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Barakka una casa con niente

BÄRAKKÄ a house with nothing




Community project for the Matera Basilicata Foundation 2019 created with LaFrangia



Borgo Taccone, in the heart of Basilicata and of the agrarian reform of the 1950s, was the place chosen by the Peasant Constituent Assembly to unite, in 1977, the young people who asked to make use of public lands and to develop an agriculture more sensitive to the territory and close to the needs of the community and to nature.


Borgo Taccone today is a semi-abandoned agricultural village where only four families have decided to stay. A few kilometers away, those same houses emptied by the Italian emigrants of the past, today without electricity, water or toilets, are repopulated by foreign labourers.


Abandoned voids. Experienced emptiness.


In this context, the community project financed by the Matera Basilicata 2019 Foundation was born. A project that led to the reliving of abandoned places, weaving a network of memories and relationships with the community remaining within the Borgo and with those workers, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, live seasonally in other abandoned agricultural dwellings nearby.


Vectors of conjunction: the individual and collective memory of the inhabitants of the village and of Ibrahim, a former laborer from Burkina Faso employed in the seasonal tomato harvest; the correspondence from the State Archives of Matera.


In many regions of southern Italy, but increasingly also in the north, thousands of foreign workers coming mainly from sub-Saharan Africa create temporary villages every year near the areas where the demand for labor is greatest.


Huts, tents, earth and stone dwellings, cardboard, plastic. These are the shelters of the laborers employed in the seasonal harvests.


There are and there are no employment contracts, but the wages are always the same: 25 euros a day. Home? You do it with what you find.


A home out of nothing.


BÄRAKKÄ is the home of the working poor, that is, of those who today, increasingly numerous, experience a condition of poverty despite working. A precarious, cardboard house, that of on-call contracts, of unpaid contributions, of undercosts that impose competition between different workers and monoculture.


The house that doesn't exist, despite the fact that in Italy there are 18 billion cubic meters built against an aggregate requirement equal to a third of that built.

BÄRAKKÄ physical denunciation of the policies in progress that redistribute wealth and opportunities upwards by shifting social and environmental costs downwards and an appeal for a new and necessary solidarity between workers of different nationalities.


The first BÄRAKKÄ was built in Borgo Taccone, a semi-abandoned agricultural village built in the 1950s in Basilicata. Thanks to Ibrahim - a worker from Burkina Faso who for years went to the north of Basilicata to harvest industrial tomatoes while living in abandoned houses of the agrarian reform - we interviewed a small "seasonal" community of Burkinabe laborers who live in the area of Montemilone.


From these meetings was born the Instruction Manual that you can download to build your own house with nothing. The procedure you find described inside, therefore, is part of a real practice of survival and adaptation to the "voids" of the territory.


The construction, carried out with recycled materials found in the various installation locations, is therefore accompanied by the distribution of the instruction manual, an illustrated leaflet like those of the mass-produced furniture giant IKEA.


To download the instruction manual go to

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