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Million Donkey Hotel

Prata Sannita, Italy
1 of 4

2005 - 73 % of the population of Europe lives in cities, and this figure is growing. This percentage not only means the constant growth of (in-between) cities but also and above all the disappearance of the cultural and natural landscapes familiar to us. In a complexity that we possibly are not aware of. The future of these zones threatened with extinction is also Europe's future. Migration and its consequences is also the theme of "The Million Donkey Hotel", a project by feld72 in the context of the "Villaggio dell'Arte" from the "paesesaggio workgroup". In August 2005 a group of national and international artists was invited to address questions of identity, territory, social space and landscape in the Matese regional park near Naples by means of art projects involving the participation of the local population. The artists were required to live locally for one month, work together with the local population and draw all materials used from the local villages to stimulate the micro economy of the region.

Prata Sannita is a village divided into two, consisting of a mediaeval "borgo", known as the Prata Inferiore, which cascades down a hill from a castle, and a newer part, the Prata Superiore, which owes its structure above all to the victory of the motor car and other promises of modernism. In the course of the last century Prata Inferiore was dramatically affected by migration caused by poverty and is now only a small part of the village, inhabited by a minority made up largely of elderly people, and with a very large number of empty buildings, some of which are already in ruins. How could these two clearly separated areas of the village be linked again? How and for whom could be the qualities of the almost sculptural spatial landscape be experienced once again? How can spaces that stand for loss become a self-confident part of a new Prata Sannita? How can a "free of " lead to a "free to"?

Prata Sannita is seen in its entirety as a large, scattered hotel that still has rooms available: the abandoned rooms. These are not regarded as bearers of memories but as potential for the future: They become cells in a larger entity and the entire area of Prata Sannita is perceived as a single action space. The first adaptation of 3 spatial units (and a special "bathroom") to form "hotel rooms" distanced from everyday life, is a start to making the spaces usable once again - but this time for a nomad not driven by worries about a better future - the traveller. The rooms were alienated and given specific themes and atmospheres based on migration and memory.

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feld, June 2nd, 2017
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