School of Social and Political Science

SPS academic’s art research project forms part of Pesaro: Italian Capital of Culture 2024



Image of the Sun Baths billboard at Villa Marina


School of Social and Political Science (SPS) academic Professor Nicola Perugini is involved in an art research project in Italy about the decolonisation of difficult architectural heritage. This work is part of the town of Pesaro’s year as Italian Capital of Culture 2024. 

The project, titled The Skin Underneath: Decolonising Villa Marina, was created by Professor Perugini, a political anthropologist in the Politics and International Relations subject area at SPS, and Tommaso Fiscaletti, a photographer and visual artist based in South Africa. It explores the relationship between Italian fascist youth colonies and overseas colonialism. 

The first phase of the project, launched in April 2024, is a research-art installation called Sun Baths at Pesaro’s Villa Marina complex, a former summer colony that has fallen into disrepair. It consists of a 230-square-metre billboard on one of the facades of Villa Marina, combining pictures from local and personal archives with images from the global history of colonisation and anticolonialism.  

The project’s second phase, launched in June 2024, is a series of seven urban posters titled 7 Interferences. These posters, placed at different locations throughout Pesaro, relate the deterioration of the Villa Marina colony to the undoing of the idea of colonialism.    

The project will also include a decolonial forum on 12 July, when the question of the decolonisation of fascist cultural heritage will be discussed, with the aim of producing decolonial artistic practices in the future and transforming the 2024 Italian Capital of Culture into a permanent contribution for years to come. 

The installations will be open to the public until December 2024 and the Municipality of Pesaro is expecting tens of thousands of visitors. 

Find out more about Phase 1 - Sun Baths.

Find out more about Phase 2 - 7 Interferences.

Find out more about the whole project -The Skin Underneath.