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Network - Artistic operators & producers

Cooperativa sociale e.s.t.i.a.

Milan - Italy


E.S.T.I.A. Società Cooperativa Sociale Onlus

II casa di Reclusione di Milano – Bollate, Italy

E.S.T.I.A social non-profit cooperative originates from the union of different competences, which have been working out for more than twenty years cultural and formative/training activities in Milan prisons. Since 2000 E.S.T.I.A has been organizing theatre, stagecraft, sound-lights and sound-video laboratories in the 2nd Prison Milano Bollate. E.S.T.I.A’s basic principle is aimed to promote the convicts socio-professional autonomy and to increase the outside activities of the cooperative in order to offer to the members a concrete working re-instatement chance, once they come out of the prison.

Since 2007, thanks to the support given by Fondazione Cariplo (Project Etre), the In-Stabile theatre company, which relies on the involvement of convicted and non-convicted actors, has been acting permanently in the theatre inside the 2nd Prison Milano Bollate. The aim is to link the “inside and outside” necessities, incentives, ideas and cultural proposals in order to stand out the importance of art in the sociocultural and working integration processes of the convicted people and of the surrounding district around the prison.
The Residence Teatro In-Stabile of the prison of Bollate is a natural evolution and a strengthening of the artistic and productive experience that the Estia cooperative has done with a mixed company (both inmates and free actors) over the past five years within the prison and since two years has been able to interact with the territory in a more significant way. Teatro In-Stabile is a cultural project which aims to strengthen a dramatic pole of complex production and cultural programming, internal and in relation with the territory, in a multi-annual dimension oriented to the development of managerial autonomy. The purpose that the creation of a stable reality within the prison is to connect needs, urges, ideas, cultural proposals between the “inside and outside” by valuing the meaning of art in the process of socio-cultural integration and working of the imprisoned population and the territory. The project recognizes in the network design an important peculiarity.

e.s.t.i.a. has gathered the experience gained by e.s.t.i.a cultural association, promoting educational and artistic interventions in the most different social contexts. The working group has operated in recent years in detention areas, youth centres, suburbs, theatres etc. with the aim to promote cultural activities targeted and linked to the needs of national and provincial cultural contexts.
The play and cultural area could facilitates the synergy between disadvantaged people’s resources and needs.

2008 “ Psycopathia Sinpathica”
2009 “Il Rovescio e Il Diritto”
2010 “Non Sopporto Più!”
2011 “Non più. Frammenti di Libertà all’improvviso”
2013 “ I camerieri della Vita” – “Spiritualità e Rigore”
2014 -2015 “Che ne resta di noi”
Drama by Renato Gabrielli and Michelina Capato Sartore
Debut on 26th April 2015 inside the artistic plan of IETM Bergamo
2015 “Pinocchio”
by A. Fioramonte and C. Bussetti
debut on 12th February 2015, later planned inside the Padiglione Teatri Festival at Teatro Franco Parenti
2015 “Ci avete rotto il Caos”

Interest for archive material
The attention to archive materials, both documentary and fiction material, was born from the gradual contamination that accompanied 10 years of exchange and co-production projects with other visual associations or theater companies of our network.
At first the visual project of e.s.t.i.a. was thought to be focused on the training on specific skills (editing first of all) and the subsequent work related to the production and post-production of short films such as trailers of performances and concerts, conferences, educational materials. Then, after the meeting with the French partners INA and Lieuxfictifs, we could expand the work in two different lines of the horizon.

The first has an artistic nature and it has allowed to watch the archival materials such as film materials available to a new treatment and then to watch them in the perspective of a new drama.
Initially, to operate this moving of the material from its original documentary nature, it was necessary to exclude the audio of the clips selected, in this way the spare picture with its estrangement from the historical and emotional connotation allowed then to see the value of the image in its full articulation of signs.
The juxtaposition then with the musical dramaturgy proposed a different image that has a different evocative and emotional power.
This second level of interaction could then be matched by a further step of writing, and then by the speaking voice of the new short films just realized.
This first contamination has gradually brought new hypotheses and experiments often focused on the concept of “displacement” of the image and therefore on its communicative value fostering a “displacement” in the viewer. From here they come many lines of experimentation seen in the original proposals of the project In Living Memory.

During the time, on the side of this process, it is determined to carry out the will of realizing inside the Jailhouse of Milan-Bollate a video laboratory that may lie in between two production lines, from the digitization and storage of archival materials in the Milan area (Istituto Luce to mention the most important) to the possibility to work on the film in its needs of restoration and maintenance.
The first possibility to work would follow the example of the activities that are carried out from about twenty years in some French prisons where, thanks to the presence of the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, it has been gradually created the possibility to create qualified work for many inmates. This perspective to be professional would find its shape even in Milan with the relation both with the National television and many image archives that are present in the region and in northern Italy.
Today the project just mentioned is undergoing a feasibility study and we are evaluating what may be the start-up activities and which are the processes that require more preparation.
Until now it has been formed a team of professionists who can ensure a high level of know-how and experience that can provide specialized training for the inmates involved.
In the meanwhile they are involving the largest companies in the sector for a detailed understanding of the current marketplace and benchmarks, then the possible prospects.
It seems that first the support that the European project is offering to this feasibility study, secondly the international recognition to the good practices that INA is developing together with the desire to play a concrete production chain is offering training and job placement intra moenia, but also a perspective of socio-professional reintegration after completing the experience of imprisonment, can be a clear structure and plann of joint experience.