The Olinda Association transformed the ex-psychiatric Paolo Pini hospital in Milan into a place of culture and meetings where people experiencing social marginalization or mental health problems find welcome, voice and social and cultural inclusion. Along with a hostel, a coffee shop and various associations, the ex- mental institution also houses the La Cucina Theatre where Olinda has been organizing the Up close nobody is normal Festival for 20 years, “confounding distance and investigating difference.”
The project aims to offer artistic, high quality theatre using an intercultural approach in a culturally important context such as the Paolo Pini, aimed at youth living on the outskirts of Milan, that engenders cultural participation, connecting big cultural themes with the life led by the youths, which is characterized by marginality and cultural poverty.
In 2020 AMI supports four paths of artistic research for adolescents:
- “Non-school”: a theatre workshop in collaboration with the Teatro delle Albe, weekly in the winter and intensive during the summer months;
- A training of future “Non-school Guides” for young theatrical workshop partecipants ;
- Inquietudini: intensive writing, theater and audiovisual workshop conducted by the director of the collective of artistic production AtelierSi.
All the theatrical research culminates in performances that are put on during the Up close nobody is normal Festival.
In 2019 the project included, in addiction to the “Non-school”workshop, also a drawing and musical improvisation workshop led by Stefano Ricci and Daniele Roccato and a choir with the “non-school” kids for the performance Purgatorio (Divina Commedia trilogy) led by Teatro delle Albe in Matera.
In 2018 AMI has supported the “non-school” workshops, a short film production workshop entitled “Una stanza tutta per sè” (A room all to oneself) led by Alessandro Penta and a drawing workshop entitled “Quello che ho visto” (What I have seen).
In 2017 AMI has supported also a poetry/singing workshop, in collaboration with the Societas Raffaello Sanzio and a sensory workshop, in collaboration with the Teatro de los Sentidos.
In 2016 the youth were involved in an artistic creation entitled Pier Paolo!, an in-house theatrical workshop/performance of two weeks, conducted by the Fattore K theatrical company.