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Biennale dello Stretto. The Three Water Lines curated by Alfonso Femia and Francesca Moraci

Biennale dello Stretto stems from the research project Mediterranei Invisibili, conceived and developed by Alfonso Femia with 500×100 benefit society. It is a permanent programme of analysis and investigation of the Mediterranean territory, developed from 2018 to date: it takes place through journeys, explorations, interviews with personalities from academic, professional and public administration backgrounds and through in-depth projects.

Biennale dello Stretto is not intended as a mere event, but as a real desire to constitute a permanent place for research and international comparison. The aim of the programme is to grasp the real potential for revitalising the Mediterranean area, mapping the essential references infrastructures, landscape, urbanised environment, public social functions. Alfonso Femia and Francesca Moraci are the curators of the I International Exhibition of Art, Architecture, Landscape, Writing, Video, Photography of the Strait – La Biennale dello Stretto. The signing of the memorandum of understanding took place in the presence and with the collaboration of the Metropolitan Cities of Reggio Calabria and Messina, the Order of Architects of Reggio Calabria and the benefit company 500×100, promoters of the event, the theme of the Biennial, which will be held from 30 September to 15 December 2022 in Campo Calabro, Forte Batteria Siacci and various locations around the Strait.

Alfonso Femia, the internationally renowned architect and curator of the event explains: “This first edition of La Biennale dello Stretto is a moment of confrontation that expresses aims destined to evolve, to be positively contaminated by the professionalism questioned and the experiences investigated, until it becomes an important project of growth and development for the international Mediterranean, understood as a cultural and productive platform, through the activation of study groups, a real permanent laboratory with positive repercussions on the public and private cultural sector“.

The curator Francesca Moraci, architect and professor of Urban Planning at the Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria continues: “The growing centrality that the Mediterranean is assuming, particularly for the development of the three shores of Africa, Asia and Europe, in the international scenario, defines the Strait as a political and economic “brand”, a geographical element of balance, a magnet and antenna at the same time that reverberates, through culture, not only its past, history, architecture and art, but also and above all its extraordinary capacity for technological and scientific innovation“.

The theme of the initiative is, precisely, the Mediterranean, a word that is used to define different situations, realities, thoughts and imaginations. It is sea, holidays, sun, history, geography, storytelling, migrants, islands, Iliad, Odyssey, politics, theatre… Defining what the Mediterranean is is by no means simple. There is one trait common to the whole world-Mediterranean and that is the geomorphological triad of water: the sea and its coastlines, the watershed between the rivers the watercourses at their origin that develop into ridge lines and the resurgent waters, river beds, the fiumare and the corresponding plain lines. Mediterranean water intersects the design of architecture, landscape, narrative, art; it conditions and governs all social and economic models. The Three Water Lines can be taken as the lowest common denominator of a contemporary reflection, updated to climate issues. This is the design focus of the Biennale, proposed both in the Call to Action addressed to the design, artistic and cultural world, and in the Challenge to Action addressed to young architects under 35 who have been asked to associate a “water word” with an instant project. The objective is to develop innovative projects between the Strait and the international Mediterranean area.


The programme will take place between Reggio Calabria, Campo Calabro and in Messina from 30 September to 4 October 2022.


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Photo courtesy by  ©Salvatore Greco and ©Stefano Anzini