Teatro Mediterraneo Occupato (TMO)

Name of the Project

Teatro Mediterraneo Occupato (TMO)

Country, City, Neighbourhood

Italy, Palermo, Ex-Fiera del Mediterraneo

Who is developing the project?


Brief description

TMO is an experience of participatory and shared management begined in 2013 from the occupation of Pavillon 1 of “Fiera del Mediterraneo” (fair structure closed since 2007). It was started by a group of cultural operators, youth students and citizens engaged in social topics. Educators, consultant, professional, artisans, associations joined the group by managing collectively TMO’s activities.

The place is now a popular open space in Palermo where different groups carry their activities. Movie screenings, art exhibitions, debates and public assemblies are held occasionally, by the collective or other groups.
The governance is horizontal and is discussed during weekly public meetings.

Objectives of the Project

The TMO promotes practices of direct democracy, professional self-formation and cooperative production of cultural, artistic and theatre performance projects.

Tools and Methods

  • cooperative and solidal training activities
  • cooperative and solidal theatre and artistic production
  • bioregeneration of the TMO space and energy recovery (search for zero impact solution)
  • multi-functional and multi-dimensional use of the TMO space
  • self-build techniques in line with participative principle of space use.
  • drama workshop and actors lab
  • library activities (including book presentation)
  • cinema
  • music events
  • didactic and research

What methodologies does the project use?

  • participatory processes
  • digital tools
  • cultural heritage
  • collective mappings (open cartographies)
  • social innovation tools
  • design thinking

General context

TMO is an urban space that promote a collective action towards the city itself. It is the result of citizens voluntary work and of all the person that since its first occupation on 16th December 2013 have dedicated time and their own art to grow the space. The group that manage the space is open and not-identitary. They identify themself in the ambitious process of collective management and self-organization of a cultural and social space recognized as permanent centre of production, training and research. Pavillon 1 occupation since 2013 enlight the needs for cultural participative spaces in Palermo that give value to abandoned or not used public area. It complement other italian experience as Teatro Valle Occupato and Cinema Palazzo in Rome or ex Asilo Filangieri in Napoli.

Selected tags about the project

#direct democracy
#professional self-formation
#cooperative production
#art for all

How does it develop in time?

2013 – on going


citizens, artist, youth students of Palermo and worldwide.


  • Pavillion 1 of Mediterranean Fair recovery and made functional for artistic activities
  • one space for public and self-managed library
  • more than 20 theatre production and co-production
  • several artistic residence and collaboration
  • More than 15 Theatre laboratory
  • several library activities and book presentation with authors
  • several film series and musical events
  • several didactic and research activities
  • several festival collaboration

How is it evaluated?

no specific information

Pictures, illustrations