Rumori dal Giambellino

A participatory artistic investigation into Milan's Giambellino neighbourhood and its stories. December 2017

Rumori dal Giambellino ("Sounds from Giambellino") is a sound creation that narrates a Milan neighbourhood through the voices of its inhabitants, from the 1970s to today. An audio installation to be enjoyed through analogue and digital devices.


Giambellino, currently part of Municipality 6, is a symbol-neighbourhood, a place that from the economic boom to today has anticipated the changes in the rest of the city.

Its complexity, which gives rise to both strong contrasts and great solidarity initiatives, is an excellent vantage point to trigger reflections on the evolution of the urban fabric. A neighbourhood that has always been heterogeneous, 'difficult', vital, crossed by a strong sense of community, which has been lost and gradually found again.

Frequenting the neighbourhood, we came into contact with the many realities, associations or informal groups, which operate in the area and which allowed us to meet people of very different ages and experiences. We collected their stories starting with a question: "what was it like (or what is it like) to live in Giambellino in your twenties?" People told very freely about personal experiences, anecdotes, environments, social and political reflections.

The inhabitants' testimonies were mixed, thanks to the valuable work of sound designer Isotta Trastevere, with sounds, music and noises with the intention of rendering even the atmospheres unspeakable with words. They were transformed into four sound tracks, each covering a different decade, from the 1970s to the present day.

These four tracks have become a sound installation, an exhibition within which each one can be enjoyed from a different and dedicated device, in line with the historical period it covers: a record player with vinyl for the 1970s, a cassette player for the 1980s, a CD for the 1990s and a QR code for the 2000s and 2010s. To listen to them, the audience establishes a different connection with the physical object each time.


The voices of the Giambellino residents involved describe little by little an urban context that, while meeting the narrative of the most significant transformations of one decade after another, at the same time tries to go beyond the stories that have made Giambellino famous to the rest of the world. Sure, there were the Red Brigades in the 1970s, heroin in the 1980s, mopeds and rap in the 1990s, and now there are the young people of Instagram, but above all there are Roberto, Beppe, Maria, Luca, Jacopo, and many others. What we have tried to render is a soundscape that accompanies the portrait that emerged from their memories, experiences and personal feelings.

The installation was made in December 2017 at the Mercato Comunale di Lorenteggio, a place of aggregation and meeting where the Dynamoscopio association, very active in the area, is based.

Noises from Giambellino is part of the broader context of Open IT, a project aimed at creating artistic actions involving the inhabitants of Milan's municipalities, promoted by Associazione IT-Independent Theatre and financed by the Municipality of Milan.