Wild nature is also present in the heart of the city, in many forms and places.

This news is not a scoop for heads-down walkers… but perhaps it can become one for those who walk with their eyes glued to the windows, or to their cell phone … most of Us? (most of Them?).

Who looks around can discover unexpected GREEN WORLDS right under his feet!

green characters, a playwriting in the urban spaces project, by Sonia Arienta, Milan, fringe theatre

A thousand billion years ago … – that is, in the summer of 2018 – I was walking near via Pestalozzi in Milan (southern area of the city, next to the Naviglio Grande, near the church of S. Cristoforo) …

In the industrial archaeology area where the factories are converted into lofts and showrooms, an URBAN FOREST made up of various species of green beings that common language defines WEEDS, with a certain contempt,  came to meet me.

Weeds, urban dramaturgy, a project by Sonia Arienta, Milan

In the sea of asphalt and in the heat surrounding me, I perceived them as a comforting presence of cheerful disorder, and rebellion carried out by Nature.

Their joyously “intrusive” physicality aroused my curiosity, to the point of inducing me to better observe the more or less explosive signs of the spontaneous “abusive” vegetation. In particular, I began to get an idea of their location and their growth and colonization strategies. I thus discovered a world that I presume is very well known for botanists and those who take care of public green, but which seems like a mysterious parallel universe to an ordinary citizen…

GREEN CHARACTERS just SHOW UP from the most unexpected places, for example, FROM THE GRILLS under our feet, or from the MANHOLES:

urban weeds, picture by Sonia Arienta, for Green Characters projectPrisoners weeds, is a part of Green Characters project, by Sonia Arienta, playwriting in urban space, Milan

…as well as between the tram rails in the routes of the interrupted lines and among the cobbles …

Their colonization of the soil gives rise to designs that would be the envy of a landscape architect. Immediately after the rains, their population density is such to restore a dead rabbit’s appetite.

These green creatures do the best to create SPONTANEOUS ITALIAN GARDENS

Green Characters, playwriting in the urban space, a project by Sonia Arienta, MilanGreen Characters, playwriting in the urban space, a project by Sonia Arienta, Milan

in other cases, Green Lines follow the cracks between the sidewalk and the facades of the buildings, or between the edges of the sidewalk and the asphalt … among which a FIG can also appear just a few steps from Sant’Ambrogio square!

Green Characters, playwriting in the urban space, a project by Sonia Arienta, Milan

The Architecture of the “Uncultivated Gardens” is populated by a large crowd of beautiful people, the GREEN CHARACTERS protagonists of urban micro-dramaturgy, of an open-air VEGETABLE THEATER, in constant evolution, temporary, frail and at the same time resilient. It contains their habits, their stories, to be known and to which to devote attention.

In what ways do these CHARACTERS present themselves? How do they survive? Do they survive?

How do HERBS and PLANTS make room in the fight for the last drop of sap, in the midst of cement, asphalt, pavé, bricks, metal (iron and zinc in particular), cracks, interstices, holes in the city? (Milan in this case). All this offers the material for Playwriting in the Urban Space project that we will present little by little …


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