The Festival

The launch of the first edition of Mediterraneo Downtown is approaching: after a kick-off event that took place in November 2016 at the Metastasio Theatre in Prato, everything is ready for the Festival.

Mediterraneo Downtown: dialogues, cultures and societies” will take place during the first weekend of May (5th -6th -7th May) and it will take the form of a pacific and animated invasion of the historic centre of Prato.

The group of promoters includes COSPE, Regione Toscana and Comune di Prato – which toghether first conceived the idea of the Festival – and LIBERA, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL and LEGAMBIENTE, that joined the project later on.

The event’s headquarter will be the Ex-Campolmi complex, located between the Textile Museum and the Lazzerini Library. Additionally the city’s roads, squares, theatres, cinemas, museums, and bookshops will be the event’s real protagonists, thus creating a town festival and a cultural and informative experience whose schedule will range from public meeting with influential testimonials to contemporary art exhibitions, concerts, book presentations, cinema shows, activities for children, student meetings and sport activities.

As we approach to the Festival, many events labelled “Mediterraneo Downtown” will be held. Among them: the Village and the Prato Marathon (15th – 17th April), Prato Campus Week (20th to 22nd April), Ginevra di Marco and Luis Sepulveda in concert at the Compagnia di Firenze theatre (24th April) and the Milan Human Rights Festival (2nd-5th May). Follow our dedicated website and Facebook page to find out more about all the other upcoming events.

Festival Themes

Feminist Movements and Women’s Rights in the Mediterranean area. An insight into feminist and women’s rights movements: who they are, where and how they operate on the Mediterranean shores. An opportunity to give voice to these movements through the words of their protagonists whose everyday fight against patriarchates, conservatorism and religious fundamentalism cannot be passed over in silence.

LGBT Movements in the Mediterranea area. An insight into LGBT movements: who they are, where and how they operate on the Mediterranean shores. A rare opportunity to get informed and learn from the protagonists themselves on a widely repressed phenomenon which is increasingly asking for its own space and visibility.

Sustainable, young and innovative economies and economic relations: a great chance to explore economic development and trade realities and opportunities based on innovation, environmental and social sustainability. The Festival will host experts of business theory and practice from all the Mediterranean area.

A space dedicated to the analysis of historical processes and contemporary major issues shaking the Mediterranean area. The Festival will host with some of the greatest thinkers and political scientists in the field of migration, economics, Islamism and environmental protection.

When migrations knock on your door. An original exploration of this phenomenon giving space and voice to a group of people who had to choose which side to take when an epochal and global phenomenon such as migration knocked on their doors.

Information: comics and graphic novels. the theme of freedom of information explored through a steadily growing phenomenon that, despite its multiple forms, represents a common denominator between the different shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Culture becomes a space of mutual understanding and cooperation. Contemporary art breaks clichés and the stereotyped images related to the southern and eastern culture we often have. In this context, the artist’s role and importance in the economic, social and civil progress of his/her country will be stressed and exalted.

Human rights issues – with a special focus on women’s rights and LGBT rights in the Mediterranean area – sustainable, young and innovative economies, freedom of expression and migrations will be the main topics of the Festival’s debates and book presentations. The last theme will be addressed from the so called “when migrations knock on your door” perspective.

Among the guests: the Turkish journalist Can Dundar – imprisoned after an “anti-government” reportage – the Moroccan footballer Zineb Srari, the cartoonists Doaa el Adi from Egypt and Nadia Khiari from Tunisia, Father Mussiè Searai, Cedric Herrou – the French farmer imprisoned for aiding and abetting illegal immigration – and Klaus Vogel, the captain of the Aquarius ship, who received the award “Un Mediterraneo di Pace” last year.

Many books will be presented thanks to the cooperation of two publishing houses that join us in this adventure: Mesogea and Sirente.

See you in Prato!