From deserts to mountains

Book presentation, Table ronde, Roma

Entrance: via Liguria 20

Book presentation, Table ronde

Entrance: via Liguria 20

From deserts to mountains, the making of ecologies and common goods

The event will be held in english at the Istituto Svizzero, Via Liguria 20, Roma
Registration here
Free entrance

Faced with the current economic and ecological challenges, how can we rethink the nature of our relationships with others and with the resources of the world around us from the perspective of collective practices observed in the world’s arid zones and mountain regions? In these fragile contexts, where the scarcity of natural resources calls for strong bonds of solidarity, forms of collective intelligence and sustainable resource management have always been practiced. Models of reciprocity and subsistence that Swiss artist Séverin Guelpa’s MATZA art program has been drawing on for the past 10 years, inviting artists, architects and scientists to draw on vernacular know-how in the field to envision the future.

By bringing together a curator, a researcher and the artist and author of the book The Desert, The Glacier, and The Superstructure, Istituto Svizzero invites you to an evening of discussion on these issues.


Séverin Guelpa is a visual artist whose sculptures and installations combine construction techniques, raw materials, sound and video to highlight issues of identity, culture and emancipation. He holds a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in art from HEAD-Geneva. Séverin Guelpa founded MATZA in 2014, with whom he directs artistic projects and exhibitions around the world, from Alpine glaciers to American deserts.

Anja Wyden Guelpa after twenty years of experience in key management positions in the private and public sector as a project manager, director general of social affairs and state chancellor of the Canton of Geneva, she and her team now advise companies and managers on innovation and corporate culture. She founded her company civicLab sarl in 2018, which she has been running ever since.

Francesca Sabatini is a Post-Doctoral fellow in Geography at the University of Piemonte Orientale where she is a member of the research group « Farm On the Move », on transhumance in Piemonte and Abruzzo. She holds a PhD in Cultural Sciences from the University of Palermo with a thesis in Geography on discourses and tourism practices in Sicily. Her research interests focus on inner and mountain areas, cultural mapping, disasters, tourism, creative methods and gender issues. She is a member of the Emidio di Treviri collective.

Denise Araouzou is a curator, writer and researcher from Cyprus. She is working on a practice-led research project titled ‘Learning on a damaged planet’ (2022-2025) supported by the Kone Foundation, playing out at the intersections of artistic collective transdisciplinary practices, radical pedagogies and critical environmental education. She holds an MA in History of Art from the University of Glasgow and a post-master in Collective Practices: Symbiotic Organisations from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. She is finalising her studies in Education for Sustainable Development (MA) at the University of Gothenburg. She is a member of the scientific committee and a course leader for Deconstruct & Rebuild — a project led by BJCEM (Biennale des jeunes créateurs de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée) and supported by Creative Europe.