03.10.2018 | Italian Institute of Culture, Bruxelles

Inventory. The Fountains of Za’atari
a project by Margherita Moscardini
exhibition curated by Marcello Smarrelli

12 July – 24 November 2018
Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, Rome


Inventory. The Fountains of Za’atari is the project of artist Margherita Moscardini. It is the fruit of work developed inside Camp Za’atari in Jordan, which is the second largest refugee camp in the world; the project is supported by the Fondazione Pastificio Cerere in Rome that hosts the exhibition curated by Marcello Smarrelli, Artistic Director of the Foundation.
The central nucleus of the exhibition are the book and the sculpture destined for the collection of the Madre · museo d’arte contemporanea Donnaregina in Naples

The project is the winner of the first edition of the Italian Council 2017 prize, a competition conceived by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries (DGAAP) of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, to promote contemporary Italian art in the world.

Inventory. The Fountains of Za’atari will be presented with conferences and talks by the artist Margherita Moscardini at national and international institutions according to the attached programme.

3 October 2018: Margherita Moscardini’s lecture at Italian Institute of Culture, Bruxelles

12 October 2018: Margherita Moscardini in conversation with arch. Moira Valeri at Italian Institute of Culture, Istanbul

Autumn 2018: Margherita Moscardini’s lecture at Politecnico di Milano

13 November 2018: Margherita Moscardini’s lecture at Columbia University, New York GSAPP (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning Preservation)


Camp Za’atari was opened in 2012 in Jordan to welcome Syrians escaping from the civil war. In 2015 the population there reached 150,000 people, becoming the fourth greatest city in Jordan. Currently there are 80,000 Syrian residents.

“Za’atari is a privileged observatory into which enormous resources have been invested and advanced technologies for services and energy systems have been trialed. Up to this point, Za’atari has given us the opportunity to be part of the rapid process of city formation: within five years the desert has been turned first into a tent city and then into a city with its own economic system” (Margherita Moscardini).

Since September 2017 Margherita Moscardini has worked in the field observing it through the double paradigm set by the conditions of the refugees that, on one side call into question the concept of Europe, the United Nations and the nation state, and on the other side make us consider the camps as urban realities. Can these cities be thought of not simply in terms of the result of a humanitarian emergency, but in the long term, as virtuous systems to which the best minds have devoted their skills so that they become juridical, economic and social models to be exported, perhaps even able to replace the concept of nation state?

Inventory. The Fountains of Za’atari has also been created with the support of the Italian Embassy in Amman, Jordan; The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Darat al Funun, Amman; AICS Amman; and the UNHCR, in collaboration with the collective directed by Abu Tammam Al Khedeiwi Al Nabilsi and Marta Bellingreri.