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With Providenza, creation takes to the maquis in Haute-Corse
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With Providenza, creation takes to the maquis in Haute-Corse

It all started with an agrarian and arty Robinsonade in a vast abandoned family estate in Piève, in Haute-Corse. On this wooded hill overlooking the bay of Saint-Florent, all in elevation, terraces and irrigation basins, located a good half-hour by car from Bastia, the director and artist Antoine Viviani, thirty-year-old Parisian with perennial Corsican origins , saw the possibility of a utopian, collaborative and nurturing island.

The organisation, in the summer of 2016, of a major residency and a multidisciplinary international festival, summer camp bohemian in the shade of majestic chestnut trees, was the matrix of the site reactivation project. Providenza took shape, and the summer phalanstery has since budded. After the creation of a permaculture market garden, the initiative, which was launched with its own funds, was recognized as a third place, with regional aid for cultural development, in this rural basin of central Corsica, and European aid for the agricultural part and the educational farm.

With his group of friends, Antoine Viviani carried out the first arrangements, in particular a shelter to accommodate the sale of vegetables, training courses and a restaurant area in the summer, or even the design of an “edible amphitheater”, where a film festival, in July, continues with screenings, concerts, performances and meetings until September.

Creative ecosystem

Gradually, the hill turns into an artistic and scientific laboratory. In addition to a large cabin with a panoramic terrace serving as a base camp for companionship, twelve wooden cabins are scattered in nature (with solar panels and dry toilets) to accommodate a residency program for filmmakers, writers, musicians , philosophers, architects…

The community is growing with a whole generation of artists who share the same desire to revitalize the territory through a network. Among the impulses that participate in this creative ecosystem, there are other residences, such as those of Casell’Arte, in a hotel immersed in nature, in Venaco. Or the recent arrival, at the head of the Corsica Regional Contemporary Art Fund, of the art historian Fabien Danesi, who worked for Casa Conti in Oletta. Providenza is also multiplying partnerships, such as with the Ateliers Médicis or the FIDlab, the co-production platform of the FID Marseille international film festival, with the creation of a prize and a writing residency at stake.

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