The Future for Europe: Reform and Liberty

We invite our students of all departments and degrees to participate in an open call to create a new work on the subject of LIBERTY. The selected project will be presented in several places in Italy as part of an exhibition that brings a discussion of European values ​​to the artistic medium and in which almost ten different European countries will take part.

What does freedom mean in today's Europe? How has its meaning changed?

EUNIC Rome and the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome invite art students to reflect on this topic and to confront the ideas of juvenile prisoners from the Casal del Marmo prison in Rome. In May, during a creative writing workshop led by writer, director and former prisoner Salvatore Striano, they wrote several texts, from which the following text by juvenile H. M. was selected for Slovakia.

Think about the text and reflect on it with a project of the work:

"I, M., write my story: it's not just a simple story: it's my life that I came to in this prison, but I'm happy because I've changed. The truth is, it wasn't me who committed the crime. I was accused of stealing a wallet that I never held in my hands. One girl accused me of it, but without knowing it, it changed my life: I no longer smoke cigarettes, I no longer take drugs or a marijuana. I'm a clean and nice boy now, hahahah.
But the most beautiful thing is that my mom sees that I have changed my life. My new life is freedom. I have to start a family and find a job."

The call is open to all AFAD students who can participate by sending a proposal for their project (short description or visual proposal) by July 10, 2022 to the e-mail address

Conditions and restrictions for the final work:

  • Art medium or technique – of your choice
  • Maximum dimensions of the work: h 1.5 x w 1.5 m, not fragile, easy to assemble and transport (deinstallation, transport and re-installation is provided by the Slovak Cultural Institute with its own vehicle).
  • The works will be subsequently exhibited in Italy in at least three other places, including a former prison in prison cells. It is a historic building (see photo), which limits the possibility of anchoring to the structures.
  • The draft work must be sent by July 10, 2022. The selected project must be completed by October 15, 2022. The organizer is responsible for transporting the work to Rome.

One work will be selected from the submitted works in a two-round selection process with the participation of the Slovak and Italian commissions, including members of the Dispositivi comunicanti curatorial group, EX students of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma. The selected work will be subsequently presented at exhibitions for the Slovak Republic.

The student whose work will be selected:

  • will take part in an exhibition at the former San Michele Juvenile Prison in Rome, which will open from November 12 to December 10, 2022.
  • will be invited to Rome for the opening of the exhibition (trip, diets and accommodation covered by the organizer)
  • receives a reward of 300 euros


For Open call:

  • By July 10: submission of work proposals to the address
  • July 21: announcement of results

For the winning work:

  • By October 15: deadline for completion and submission of the work
  • October 16 - November 7: collection of works and their transport to Rome (provided by the organizer)
  • November 8 - 10: installation in Rome (provided by the organizer)
  • November 11: Press Conference (morning) and Exhibition Opening (afternoon)
  • October 12 - December 10: Public exhibition in San Michelle.

Subsequently, the works will travel to other exhibition spaces in Italy, the artworks will be returned to authors no later than December 2023.

More about the Future for Europe: Reform and Liberty project:
The project was set up both to enhance the ex-Bourbon prison on the island of Santo Stefano in Ventotene, which is dedicated to David Sassoli, and to initiate an artistic-social dialogue for juvenile detainees in the context of European values, focusing in particular on freedom and inclusion. It should be mentioned that in Ventotene in 1941, together with Ernesto Rossi and Eugenio Colorni, Spinelli wrote the 'Manifesto for a Free and United Europe', considered one of the founding texts of the European Union.  

The project involves major Italian institutions, including the Extraordinary Commissioner for the recovery of the Bourbon Prison on the island of Santo Stefano-Ventotene, the Ministry of Justice, the EUNIC Rome cluster (EU National Institutes for Culture), the European University Institute (EUI)-Historical Archive of the European Union and the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome.

The idea stems from the extraordinary project to enhance the ex-Bourbon prison on the island of Santo Stefano in Ventotene, in which major Italian institutions are involved. EUNIC Rome is going to participate in the project to contribute to the importance of EU history and human rights. The idea is to address the future of Europe in the light of the concept of freedom through research and art with the social, in collaboration with the European Institute (EU Historical Archives).

The whole revitalization project has several phases and several accompanying initiatives. The Roman cluster EUNIC accepted an invitation to collaborate on one of them in 2022. Its purpose is to present works of art by students of fine arts of EU member states. These works are intended to respond to texts created during a workshop with juveniles during their sentence at the Juvenile Institution in Rome.

Main organizers:

European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) Rome, European University Institute (EUI) - Historical Archives of the European Union, Extraordinary Commissioner of the Government for the restoration and enhancement of the former Bourbon prison on the island of Santo Stefano in Ventotene (CSV), Academy of Fine Arts of Rome, European Commission - Representation in Italy, Dante Alighieri Society.

Interior of the former Bourbon Prison building on Santo Stefano Island.
Interior of the former Bourbon Prison building on Santo Stefano Island.
Interior of the former Bourbon Prison building on Santo Stefano Island.