Andreco, Aule Verdi Xfarm, Xland Art and community for environmental justice 2022-2023

Climate Art Project is part of Art and Community for environmental Justice and XLAND the first rural art park on land confiscated from the Mafia in Puglia.

Projects realised in collaboration with Xfarm Agricoltura prossima, Pigment Workroom and Mural Arts Institute Philadelphia. Thanks to the support of the Apulia Region and the U.S. Mission in Italy, the young people draw the different and biodiverse future of the Apulian territory.

Land art works created by young citizens under 18 together with Italian artists*, transforming confiscated farmland – for years abandoned and since 2017 becoming the Xfarm Agricoltura prossimo project in San Vito dei Normanni (Br) – into an art park among olive groves and vineyards, open to citizens and visitors from all over the world, under the banner of the economy of beauty and legality.
This is the Xfarm Land Art project promoted by the cooperative Qualcosa di Diverso in collaboration with Pigment Workroom and funded under the P.O. PUGLIA FESR 2014-2020 Axis IX – Action 9.6 – Notice “Beauty and legality for an Apulia free from mafias.” The project actively involves kids* between 14 and 17 years old from the province of Brindisi in a path of 4 cycles of workshops with the aim of creating rural art works through the use of artistic languages and tools that, by connecting artistic-cultural disciplines with agronomic, ecological, social, economic and historical ones, interpret and give new life to the typical workings of the agricultural season and natural materials present in the field.

By delving into and studying the morphology of the land, agro-environmental conditions, the history of the confiscated property, memory and commitment, and the alternatives of the civil economy to the economy of the Mafia, the project aims to activate a collective reasoning on the cultural and symbolic dimension of the confiscated property as common goods, thus strengthening the feelings of re-appropriation and belonging by the younger generations and local citizenship toward real estate taken from the criminal economy and long abandoned.
On March 18, 2023, the Rural Art Park opens its doors to all*, inaugurating the spaces with the Green Classrooms by visual artist Andreco, the first land art works created during the first “Autumn” art workshop between November and December 2022. Bringing inspiration from his multidisciplinary Climate Art Project, Andreco led the girls and boys in designing the planted GREEN CLASSROOM at Xfarm in December 2022 in a public event open to the participation of local citizens. Two concentric circles of plants that, following the agroforestry model, form a biodiverse green theater, a place for meeting, socializing, and ecological and cultural education.

Further strengthening this journey, the U.S. Mission Italy contributed to the production of Art and Community for Environmental Action, a project that renews the exchange of best practices between the two realities of Mural Arts Philadelphia and Pigment Workroom, focusing on the relationship between art, community and climate justice.
The occasion was the U.S. Mission Italy’s Annual Program Statement (APS) 2022 application, where the winning network of realities includes XFarm, Andreco and IRSA-CNR scientists in collaboration with IRET-CNR. The project will run until July straddling the two continents, carrying out actions that show the urgency of having to change the anthropocentric version of humanity’s use of planet Earth. This will be done by starting with research and scientific knowledge, such as that which the CNR in the Taranto office is putting to good use by planting shrub species to mitigate particulate pollution.
Taranto thus becomes the second scenario of Art and Community for Environmental Action, with the involvement of the school community of the Istituto di Istruzione Superiore Statale “Augusto Righi,” the leader of the Ecodidattica network, in order to proceed together with the scientists to plant trees in the school to infer from their leaves data on the accumulation of harmful dust from the industrial area. At the same time the network of partners, Philadelphia Mural Arts, artists Shira Walinsky, Michelle Glass and artist Andreco will participate in the collective design of a mural that can speak about these issues with a contemporary language such as urban art.
Thanks to Art and Community for Environmental Action, in addition to expanding the virtuous process of XFarm Land Art to the city of Taranto as well, at the close of the workshops with the kids* in the two cities, Andreco will be allowed to create in the Xfarm Land Art park in San Vito dei Normanni a symbolic sculpture of the relationship between man and the environment. The result of this lengthy process will be brought back to Philadelphia where the Italian partners will travel in late July for an incubation program within the Philadelphia Mural Arts’ Environmental Justice program.