Lastation is dead

18th NOVEMBER 2020, 11 am

Dear friends,

As announced on social media, the experience of Lastation ends here.

We took some times to think about what emerged from the meeting held Thursday, October 29 with Engineer Botti (CEO of FSE – Ferrovie del Sud-Est, South-East Train Company); Mrs. Capone former Cultural Apulia Region Counciler; the representative of the Apulia Region Property; Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Gagliano del Capo (Lecce, Italy).

The position of FSE was clear: no possibility for Lastation to stay where it is. Our consideration and evaluation collided with FSE’s will to regain possession of the first floor of the property. Asking the reason for this choice, which brings with it so many contradictions, unfortunately would not help us to resolve the situation. Apologies have come from FSE for the way in which this decision has been reached, but the situation does not change: Lastation ceases to exist at the exact moment this email reaches you. It will happen at a particular moment, in which we are not allowed even a celebration, a farewell party. And this hurts even more.

We surrender. We do it after fighting so much, too much. In these five and a half years we have done our best not only to regenerate a space that had been abandoned for 30 years, but also to reactivate a territory, a community, to demonstrate that art and culture can be done and produced even in the peripheral territories, in the extreme areas (internal or remote). And not just in summer. We did it without asking for anything in return and often even struggling against many adversities, but we no longer want to stay at home with those who don’t want us and think that a dressing room is more strategic and necessary than a cultural space; in the home of those not able to recognize that what we have done in these five years is far greater than what they have done in decades: the FSE trains still travel at 50km per hour, the Lastation train was light years ahead.

We acknowledge that the words culture, art, regeneration do not appear in the agendas of the Railways Company or even in those of many politicians: parliamentary questions were not enough, letters from the Ministry, the nearly 1600 signatures in support of the campaign, articles in the newspapers, appeals, support. There is none so deaf as those that will not hear. The world of cultural production today already has to face many problems and we cannot afford to waste time on this corporate myopia (or speculation). And not even behind the indifference of a large part of the politics: it is clear who, in this campaign has supported a different way of seeing things and producing cultural politics and who has not spent even a word.

AND NOW? WHAT’S NEXT?

On Wednesday, November 18 at 11:00 AM, six years after the signing of the concession agreement, we return the space.

FSE agreed to provide a delivery schedule for the old dormitory to the Apulia Region Property in order to assure the safety measures and a partial refurbishment of the building. After that, the Property Office should carry out the procedure of public evidence for the concession of the same building, whether to the Municipality or other subjects this has to be verified. We tried our best to make sure that the dormitory would return to the community. Whether, how and when this will happen is no longer depending on us.

What about us? A project has come to an end: Lastation has been our first home, our lab, our gateway to the Extreme Lands. Spaces are important but dead if soulless: Lastation ceases to exist, but Ramdom keeps living and will live in new shapes and ways.

Now it’s time to move on.

The way this whole situation has happened doesn’t allow us to say what will happen next and where our next home will be. However, we are working hard on this and fully committed. We will keep doing that until we will find the best solution.

Thank you ALL for your support over the last five years.