Strategy type (tool, event, training course, etc.)

Scope of the practice (local, national, international level)
local and national

When did it start/end?
March to September 2019

Person of reference
Cristina Pancini

City and country
Milan, Italy

Ива Младенова

1. Describe your project briefly
Between Il Lazzaretto, the Casa Museo Boschi Di Stefano and the Casa di Riposo Don Leone Porta there’s a walking distance of only a few minutes. Un’ora sola ti vorrei, più 23 minuti is a project born from the desire to walk this short distance to make these places meet. The protagonists of this meeting were the elderly residents of the Retirement Home, their caretakers, those who have taken care of and currently take care of the Casa Museo, their counterparts at the Lazzaretto, an artist, a young musician and a group of visitors. This encounter lasted 9 months: we entered the Retirement Home to talk about art; with 7 old people we "escaped" and went to the Casa Museo and to the Il Lazzaretto; in front of walls covered with paintings and small sinuous sculptures, we spoke a lot, we laughed, we cried. We gathered everything we could and made our own audioguides. We then combined the audioguides with written directions and built a guidebook for a journey concieved for only 7 visitors at a time. Equipped with headphones and a written booklet they took off on a journey that from the Lazzaretto took them to the Casa Museo and then to the Retirement Home. There, waiting for them, surprise, were the 7 elderly guides along with an invitation to dedicate some time to this new encounter.

2. What is the aim of the project? 
Un’ora sola ti vorrei, più 23 minuti was born from the urgency to listen to the voices of those who are often left on the sidelines, only because they are considered unproductive (economically speaking). The main desire behind the project was to take care of people in that very precious moment of their lives: their final years. For 9 months we navigated between modern and contemporary art to open up space and time and learn how to meet and connect. Un’ora sola ti vorrei, più 23 minuti was born out of the firm belief that the intermingling of people, of different ages, origin and interests is an indispensable resource in order to create an attentive, intelligent and sensitive society. We tried to do this with a small group of people, out of the need for being together and the desire to make the World and not just pass through it.

3. Who was involved in designing process?
Un’ora sola ti vorrei, più 23 minuti is an idea conceived by Cristina Pancini and an experience that was made possible thanks to the help of many people: Linda Ronzoni, Cristina Perillo, Alfred Drago, Alessandra Trovati del Lazzaretto, who listened to, supported, discussed and accompanied the idea; Zerina and Daniela (whose surname we do not know) caretakers of the Don Leone Porta Retirement Home, who also supported and accompanied the idea, even physically; Maria Fratelli, Chiara Fabi, Martina Ganino, Il Sig. Prea, who opened the doors of the house museum Museo Boschi di Stefano; and Federico Primavera, who took care of the voices, sounds and emotions.

4. If you could change something, what would you change?
We would have liked Un’ora sola ti vorrei, più 23 minuti to be the beginning of a long journey, we had imagined that the Don Leone Porta Retirement Home, at least once a year, would become an artist's residence, or at least host an artist's project. It wasn’t to be. The most difficult thing about the project, both for the elderly residents and for all the others involved, was saying goodbye, as if the chair was taken from underneath us, when we would’ve stayed on talking, still for a much longer time.

5. How do the project impact on civil society? 
We’re unsure what impact the project had on civil society as we worked intimately with a very small number of people. However, we know that for that small group of seniors and for those who were with them during that period the experience was revolutionary. Those who live in a Retirement Home sometimes confess to feeling lonely, useless, to not wanting to live anymore, then… they happen to go out, live an unexpected experience, enter a museum, find someone who is interested in what they say and all of a sudden they feel listened to, they regain a sense of responsibility and their enthusiasm. In this little revolution of ours, it became clear to us that the origin of many problems is the excess of work and how it eats away at people's time and at their sensitivity. Another element that emerged is the conviction that society should be a comfortable place for everyone, not only for those who are productive (economically speaking).


6. How do you evaluate the project’s impact?
Over the months, we witnessed many eyes grow wide and light up: the eyes of the elderly, when the gates of the Retirement Home opened, when they were in front of all those paintings in the Casa Museo; ours, when they shared their fear of talking about art with us and again theirs, when they were surprised to have done it so successfully; ours, when we discovered that for some it was the first time in a museum; ours and theirs, when we cried and chose to be in silence; ours and theirs, in that last room of the museum, when we told each other how happy we were; ours, theirs and the visitors', for the surprise of having had this encounter and of having listened to each other so much.