6 - Cultural citizenship

Cultural citizenship

The active participation of the community was a distinguishing element in the programming of Matera European Capital of Culture 2019. The inhabitants of Matera and the other municipalities of the Basilicata region, as well as the visitors who came from every corner of Italy and the world, were called upon to conduct an experiment in cultural citizenship, becoming an integral part of the processes aimed at reactivating the territory through culture.

How they participated

As announced in the bidbook, 80% of Matera 2019’s cultural programme was implemented through horizontal, diffuse and participated productions. Some of them aimed specifically to make protagonists of specific groups of citizens, for example the community projects, conceived and developed by citizens for other citizens, the projects for schools, or the Volunteer Programme of Matera 2019, one of the clearest manifestations of the theme of participation. The choral construction of the event allowed other citizens to give their personal contribution in all phases of planning, collaborating among themselves and with the artists.

  • All projects
  • Citizen's involvement

What did the citizens participate in?

Using the formula of “public calls”, the citizens were invited to become actively involved in the cultural productions of Matera 2019, participating in a large number of workshops – almost one a day – to turn themselves into emotional map-makers for the city, actors in film, lyric operas and theatre, do-it-yourselfers for the lights that lit up the city on inauguration day, tailors, gardeners, cooks, players of urban games, community designers, even hosting artists and events in their own homes.

Who are the citizens who participated

An in-house analysis on a limited sample of 6 projects and around 1000 citizen involved in them showed that every age group was represented (4-18, 19-30, 31-64, 65+), with a prevalence of participants between the ages of 41 and 55. These activities witnessed greater participation on the part of women and people from the Basilicata region, with the inhabitants of Matera the undisputed protagonists of the experiment.

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Region/Area
  • Project

Why did they participate

Many different motivations led the citizens to have their curiosity piqued and become actively involved in the cultural offerings of Matera 2019.

If you participated, for what reason did you do so?

study by Arteco Sas

The effects of participation

Their active participation in planning Matera 2019 had different effects on the citizens involved, in terms of relations, the interests they cultivated and their civic sense, demonstrating “the proactive function of participative processes, the role of culture as a social aggregator and as a vehicle for the collective construction of relational goods, the positive upshots of the cultural programme of Matera 2019 on empowerment” (from the assessment study “C0-creare a Matera” edited by Arteco Sas).

Did my level of trust in the people I met increase?

study by Arteco Sas

Did my ability to collaborate increase after the event?

study by Arteco Sas

How proud did you feel to be from this area during the event?

study by Arteco Sas

Has your interest in cultural activities increased?

study by Arteco Sas

Open data corner

At the centre of this platform, the data, now published in an open format. The Matera 2019 datasets are thus transformed into a digital commons that can inform, inspire and support new information and design practices for the local, national or international communities.

Below, you can download both the raw data related to the theme of this section and the aggregated data used for each of the above visualizations. You can also find more data in the site’s Open Data Center, which contains all the data available in the platform, or in our GitHub repo.

Detailed data about the participating citizens.
55.8 kB
Detailed data about the projects in which citizens have been actively involved.
2.29 kB
Detailed data about the organised laboratories.
4.46 MB
Detailed data on the answers of participants to a survey.
240 kB
Aggregate data about the motivation of participants.
388 B
Aggregate data about the perceived effects of participants.
449 B


Dimensione internazionale



Matera open data