The Research


The website Matriarchive of the Mediterranean. Graphics and Matters is the result of “The Archive of Female Performance in the Mediterranean Area. Digital Attempts”, the research carried out in 2013-2014 by the unit coordinated by Professor Silvana Carotenuto and constituted by Beatrice Ferrara, Celeste Ianniciello, Annalisa Piccirillo, at the Department of Human and Social Science, University of Naples “L’Orientale”. Ruled by the Mobility Procedures within the European Program “Networks of Excellence”, the project was financed by P.O.R. Campania, Asse IV, Human Capital.

The platform has been realised in collaboration with the society of software planning and design, Intuizioni Creative, with the creative and technical support of Alessandro Ventura. In its final stage, the project has been enriched by the participation of the researchers Manuela Esposito and Roberta Colavecchio.


The research unit primarily focused on 1) a period of theoretical-philosophical investigation into the question of the archive according to diverse contemporary, culturalist and postcolonial perspectives (M. Foucault: 1969; E. Said: 1978; J. Derrida: 1995; A. Mbembe: 2002; A. Appadurai: 2003). The research has then articulated and developed according its gender-based approach, the ‘Matri-archive’ (F. Mernissi: 2004; N. El Saadawi, 2008; L. Curti: 2008; A. Bellagamba: 2011; AA D. Finocchi: 2013), and its geographical specification, the area of the ‘Mediterranean’ (E. Jabés: 1996; P. Matvejevic: 2006; M. Bennis: 2009; I. Chambers: 2009-2014). This research phase subsequently produced 2) the technical-operational formulation of a digital archive dedicated to the preservation and communication of performance aesthetics and languages – visual arts, plastic arts, photography, graphics, dance, music, land-art, bio-art – created by female artists operating in the Mediterranean area and beyond.


The M.A.M. project and digital platform were presented for the first time in 2015 at the Rector’s Office of ‘L’Orientale’ in the presence of Rector Prof. Elda Morlicchio; and the participation of Andrea Viliani (Dir. Madre Museum; Naples); Honorary Prof. Lidia Curti, expert in women’s and migrant writing, Mrs. Giuliana Cacciapuoti, Arabist and member of the ‘connecting knowledge’ group; Prof. Maria de Vivo, Lecturer of Contemporary Art history (Unior), and Alessandro Ventura, M.A.M. software designer. The artists invited Filomena Rusciano, Oni Wong, Dacia Manto, Alessandra Cianelli and Palù De Andrade dialogued with the M.A.M. researchers, the public and students on the topic of ‘The Female Archive and Performance Art’.


Programme of the Launch



The Cultural Association


Today, the research group’s activities are continued by independent researchers Manuela Esposito, Celeste Ianniciello, and Annalisa Piccirillo, through the constitution of the cultural association M.A.M. Il Matri-Archivio del Mediterraneo, of which Prof. Carotenuto is Honorary Member.

One of the main objectives of the Association is to produce and participate in cultural activities (conventions, conferences, debates, seminars, film and document screenings, exhibitions, festivals, theatrical performances and shows, artistic residencies); training activities (theoretical-practical training courses for educators, teachers, social workers, advanced training courses, organisation of study and research groups); publishing activities (publication of conference proceedings, seminars, as well as studies and research carried out in paper and digital format, with the website dedicated to the M. A. M. project as the preferred medium).



Public Engagement

Between 2017 and 2020, the Research Unit participated in Public Engagement activities (UNIOR) and received funding to implement the dissemination of the project through printed and digital publications:

2017: The catalogue M.A.M. Matri-archivio del Mediterraneo edited by S. Carotenuto, C. Ianniciello, A.Piccirillo (Unior Press).

2022: The collective volume Cosmopoetics edited by the M.A.M. Research Group with the collaboration of Morgane Halilem and Nabila Tavolieri (Unior Press).

In the course of the research development, the impact and evolution of the M.A.M. project were shared by the researchers involved in prestigious academic conferences dedicated to the archiving practices, the visual-performing arts, and female creativity, both in Italy and abroad, during which it was noted, with great pleasure, that the public (academic, scholarly, artistic and generic) showed a very strong interest in M.A.M. A considerable number of essays and articles have also been dedicated to the project and the artists who animate it (see resources).

Over the years, our aim has been to create occasions of intercultural debate and exchange, beyond the boundaries of the academic institution; through the public presentation of the project and through the interaction with the Matri-archive web platform, we keep aiming to arouse the direct participation of local citizens and migrant identities on issues of critical urgency around the Mediterranean culture, its social political processes and the artistic configurations it produces.



The project, The Matri-Archive of the Mediterranean participated in several editions of Futuro Remoto: a popular event on scientific and technological dissemination in Europe.


18 October 2015 – The research group enthusiastically participated in the 29th edition held in Piazza del Plebiscito (Naples) within the thematic area: “Innovation, the journey, the future” and held a seminar and workshop with the participation of some M.A.M. artists.



25 November 2023 – At the Città della Scienza in Naples, within the framework of the 37th edition of Futuro Remoto dedicated to Intelligences, the M.A.M. group proposed a workshop entitled “Cosmic Intelligences – between art and feminist philosophies”, during which the aesthetic practices of M.A.M. artists, working with artificial intelligence, sustainability and cosmopoetics were shown to visitors of the fair.




The Research Group has participated in numerous conferences and symposiums in Italy and abroad devoted to archival practices, women’s arts, Mediterranean cultures and geopolitical dynamics.


– Conference. “Archives of the future: Italy, the postcolonial and the time to come”, University of Padua, 18-21 February, 2015.

– Seminar. “Working the Archives”, Academy of Fine Arts, Naples, 24 April, 2015.

– Conference. “Memory and Theatre: Performing the Archive”, International Federation Theatre Research, Tangier, Morocco, 1-5 May, 2015.

– Summer School. The 9th Post-Graduate Course “Feminisms in a transnational perspective”, IUC, Dubrovnik, Croatia 24-28 May, 2015.

– International Conference JMCE, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. “A Mediterranean perspective on migrants’ flows in EU: protection of rights, intercultural encounters and integration policies”, Palazzo Du Mesnil, UniOr, Naples, 13 May 2015.

– Presentation of the project “M.A.M. Il Matri-archivio del Mediterraneo”, at the conference of ‘Toponomastica femminile’, as part of the Stati Generali delle Donne, Complesso Santa Maria La Nova, Naples, 11 November 2016.

– Study Days. “Memoires du Corps et Visualité, se Mouvoir dans un Monde Globalise”, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France, 28 April 2017.

– Conference. “Dance Studies Association Conference” on “Contra: Dance & Conflict”, University of Malta, Malta, 5-8 July 2018.

– Presentation of the project at the 5th ACGS Conference on Global Critical Pedagogies on “Rethinking Pedagogies”, Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies, University of Amsterdam, 18 October, 2018.

– Presentation of the project at the 11th International Conference “Frontiers and Border Regions”, Monastir (Tunisia), Tunisian Mediterranean Association for Historical, Social and Economic Studies, 28-29-30 November, 2018.

–  Conference. “Women in/on the Italian Theatre from the Early Professional Women to our Present”, Dept. of Italianistics, Jagiellonian University of Cracow, Poland, 16-17 November, 2018.

– Presentation of the project at the 8th Aiscli Conference on “Postcolonial/Decolonial: Unpacking the Prefix”, University of Bari, Bari, 21-22 February, 2019.

– Inter-university seminar, “EPP – Political Ecologies of the Present”, M.A.M. panel: “Feminist Eco-archives and New Extractivisms”, Ex Asilo Filangiri, Naples, 8-9 May, 2019.

– M.A.M. project presentation, “Women, Memories and Contemporary Narrations”, Women of the Mediterranean 4th International Conference, Sant’Anna Institute, Sorrento, 21-22 June, 2019.

– Conference Quartieri di Vita on “Existences. Drammaturgie arabe tra diaspora e rivoluzione”, Palazzo Du Mesnil, Naples, 14 January 2020.

– Workshop/seminar “EPP – Ecologie Politiche del Presente”, M.A.M panel: “Cosmopoetic figurations: female ecologies and practices of hospitality”, Ex. Asilo Filangieri, Naples, 21 February 2020.

– Presentation of the projct at the scintific evnt “A night with the Researchers – Meet Me Tonight, faccia a faccia con la ricerca”, M.A.M. panel intrvention: “Arts and Nature: female creativity and sustainability”, Online, 25 November 2020.

– Seminar for the artists of the Gran Tour En Italie/Naples residency, on the theme “Veiled| Unveiled journey through the city of Naples’, in collaboration with Associazione Grand Tour En Italie, SuperOtium, online, 25 April 2020.

– Presentation of the project during the Masterclass on “Sea of Absence? Globalisation, the Mediterranean and Beyond”, at the Global Dis:connect summer school, Käte Hamburger Research Centre, LMU, Munich, 23-27 July 2023.

– Presentation of the M.A.M project, in the framework of the cultural event ArtDays, at Casa Morra, Naples, 25 October 2023.




Arts Day Campania 2023


Malta Biennale 2024


The Woman Made Project

FB – M.A.M. presentation on TalkwithDance (Stefania Di Paolo)