Workshop: Going Borca WITH THE ICCD

going borca: workshop report. WWI Memorial sites: new narratives on the great War. (working title)

Day 1. Group photo in front of the Colonia Entrance. Photo A. Vitali

Our workshop Going Borca was primarily about planting our IC-CD team of artists, photographers and curators into a critical geography that would act as a sort of landscape for common reflection and action. The workshop was hosted at the ex- ENI village in Borca di Cadore, nestled into the Italian Dolomites*. The village is a modernist complex—though its style might be considered more Brutalist–  and was intended for the Italian energy company ENI, for its workers and their children. First conceived in the mid-fifties, and in continuous development into the early eighties, the village grew from just above the town of Borca di Cadore with accommodations that would serve about a thousand children. There were dormitories, play areas, theaters, cafeterias, laundry facilities, offices. Also extending up the site was a tight knit collection of efficient concrete villas for individual families, as well as campgrounds furnished with A-frame cabins, and a church designed by Eduardo Gellner, the main architect for the entire complex, in participation with Carlo Scarpa.

* This region of the Italian Dolomites became part of the Italian nation in 1918.

Main Hall Borca, Edoardo Gellner Architect.
Borca Colony, Main Hall. Edoardo Gellner Architect

For architecture aficionados, this coherent modernist landscape represents the best of what Italian enlightened industrialists were capable of, mixing social ideology with a masterful architecture to create a quasi-utopian—or dystopian, depending on how such a scale of behavioural manipulation could be understood as beneficial: I would prefer to say it’s a sort of Walden 2 of the Dolomites. After some years in abandonment, the ENI village has found a new life as residential art centre, piece by piece as it is gradually restored.  The individual sale of the family villas provides funding for the rest of the collective infrastructure.

The workshop itself ran four days, from the  25th  to the 28th of November. Two specifically intensive days were dedicated to the workshop program which was conceived primarily as a forum for discussion, where we could reflect on both individual projects and on common goals. While the program was pre-announced, with a rough schedule and some basic challenges to confront the legacy of the First World War, very little could have been seriously anticipated until we got there. Nonetheless, one day was set aside for walking and exploring the local area, and one day was to be used for discussion. Clearly, the beauty of the Dolomite mountain-scape—this region was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site—can  hardly transmit the horrors of the war as it unfolded within these same magnificent crevices and vertiginous peaks 100 years earlier. The seductive magnificence of the mountain ranges haunted our discussions, and as we were to discover, the mountains would continue to give up their secrets while we were observing them in awe.

And that’s where the almost forgotten human factor comes in. After one hundred years since the war’s end there are no more living testimonies to speak of, no more eye witness accounts to learn from.  Yes there are extensive diaries and writings that are in the archives, in publication, and accessible to the public. There are also early photographs, along with a treasure of visual documents. And then there are the monuments, the landscapes of memory, the war memorials, that are part of almost town and city on the Italian peninsula, rich with iconographic narratives, sombre effigies, terse architectural landmarks and symbolic nature. But if we want to go further, to reanimate these stories to be able to make sense of them today for a generation that has had no direct contact with this history we must find fresh ways of understanding both the protagonists and the events.

Former laundry room. Photo A. Vitali
table detail in Borca

Chiara Capodici, Photo A. Vitali

Our first workshop day began with a walk through the ex-ENI village, and concluded with our visit to the Sacrario at Cortina D’Ampezzo, the Memorial built to hold the remains of the combatants from the Great War. The custodian for the monument walked us through the principle monumental structure. The snow was already knee deep, unusual for this time of year, and the cannons decorating the park were covered over and barely visible. After a bit of probing, the custodian began lamenting that school children brought here for their class visits were disrespectful and uninterested in this history. This may no longer be a war any of them would have heard about from their families. But then the custodian began to recount that since the glaciers began to recede as a result of climate change, more bodies from the Great War battlefields in this region began to emerge. Literally, the mountains were giving up their last secrets. Some bodies identities were pieced together through objects found among their remains, but there were already too many individuals, according to the custodian, to invest in DNA searches.

Peter Lang, presentation on “Memory by another name,” Photo A. Vitali

For this project of ours, on the memories of the Great War, this novel piece of news carries with it great weight. For this ancient history is no longer a fossil of the past, but it has again a new present. These 100 year old corpses have to be buried in full military custom and regalia. The question comes up once more: this history carries a voice into the present, and just how are we to understand this in today’s disconnected era so alien from back then?

night view. A. Vitali
Day 2, Workshop, Roberta Cristallo, Nico Krebs, Francesca Fabiani, part of the Borderline group, discussing “Who were You?”
Day 2. Alessandro Vitali, Marta Tonelli, Francesca Lazzarini
Day 2. Workshop. Photo A. Vitali
Day 2. Photo A. Vitali
Day 2. Orso Group discovery. Photo by A. Vitali
Day 2. Workshop, Chiara Capodici holding the group manifesto, The Space of Time. To her left, Alessandro Coco and Martina Alessandrini
Day 2. WOLP group sketch, Moira Ricci.
Day 2. Wolp group manifesto.
Day 2.
Day 2. Border group.
Day 2.
Day 2.
Main Workshop text. The Good Soldier Schweik, (Švejk) by Jaroslav Hašek. 1921
the snowball effect, PTL, Photo A. Vitali
Model of the Eni Village at Borca, Photo A. Vitali
Borca Residential Village, Edoardo Gellner Architect
Backyard Borca
Borca Residency #171.
Sacraio Militare di Pocol, in the Province of Cortina D’Ampezzo
Interior Tower, the Sacraio Militare di Pocol, in the Province of Cortina D’Ampezzo
Sacraio Militare di Pocol, in the Province of Cortina D’Ampezzo
balustrade detail, Sacraio Militare di Pocol, in the Province of Cortina D’Ampezzo
Military Memorial to Fallen in War, 1915-1918. Photo A. Vitali
Detail. Military Memorial to Fallen in War, 1915-1918. Photo A. Vitali
at the Church of Nostra Signora di Cadore, Scarpa- Gellner. Photo by A. Vitali
Camping Cabin village, Giovanni Paolo II. Borca di Cadore
Summer Cabins, Borca
Participants in the Borca Workshop, November 25-29, 2019
Day 2, Pasta lesson, led by Roberta Cristallo
Day 2, Pasta lesson, led by Roberta Cristallo
Day 2, Pasta lesson, led by Roberta Cristallo
Day 2, Pasta lesson, led by Roberta Cristallo
Day 2, Pasta lesson, led by Roberta Cristallo
Day 2, Pasta lesson, led by Roberta Cristallo
The fire spitting AGIP dog cup, photo A. Vitali


in preparation for our workshop Resonance goes Borca, –Detecting Resonance, I investigated the easiest ways to make a metal detector.

You can follow the easy video below:

Make a Simple Metal Detector

Or simply download an app to your phone:

I downloaded this Metal Detector App from Smashfunz

the Workshop Diagram:

Memory by another name.

Peter Lang

Walter Benjamin:

He carried about him a sorrowful trophy… a burden of memories, so that he seemed to live in a continual paramnesia.” from Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, Harvard University Press, 1999 {J14.2} page 252


 noun par·​am·​ne·​sia | \ ˌpar-ˌam-ˈnē-zhə, -əm-  \

Medical Definition of paramnesia

a disorder of memory: as

aa condition in which the proper meaning of words cannot be remembered

bthe illusion of remembering scenes and events when experienced for the first time

— cal Meriam Webster.

paramnesia | ˌparəmˈniːzɪə | noun [mass noun] Psychiatry a condition or phenomenon involving distorted memory or confusions of fact and fantasy, such as confabulation or déjà vu.

paramnesia Disturbo della memoria che consiste nell’alterazione dei ricordi; si distinguono: allomnesie, ricordi incompleti o erroneamente localizzati nel tempo e nello spazio; pseudomnesie, in cui elementi di fantasia danno luogo a ricordi di situazioni che il soggetto non ha mai vissuto. Queste ultime comprendono: a) falsi riconoscimenti, quando si crea una confusione fra il presente realmente percepito e un ‘ricordo’ erroneamente ritenuto tale; un esempio ne è il fenomeno del déjà vu, che si osserva anche nei soggetti normali, causato da stanchezza o emozione, in cui si ha l’impressione di avere già vissuto una situazione presente; b) falsi ricordi, prodotti di una attività delirante (per es., le esperienze riferite da uno schizofrenico) o di un’attività fantastica che copre lacune della memoria (confabulazioni). Treccani.

Walter Benjamin:

”The poet carries within himself a living durée -perduration- which odors call forth and which they can mingle.” Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, {J14.2} 252

Perduration (ˌpɜːdjʊˈreɪʃən) NOUN formal

the act of lasting forever or enduring continually; the capacity to endure indefinitely

Collins Dictionary

perdurare v. intr. [dal lat. perdurare, comp. di per-1 e durare: v. durare] (aus. avere, e nel sign. 1 anche essere). – 1. Di condizioni o situazioni, durare ancora, continuare a essere: perdura il maltempo; lo stato febbrile perdura; frequente l’uso dell’inf. sostantivato: il p. della malattia; col p. dello sciopero cresce il disagio della cittadinanza. 2. Riferito a persona, mantenersi con tenacia o ostinazione su certe posizioni: p. nel vizio del bere, p. nell’errore, p. nei proprî propositi. Non com., resistere, persistere, soprattutto con uso assol.: qui si lavora da cani, ma si perdura finché si può (I. Nievo). ◆ Part. pres. perdurante, anche come agg.: gravissimo è il disagio della popolazione, per la perdurante siccità; e stato severamente ammonito per il suo perdurante assenteismo; meno com., persistente, ostinato: essere perdurante in un proposito; opporsi con perdurante fermezza.

Michel Foucualt:

“The historical sense gives rise to three uses that oppose and correspond to the three platonic modalities of history. The first is parodic, directed against reality, and opposes the theme of history as reminiscence or recognition; the second is dissociative, directing against identity, and opposes history given as continuity or a representative of a tradition; the third is sacrificial directed against truth and opposes history as knowledge. They imply the use of history that serves its connection to memory it’s metaphysical and anthropological model and construct a counter memory – a transformation of history into a totally different form of time.”

Michel Foucault, Language counter memory practice, Cornell university press 1977 page 160



counter- +‎ history


counterhistory (countable and uncountableplural counterhistories)

  1. history that goes against another history.

Homi K. Bhabha

How do we conceive of the ’splitting’ of the national subject? How do we articulate cultural differences within this vacillation of ideology in which the national discourse also participates, sliding ambivalently from one enunciatory position to another?”

Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture, Routledge, 1994 page 211.

Homi K. Bhabha

“In place of polarity of a pre-figurative self-generating nation ‘in-itself’ an extrinsic other nations, the performative introduces at temporality of the ‘in-between’. The boundary that marks the nations selfhood interrupts that self-generating time of national production and disrupts this signification of the people as a homogeneous. The problem is not simply the selfhood of the nation as opposed to the otherness of other nations. We are confronted with the nation split within itself, articulating the heterogeneity of its populations.”

Homi K. Bhabha

“Come concepiamo la” scissione “del soggetto nazionale? Come articoliamo le differenze culturali all’interno di questa vacillazione dell’ideologia a cui partecipa anche il discorso nazionale, scivolando ambivalentemente da una posizione enunciatoria a un’altra? ”

Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture, Routledge, 1994 pagina 211.

Homi K. Bhabha

“Al posto della polarità di una nazione auto-generante pre-figurativa” in sé “e di altre nazioni estrinseche, il performativo introduce alla temporalità dell ‘” in-Between “. Il confine che segna l’egoismo delle nazioni interrompe quel tempo autogenerativo della produzione nazionale e interrompe questo significato del popolo come omogeneo. Il problema non è semplicemente l’egoismo della nazione in contrapposizione all’alterità delle altre nazioni. Siamo di fronte alla nazione divisa in se stessa, che articola l’eterogeneità delle sue popolazioni “.

Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture, Routledge, 1994 page 212.


1. a / Passeggiata: i partecipanti si uniranno a una passeggiata nello storico territorio montano attorno al Villaggio Borca di Cadore nelle Dolomiti accompagnati da un esperto locale.
1. b / Sondaggio: uno degli obiettivi della camminata è rilevare la presenza o l’assenza di cose che possono o non possono essere identificate. Per il resto del tempo si consiglia di camminare e godersi la natura circostante.
1/2 giornata

2. la Identity Room (ID): il workshop si svolgerà nella ID Room. I partecipanti saranno invitati a identificare prima se stessi, i loro pensieri e idee sul progetto corrente e, ove applicabile, identificare le cose che hanno osservato intorno a loro. In questo contesto tutti sono invitati a condividere, materiali di lavoro e di studio (testi, ricerche iconografiche e varie)
Stiamo lavorando perchè la sala abbia a disposizione apparecchiature audio e video, scanner e fotocopiatrice/stampante.
due 1/2 giornate


verbSave Word

To save this word, you’ll need to log in. Log In\ ˈsplit  \splitsplitting

Definition of split

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb1ato divide lengthwise usually along a grain or seam or by layersbto affect as if by cleaving or forcing apartthe river splits the town in two2a(1)to tear or rend apart BURST(2)to subject (an atom or atomic nucleus) to artificial disintegration by fissionbto affect as if by breaking up or tearing apart SHATTERa roar that split the air3to divide into parts or portions: such asato divide between persons SHAREbto divide into factions, parties, or groupscto mark (a ballot) or cast or register (a vote) so as to vote for candidates of different partiesd(1)to divide or break down (a chemical compound) into constituentssplit a fat into glycerol and fatty acids(2)to remove by such separationsplit off carbon dioxideeto divide (stock) by issuing a larger number of shares to existing shareholders usually without increase in total par value4to separate (the parts of a whole) by interposing somethingsplit an infinitive5LEAVEsplit the partysplit town

intransitive verb1ato become split lengthwise or into layersbto break apart BURST2ato become divided up or separated offsplit into factionssplit from the groupbto sever relations or connections SEPARATEcLEAVEespeciallyto leave without delaysplit for the coast3British to betray confidence act as an informer —usually used with on4to apportion sharessplit hairsto make oversubtle or trivial distinctionssplit one’s sidesto laugh heartilysplit the differenceto arrive at a compromise


Definition of split (Entry 2 of 4)1DIVIDEDFRACTURED2prepared for use by splittingsplit bamboosplit hides3HETEROZYGOUS —used especially by breeders of cage birds sometimes with for


Definition of split (Entry 3 of 4)1a: a narrow break made by or as if by splittingb: an arrangement of bowling pins left standing with space for pins between them2: a piece split off or made thin by splitting3a: a division into or between divergent or antagonistic elements or forcesa cultural splitb: a faction formed in this way4a: the act or process of splitting something (such as the stock of a corporation)b: the act of lowering oneself to the floor or leaping into the air with legs extended at right angles to the trunk5: a product of division by or as if by splitting6: a wine bottle holding one quarter the usual amount or about .1875 liters (6 to 6.5 ounces)alsothe quantity held by a split7: an ice cream sundae served over slices of fruit (such as banana)8: the recorded time at or for a specific part of a race
Mirriam Webster.

3. Come risultato del workshop proveremo a stampare un piccolo documento/almanacco di raccolta dei contributi e delle riflessioni emerse nelle giornate di lavoro
1/2 giornata

 Emissions and transmissions in real time and space. 
1. a / Walk: Participants will join in a walk around the historic mountain territory around the Village Borca di Cadore in the Dolomites accompanied by a local expert.
1. b / Survey: One objective  of the walk is to detect the presence or absence of things that can or cannot be identified.  For the rest of the time it is advised to walk and enjoy the surrounding nature.
2. the Identity Room (ID): The workshop will take place in the ID Room.  Participants will be invited to first identify themselves, their thoughts and ideas on the current project, and where applicable identify things they have observed around them. In this context, everyone is invited to share work and study materials (texts, iconographic and various research) We are working to provide the room with  audio and video equipment, a scanner and a photocopier / printer.two 1/2 days
3.  Results from the workshop will be assembled together in the hope of printing a small document / almanac collected from the contributions and reflections that have emerged during the workshop.1/2 day


Commissioned and produced by the Italian Ministry of Culture, (Ministero di Beni Culturali Area FOTOGRAFIA / IC-CD / MiBACT Rome). Contributing Theory and History-R-lab Peter Lang. With invited curators Francesca Lazzarini, Chiara Capodici.  Artists  Photographers: Lucamaleonte, Riccardo Cecchetti, Moira Ricci, Claudio Gobbi, Fabrizio Bellomo, Onorato&Krebs, Alessandro Imbriaco, Stefano Graziani. Project Director: Dr. Francesca Fbiani, Project Curator: Alessandro Coco.  The list of workshop participants may change. Marta Tonelli is substituting Stefano Graziani. Additional support: Roberta Cristallo, Martina Alessandrini, Alessandro Vitali.Per comprendere le dimensioni e l’importanza del villaggio è sufficiente far parlare i numeri che lo contraddistinguono: in un comprensorio di circa 150 ettari sono perfettamente inserite nell’ambiente naturale 263 villette unifamiliariuna chiesa, un albergo con oltre 140 posti letto, un residenceuna colonia per 600 bambiniun campeggio per 200 ragazzi e luoghi di ritrovo, quali spaccio di generi alimentari e bar. A servizio di queste strutture sono inoltre realizzati oltre 20 km di strade asfaltate, una conduttura idrica di 15 km (perché l’acqua non risultava disponibile in loco) e vengono riportati pezzi di prato, da varie parti del Cadore, per creare un bosco, laddove fino a poco prima, vi era semplicemente una distesa di pietre.


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