unMon Report - Katalin Hausel

Katalin Hausel

Main Project:

I am working on plans for new tourist routes, which includes the newer neighbourhoods of Matera, outside of the Sassi. The “contradictions” of Matera, its controversial relationship with Sassi, the staggered and mutilated development of the city since the unification of Italy is missing from the perception of the visitors, who are both enchanted by the picturesqueness and revolted by the historical slum quality of the Sassi. The stories of the Sassi and its relationship with the rest of Matera need to be retold, recreated, contextualised and become playful, in order for the city to find new, inventive ways to approach the challenge of regeneration and growth.

Local Challenge it addresses:

Lack of a global view on the city. This is an issue that has been repeated throughout the sessions we’ve run, because the Sassi is so beautiful tourism and attention is always paid to this area to the detriment of the rest of the city. An additional challenge previously highlighted that’s relevant to this is the ability only to attract international tourism instead of those from the local region. What would tourism look like if you tours were not centralised around the Sassi?”

How the Project has changed:

The original project proposal was to develop narratives for a new sightseeing route (unGuide) in Matera, which will integrate new, unknown parts of the city into the traditional tourist path (which  focuses solely on the Sassi), based on the collaboration between unMonastery and the city. The project changed in 2 major ways:

1.  impossible to consider the whole of Matera, the prototype route focuses on the Piccianello neighborhood, the mills, the stone quarries and churches behind the old mill, and the gravina.

2. parallel to the industrial history and story of relocations that is the ‘real’ story a paralell story line is developed, the 200 year history of the unMonastery, and the unGuide will include fake excavation sites and framed locations to present this ‘fictional’ story.

Successes and Challenges:


  • Developed plan for first prototype route focusing on the Piccianello, including the fascist housing development as well as the 60’s building boom, the mills, the fascinating story of connecting the Sassi to Piazza Vittoria Veneto, the stone quarries, and the beautiful gravina, truly showcasing the widely different faces of the city, in a manageable walking tour. (This focus has been adopted by the entire unMonastery group).
  • Learnt enormous amount about the complex history of Matera
  • Built a relationship with existing university Industrial Archeology initiative
  • Connected unGuides with the Memory Project of Luca Acito
  • Various collaborations within unMonastery (with Bembo, Maria, Lucia, Kei)


  • TIME - the timeframe to pull everything together whilst I am in Matera is incredibly tight
  • making sure that collaborators (inside and outside of unMonastery) deliver their part

Activities and Outputs:

I became familiar with the city, its history and problems, met numerous future collaborators, connected my project to the university and to the Memory Collection project of Luca Acito, presented the project at one of our Public Review event, and planned the first prototype route. I created a webpage http://katalinhausel.info/Katalin_Hausel/unGuide.html  with  slide show and map to describe the project. I am arriving next week to Matera again, to materialise the plans (here is a visualization of what needs to be done: http://popplet.com/app/#/1763967 )

Relationships: http://www.immateriallabour.com/unmon/report/katalin