3 - Identity and image of the place

Identity and image of the place

One of the most significant results achieved along the long path towards Matera European Capital of Culture 2019 is undoubtedly the extraordinary visibility accrued by the city and the region on the media around the world.

The history of resilience, the ability to defy limits and to make what appeared impossible possible through the regenerative power of culture, the extraordinary energy invested in opening to the future to become a centre of cultural production, the process of co-creation that has distinguished the cultural programme, the involvement of citizens not just as spectators, but as active protagonists, the widespread mobilisation of volunteers, the expanded access to cultural activities of population segments that are usually less involved, the activation of unusual spaces and of the more peripheral areas, the enhancement of diverse abilities, the presence of world-famous artists, the collaborations established with cultural entities from different countries have given Matera and the Basilicata region the power to considerably reinforce their visibility at an international level.

Matera calls again

A survey taken between December 2019 on radio, press, television and websites in Italy (Eco della stampa) and abroad (internal monitoring) reveals the vast number of articles and reports produced by the national and international media about Matera as European Capital of Culture 2019. Generalist and specialized, local and national, European and non-European publications have reported the remarkable process that brought a city in southern Italy to the centre of the international cultural debate.

The world answers

In every corner of the globe, the name of Matera as European Capital of Culture has been written on paper and on the web, spoken on television and on the radio, in the widest range of languages. A sign that the route travelled by this city has led across geographical boundaries to become a model at the global level, amplified by the many journalists from the foreign press who came to Matera from different countries to report up close what was happening there.

Methodological note: the articles included in the chart represent a selection of what has been published abroad about Matera European Capital of Culture 2019.

Trascina e utilizza due dita per spostarti sulla mappa.

The word on the web

The communication of Matera 2019 on social media focused on an emotional and empathic account of the programme of the European Capital of Culture, successfully creating a direct relationship both with those who attended events in the programme, and with those who enthusiastically followed it at a distance. Photos and videos of the most exciting performances, comments by the artists involved, suggestions by participating citizens, accounts by those who joined the team of volunteers: all this helped to generate the large number of interactions with the official accounts, but also to stimulate the sharing of personal experiences and points of view linked to the themes of Matera 2019.

Facebook interactions of pictures, videos and links

How the perception of the city changed

Between December 2019 and January 2020, a study of the experience and legacy of the European Capital of Culture 2019 was conducted with questionnaires submitted in person and online to a representative sample of residents in Matera and tourists visiting the city, whom we at Matera 2019 prefer to call “temporary citizens”.

Comparing how the city appeared before its candidacy for European Capital of Culture and what it became by the end of 2019, the permanent citizens of Matera highlighted the value of the transformation that was activated by this process on many different fronts. With respect to the ambitions and expectations for the future, the citizens agree on the need to continue working on cultural production at an international level.

As for the temporary citizens, the attractivity produced by the communication, especially on television, and the power of the brand “European Capital of Culture”, were key factors in the decision to visit, which later proved to effectively fulfil the expectations it had created.

How people with age 18-30, 31-45, 46-65 and the over 65 find Matera
and furthermore...
What would you like to see carried on after 2019?

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 on the italian and international press review of Matera 2019, on print, web, radio, TV and social media.
5.04 MB
Aggregated data for the view on the countries of the international press review.
931 B
Aggregated data for the view on social media engagement associated with the official Matera 2019 accounts.
618 kB
Aggregated data for the chart on the shift in the perception of Matera produced after 2019.
3.37 kB
Aggregated data for the view on the shift in the perception of Matera produced after 2019.
2.91 kB


Cultural Access


Philosophy and management of the process

Matera open data