Space Metropoliz

Filmscreening + talk with Italian anthropologist and museum director Giorgio de Finis.

"What we are about to tell, is a science-fiction story. But it is also a story about co-habitation, sharing and political commitment. We are about to tell a story of a squat, an artistic challenge. Of a spaceship. But, also, of a museum." During a talk and the screening of his documentary 'Space Metropoliz', the Italian anthropologist and museum director Giorgio de Finis explains the power of art & imagination when defending the right to property.

Giorgio de Finis is an Italian curator, filmmaker and anthropologist who squatted a former Salami factory in 2012 on the outskirts of Rome. This building had been occupied by families of migrants and squatters since 2009, who were under constant threath of getting displaced. After ‘a peaceful invasion’, De Finis turned the factory into the Metropoliz Museum of the Other and the Elsewhere (MAAM): an exhibition space for contemporary art; but also, a home for these two hundred Roma.

De Finis, now the new director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome (MACRO), will share his experience during this special screening and Q&A.


Metropoliz is a former delicatessen derelict shop, located in a Roman suburb, namely a far, far away galaxy called “Tor Sapienza”, one of those godforsaken places that you can see in a Pasolini’s movie. One day a “close”- knit group of Italians, Tunisians, Peruvians, Ukrainians, Africans, nomads decided to break the padlock of a rusted gate, and to make that place feel like HOME to them. They restructured, they repaired, they organized… They tried to live a decent life both heroically and clumsily. But Metropoliz’s new inhabitants were forced every day to struggle for their rights, because people on the Earth did not quite understand how they could live in complete peace and happiness with each other and envied them. Tired of being under siege, one day they decide to abandon the barriers and escape once and for all from the centrifugal force shoving them aside from civil society, preventing them home, work, health and rights. Their project is quite simple: building a rocket which would fly them to the Moon.

This is the story as envisioned by two directors who have dealt with housing emergencies for years – to tell the tale of a mestizo city squatting at Via Prenestina. To address the topic of the Moon – a blank sheet where everything is possible – philosophers, astrophysics, astronauts, ufologists, radical architects and artists were summoned. For one entire year – the Occupy Wall Street year – they held an unprecedented cinema and artistic construction site. Despite daily hardships and needs, Metropoliz inhabitants were strong and creative enough to respond to this challenge, by building a telescope and a set-to-launch rocket, winning the greatest challenge of all: proving that art can change the world, dream and imagination belong to everyone – with no exceptions. And that everything can symbolize redemption and change.

Today Metropoliz continues defending the right to property. It hosts MAAM, Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove di Metropoliz, which will slowly turn the factory in a super collective art object.

Direction: Fabrizio Boni and Giorgio de Finis
Production: Irida Produzioni and Inside Productions
Lenght: 98’
Year: 2013
Language: Italian
Subtitles: English

Photocredit: Space Metropoliz.

The visit of Giorgio de Finis is made possible by Het Nieuwe Instituut, with support of the Ministery of Foreign Affairs.

In collaboration with

  • Urban Movie

Woensdag 19 juni 20.00 - 22.00
Pakhuis de Zwijger, Piet Heinkade 179, 1019 HC, Amsterdam

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