chapter  8
Assessing the potential of the European Capital of Culture to integrate refugees
The case of Matera 2019
WithNicholas Wise
Pages 15

In 2019, Matera, Italy will host the European Capital of Culture (ECoC), showcasing the city and Basilicata region. Much discussion focusses on the Italian culture in this southern region of Italy and the Sassi as the city and region are seeing increased investments in urban regeneration and infrastructure. There is another story running in parallel with the intended successes and promotions of the 2019 ECoC - this being the extensive migration into the Basilicata region. Many voice concerns of future social instability with increased numbers of migrants and refugees arriving in the southern regions of Italy. Groups of migrants and refugees, who sit on the periphery of Italian culture, have a unique opportunity to showcase their culture aligned with the increasingly diverse demographics in this region. The region’s strong cultural identity that has formed through the centuries is now increasingly diversifying, and while the ECoC is about displaying the culture of a place, more and more migrants and refugees are playing a role in cultural event activities contributing to the creative heterogeneity of Matera and Basilicata.