The first 30 years of a successful idea

The Biennale of Young Artists of the Mediterranean


From Arci Kids to the Bjcem

Dialogue and creativity for the future of the Mediterranean

Rome, June 12-13

BJCEM Board of Directors meeting, Rome, June 11-12


The Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean (BJCEM) is an event that occupies a special place in the minds and hearts of Arci association. Many years have passed since the idea has been designed and developed, facing doubts and difficulties, becoming than an overwhelming success, until the establishment of the Association BJCEM in 2001.

The promotion of young artists, their spaces, their associations, it has always been an on-going challenge in Arci activities, as well as their “use” as cultural mediators, making them actors and protagonists of dialogue and exchange in the Euro-Mediterranean context.

For these reasons in recent years Arci has continued to invest in the Biennale, with projects and actions aimed at increase the network activities through its local and international relations, promoting the dialogue that represents the most valuable element for social transformation.

The national program of Public Art “Ville Ouverte” is one of the evolutions of Arci activity. It connects creativity and the role of artists in the contemporary. La Ville Ouverte focuses on different aspects of the relationship between art and public space in the cities of the Mediterranean, wondering about the nature of space and the role that art can play in the activation of forms of appropriation of the urban dimension by the citizens.

It has been many years since the early eighties, when a group of young associations leaders, coming from many parts of Italy promoting the project ARCI Kids, decided to invest in the idea of youth creativity as a real resource and not as a pure form of entertainment that would led to the adulthood, but considering it instead as a way that would allow them to express themselves and their vision of reality. A tool that would create professional alternatives for a generation that was not able to fit in the traditional job offer.

Since the end of 1984, when “Tendencias”, the prologue of the Biennale opened the season of the young artists, the Arci has always encouraged opportunities for young artists from the Mediterranean. Among the many initiatives “Mediterranean Routes “(1990) a side event of the Marseille’s Biennale, which brought young people from all over the Mediterranean to Tipasa in Algeria, a city eager for dialogue and cooperation; as well as the experience of the “Six workshops in Sarajevo” (1998) when young people from all around the world were called to organize a major cultural event for the first time, three years after the end of the war in Bosnia and the siege of the city. There have been many changes in this part of the world and the Biennale has always been able to face them without being defeated, and it has today became an independent, international network where organizations can meet and people can learn to recognize the Mediterranean region as a place of peace building that constantly works to create dialogue between the people who live around this area.

The Biennale has created a creative path which has been developed through three decades in the editions of Barcelona 1985, Thessaloniki 1986, Barcelona 1987, Bologna 1988, Marseille 1990, Valencia 1992, Lisbon 1994, Turin 1997, Rome 1999, Sarajevo 2001 , Athens 2003, Naples 2005, Puglia 2008, Skopje 2009, Thessaloniki-Rome 2011, Ancona 2013, and in recent exhibitions like “Disorder” during WEYA- World Event Young Artists in Nottingham (UK) in 2012 and “La Sovversione del Sensibile” in Milan in 2014.

On the occasion of the 30 years since the first edition of Barcelona, the BJCEM and Arci, in collaboration with Culture Action Europe and Con.Me – Contemporary Mediterranean, with the participation of ARCS (Arci Culture and Development), promoted two days of meetings to update the relationship between art, young creativity and dialogue between cultures, in the light of the social and cultural dynamics which are developing in the countries of the Mediterranean basin.


Thursday, June 11

Centro Culturale Arci Malafronte – Arci Direzione Nazionale

Sala Ilaria Alpi – Via dei Monti di Pietralata 16 – Roma

|| 14:00 – 19:00

BJCEM Board of Directors meeting

|| 19:00 – 20:00

Presentation of the picture book by Giulio Di Meo “The desert Around” – The forgotten exile of the Saharawi people



Friday, June 12

Centro Culturale Arci Malafronte – Arci Direzione Nazionale

Sala Ilaria Alpi – Via dei Monti di Pietralata 16 – Roma

|| 9:30 – 13:00

BJCEM Board of Directors meeting

|| 14:30 – 17:30

30 years of BJCEM

(By invitation) – Invited: Giovanna Tanzarella – Fondation René Seydoux, Gerarda Ventura – President Con.Me, Luca Bergamo – Secretary General of CAE – Culture Action Europe, Mauro Felicori – City of Bologna.

|| 18:00 – 19:30 aperitif, meeting, images

Deconstructing reality

Meeting with the project coordinators of The Ville Ouverte, and Mapas. With Marco Trulli (,) and Giuditta Nelli (


Saturday, June 13

MAAM – Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove Metropoliz

Via Prenestina 913 – – Roma

|| 10:30 – 13:30

Geographies of Change

From Arci Kids to the Bjcem: 30 years of young creativity between Europe and the Mediterranean. Associations and cultural movements, through social movements and urban transformation

MaaM-Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove Metropoliz, Con.Me.-Contemporaneo Mediterraneo, Culture Action Europe, Babelmed, ARCS-Arci Cultura e Sviluppo, LEFT magazine.

Greetings: Francesca Chiavacci -President of Arci National, Dora Bei – President BJCEM

Introduction: Carlo Testini (ARCI) and Giorgio De Finis (Maam)

Speakers invited: Luca Bergamo – Culture Action Europe, Stefano Cristante – University of Salento, Aadel Essadani – Racines (Morocco), Alaa Talbi – Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (Tunisia), Rita Canarezza – Little Constellation, Marco Trulli – La Ville Ouverte,

Participants: Andrea Bruciati (artistic director of Mediterranea 17), Flavio Mongelli (Arci Milan), Alessandro Stillo (Cascina Triulza), Antonio Princigalli (Puglia Sound), Luigi Ratclif (Gai), Giuditta Nelli (Arci Liguria), Federico Amico (Arci), France Irrmann (Espace Culture-France), Abdo Nawar (Lebanon), Giovanna Tanzarella (Fondation Rene Saydoux), Gerarda Ventura (Con.Me.), Emiliano Paoletti (City of Rome) Gianni Pini (I-Jazz), Vincenzo Striano, Bruno Casini, Giampaolo Silvestri, members of the Bjcem and of the Con.Me. network and many more.

13.30 Buffet Lunch

Info: BJCEM: Ville Ouverte: Mediterranea 17

The Arci associations members of the Bjcem and involved in the selection process of young artists for the Biennale and in other projects that promote youth creativity are: ARCI Bari, ARCI Emilia Romagna, ARCI Lazio, ARCI Liguria, ARCI Milano, Arci Puglia, ARCI National, ARCI Pescara, ARCI Sardegna, Arci Sicilia, ARCI Torino.