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The Exploded View Symposium at the Ex-Cartiera of the Appia Park in Rome, on April 17, was a great success. It concluded a research period of the artists working in Rome. The aim was to look at the layered landscape of the Parco Regionale dell’Appia Antica in different ways. All participants brought up new perspectives on the heritage of the park from their own background. The emphasis was on learning from each other, in a kind of learning community.

Three Dutch artists gave imaginative presentations, in which they showed their research (and methodolies), their participation and concerns about the Parco. Pavèl van Houten, who is working together with park managers and archaeologists from the Ente Parco, showed his involvement with the curatorial part of the park. He is literally following the actions of the park managers while managing and treating the park. With his camera he is filming their hands movements as in a kind of ritual. By focusing on the hands, he acts at the core of what heritage can be: heritage in this way is determined by the parkmanagers themselves (not the official heritage bodies) and the (mostly volunteers) employees who are involved directly with the daily ‘cura’ of the park. Jasper Coppes showed his first film shooting of a ‘speaking’ crow, filming it for one entire day in the environment around the seventh mile of the Via Appia (Miglio VII). He showed his footage intertwined with footage of Pasolini’s film Ucellacci & Ucellini. But, whereas Pasolini gave the crow a left wing vision in his speaking, Coppes wants to give the crow his own voice, his own perspective. We think in speaking about heritage, we should not forget the inhabitants of nature, i.e. species, animals, etc. We can also learn from ‘the knowledge of the silence’. Wouter Osterholt showed his work on the site of the Borghetto Latino (northern Caffarella, near the Via Latina) very enthusiastically. With a great team of architecture students of University Rome Tre and art students of the Accademia di Belli Arti, he worked for several days, documenting with a so called architectural survey the extant remains of the settlement/slum, which, during the 60s, hosted some 3000 people: floors, pavements, tiles, foundations still visible on the surface. During his architectural survey there were many local residents visiting the site. Architecture students were interviewing them, documenting their memories of the destruction operations of the Borghetto in 1969 (amongst them there were activists/ communists, who during the destruction participated in what can be called a revolt against the contemporary housing problems). Arts students were drawing the fragments found after cleaning.

The panel discussion was entirely concentrated on the concept of heritage, and on the need of social memory, with a focus on what happened at the Borghetto Latino 50 years ago. It was also a call for urgency of involving the Borghetto as a new heritage site, as an important part of Caffarella and the Parco. It was a call to create a ‘lieu de mémoire’. Wouter Osterholt, with his architectural survey and interviews, did not only (re)create this temporary ‘lieu de mémoire’, but he also brought about a maximum of commitment and public participation. His work urged a lot of discussion amongst the local inhabitants as well as amongst the heritage specialists. Osterholt saw this discussion as an important part of his work. Krien Clevis, Daniela de Paulis and Gert-Jan Burgers