The SOMAi is a collaborative project by the NonPlan Architectural Lab and the Association of Intellectual and Social Activity Kerateas “XrisiTomi”. It is an open, scattered structure that is temporarily hosted in Keratea, Attica. Meant as a pilot venture, it can be implemented in any area of a similar social and urban character.
The project explores the idea of Museums as ‘Commons’ and the potential for the region’s cultural and tourist development in collaboration with the community and the local entities and institutions that seek participatory answers to contemporary design issues of the Greek landscape. The museum’s architectural and environmental infrastructure is derived from the re-inhabitation, reuse and activation of abandoned buildings in the area of Keratea, the incorporation into the everyday life of the community of deserted archaeological sites or locations with a special significance for the local community s. The archaeological site of Ovriokastro, antiquities that lie by the road, ancient masonry or architectural elements built into latter-day houses and garden walls, the ‘Impregnable Castle’ of the roadblock at the 45th km of the Athens-Lavrion road, the Cultural Space of “Xrisi Tomi”, the headquarters of the “Mnesimache” Women’s Cooperative, local houses and two abandoned buildings from the old local railway come together in a network of sites, landscapes and routes that make up the S.O.M.A.
Its permanent collection, based on private collections belonging to people in Keratea, comprises ancient and modern artefacts that tell the region’s and the community’s history, customs, rituals, legends and oral traditions, art, handicraft and economy; its biopolitical and aesthetic relations. The temporary collection comprises works of contemporary art presented in interaction with the objects of the permanent collection through periodic exhibitions. The spectator is invited to experience with all his senses the site / exhibition material: the objects can be touched, material and information can be added. His/her body is welcomed to participate fully at S.O.M.A.
i SOMA is the Greek word for body