Angelo Azzurro nightclub, Rome, 1980s.

May 19, 2021 at 4pm at the Spanish Academy, Rome.

In our fourth session of In Qualche Luogo Lontano: Roma (In Some Far Place: Roma), Arnisa Zeqo will be presenting Schiellezze – Paths between autobiographies and stories of Roman feminism.

In Some Far Place: Roma is a programme part of Space is The Place/The Place is Space taking place in the city of Rome. Space is The Place/The Place is Space aims to analyse the role of art as a critical practice which offers tools for stopping, looking and situating ourselves in the world; for creating situations and imagining ways of living and producing space. It is a programme whose structure takes the shape of periodical encounters in different forms, such as presentations, reading sessions, walks and art productions.


Schiellezze is a word used by the poet and writer Amelia Rosselli in her poem Cos’ha il mio cuore che batte (1959). Schiellezze is a combination of the word schiettezza, that is clarity, absolute frankness and the word scellerato, synonymous in spoken jargon with wretched, wicked and cruelty. This word is part of a language made up of words that Rosselli calls ‘compounds’ or ‘verbal associations’ where often the masculine and feminine gender, the singular and the plural are interchanged. The poem also opens the dialogue between autobiography, the beating heart, and the ephemeral evidence of personal stories in the civil context. During this workshop, Arnisa Zeqo borrows Rosselli’s methodology of verbal compounds and associations to introduce elements of the autobiographical experience in relation to the different stories of Roman feminism and the LGTBQ struggle in the context of the psychogeography of the city. Verbal associations are physical references to the co-existence of mother tongues ​​and places scattered throughout the city. After an initial discussion, this workshop becomes a walk in the center of Rome in search of places that exist and are no longer there. Taking inspiration from the book Roma Negata: Postcolonial journeys in the city by Igiaba Scego and Rino Bianchi (2014), Zeqo proposes a walk where her biography is intertwined with places such as the old Angelo Azzurro nightclub or the Bar Zanzibar and the house of Amelia Rosselli.

Arnisa Zeqo is an art historian, curator and educator. She is based in Amsterdam, lived in Rome during her childhood and was born in Tirana. She is the director of rongwrong, a space for art and theory in Amsterdam. Her work is embedded in artistic practices around performance, fiction, art histories and education. A recent terminology she is developing focuses on the “conceptual body” and the intersections between performance and conceptual art. In 2015/17, she worked for documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel where she was responsible for the education programs (aneducation) in Athens and initiator of the Society of Friends of Ulysses Carrion within the public program The Parliament of Bodies. She has worked in teaching at various institutions such as the Master in Art Praxis at the Dutch Art Institute, ArtEZ University of the Arts, Arnhem. In 2016/17, she was also a guest lecturer at the Athens School of Fine Arts. In 2017, she was a Dutch resident affiliate at the American Academy in Rome through the Mondriaan Fonds and her research focused on gossip, scandal and good manners. In 2015, she read Franz Kafka’s diaries and took long walks along the Hudson River when she was curator-in-residence at the Center for Curatorial Studies Bart College (New York County). The writings of Jane Bowles and June Jordan lend a liberating feel to their methodologies.

In qualche luogo lontano: Roma is developed within the framework of the MAEC-AECID Art, Education, Science and Culture Grant Programme at the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome.