The Orchestras Of Transformation | New Artistic Imaginaries For The 2030 Agenda

Cities are listening, the first public appointment of the Rome Charter and three artistic interventions explore paths towards change and promote participation in cultural life as a condition for a better society

by GRIOT - Published on 19/04/2021
Cooking Sections, Climavore: On Tidal Zones, from 2005, Isle of Skye - Scotland. Photo: Colin Hattersely

A few months before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the city of Rome had begun a process of reflection on people’s participation in cultural life at local level, in the belief that commodification and economic priorities threatened equity, justice and human dignity. “We wanted to contribute to global debates about development, citizenship and democracy, debates in which culture, human rights and cities are shamefully marginal,”

These are the considerations that led to the approval of The Rome Charter, an initiative led by the City of Rome (Roma Capitale) and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) Committee on Culture. The initiative, which began in 2019 and will run through 2021, aims at promoting the right to participate in cultural life as a condition for a better society. More than 45 cities and 95 advisors are participating.


Initiated on the occasion of the 2020 Rome Charter launch, and commissioned by Azienda Speciale Palaexpo, The orchestras of transformation —curated by Sara Alberani e Valerio del Baglivo (Locales) and Matteo Lucchetti, Judith Wielander (Visible Project) invited three international artists Cooking Sections, Jasmeen Patheja and Marinella Senatore + Johanne Affricot to rethink artistic methods of intervention in the public sphere and implement paths towards change as well as to promote alternative imaginaries. Taking the pandemic into consideration, the team of The Orchestras, in dialogue with the artists, has developed a multiform method of artistic presentation which includes establishing collaborations with local and international actors, developing social-media campaigns and podcasts aimed at a wider audience.


The orchestras of transformation is a project that combines contemporary artistic imagination with new action strategies for achieving the SDG objectives of the 2030 Agenda, in the medium term. The themes of gender-based violence, regenerative actions for the climate crisis and underwater life, and the overcoming of social inequalities are at the core of this edition for the city of Rome.

Everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts, to share in scientific advancement

The Orchestras of Transformation combine contemporary artistic imagination with new action strategies for achieving the sustainable development goals (SDG) of the 2030 Agenda. Gender-based violence (SDG 5: Gender equality), regenerative actions for the climate crisis and underwater life (SDG 2: Achieving Food Security and Better Nutrition; SDG 13: Acting for the Climate; SDG 14: Life Underwater), and the overcoming of social inequalities (SDG 10: Reducing inequalities) are at the core of this edition for the city of Rome. Starting from ongoing research and projects, each artist has chosen to address  a different SDG, working towards awareness and generating new learning paths on urgent issues.

Indian artist Jasmeen Patheja in collaboration with feminist and and LGTBQI+ associations, will develop a podcast to reflect on gender-based violence. The British duo Cooking Sections will conduct a social media campaign to raise awareness on the negative impact of salmon farming on the global maritime ecosystem. Finally, the Italian artist Marinella Senatore in collaboration with Italian-Haitian-Ghanian culture curator Johanne Affricot, will develop a mobile anti-monument dedicated to the mobile, fluid, intersectional contemporaneity that stands out in opposition to the architectures of power of Italian history in Rome.


The first appointment of the Rome Charter will be livestreaming on April 20 at 3:00 pm CEST, on or on UCLG youtube channel. The panel, Organized by UCLG, UN Habitat/Metropolis in partnership with the #2030goals campaign, Roma Capitale and Azienda Speciale Palaexpo will be introduced by Cesare Maria Pietroiusti (President of Azienda Speciale Palaexpo) and hosted by curators Sara Alberani e Valerio del Baglivo and artists Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe, Cooking Sections.

Find out more about the panel discussion here. More info about The Orchestras of Transformation on Palazzo delle Esposizioni website.

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