justified or a convincing explanation.
The case has had a certain resonance within the Roman music industry, with statements of solidarity and exchange through social network, but has been pretty much ignored by even local newspapers. The entertainment industry, already neglegted by high brows initiatives still suffers in Rome and in Italy, a cultural prejudice and surprising myopia.
Rome is an emerging capital that is been trying for several years to push and support its nightlife and creative movements, despite its innate and immense artistic and monumental value. Small propulsive agencies and cutting edge magazines like Nero, are often run by private individuals who are at risk on their own, moving in the financial desert, confronting the greed of authorities. Just think of the festival Dissonanze, ten years of glorious independent events attracting hundreds of top artists from around the world with an international resonance, but never adequately supported by the institutions.
It is a shame that a city with such potential like Rome, with a great urban and architectural profile that is also still largely untapped, is not favoured in every possible way by the cultuiral government rather than these administrative horrors.
Images of dismantled Magick Bar, Levi's River Dock, La Maison, Lime Bar, on the right bank of Tevere river.
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