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Festival del Silenzio (Festival of Silence)

02 May 2019 - 05 May 2019
Milan, Italy Briosco, Italy Milan, Italy

Festival del Silenzio offers international shows, workshops and conferences, with a focus on language and communication access, in particular to sign languages. Its Artistic Director is Rita Mazza, Italian native signer and other staff members are deaf and signer as well. The aim is to provide a high quality program within international contemporary performative fields, and an occasion for different audiences to meet and know more about different languages.

At the Festival of Silence you are invited to attend to different performative forms of art and you’ll be able to understand and appreciate them without any help of spoken or signed language, just open your mind and your gaze to a new experience. You will learn about the work of artists of different origins and cultures, including native signers, people who use the Sign Language as their mother tongue, and thus discover the culture Sign Language, like any other Language, brings within itself.

You will discover how the collaboration between artists with different skills and qualities is possible and has to be exploited because it is a source of surprising results and wonder for the observer. In the program you will find theatre, dance, visual art, music, declined between performances, workshops, exhibitions, shows and others. Each proposal is designed for every type of public, of any language or origin.

Legal recognition of LIS – Italian Sign Language as a proper language is one of the main goals of Festival del Silenzio. In Europe, Italy is the only Country still missing a legal national recognition of its own Sign Language, despite the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of 2006, ratified by the Italian Government with law 18/2009, expressly protects the specific linguistic-cultural identity of deaf people, indicating to States to recognize these languages by promoting their acquisition and use.

The legal recognition of LIS as a linguistic minority would guarantee the right to every deaf / signing person to choose how to communicate and integrate: an effective and unlimited access to information and culture, communication, education, services, social life and work, a fair political and legal representation.

In a nutshell: full citizenship rights, in accordance with the provisions of Article 6 of the Italian Constitution which states "The Republic protects linguistic minorities with specific rules"

This year, in a stronger way, we want to be promoter of an equal and real access and we want to send a signal to the cultural industry: it is necessary to work for ensuring that every show, every art form is accessible to everyone. At the festival you will, therefore, meet different proposals conceived, or if necessary modified for this occasion, in order to be understandable and appreciated without necessarily knowing one language or another, spoken or signed.

Thanks to the collaboration with IETM International Network, Regione Lombardia, Comune di Milano, Ministero dei Beni e delle attività Culturali, Fondazione Cariplo, Pio Istituto dei Sordi and Bar Senza nome, the Festival hosts the Milan Satellite Meeting 2019 “Language and communication barriers in art and culture” which is a further signal of our effort.

We invite you to open your mind and your gaze to a new experience and to welcome the marvelous diversity and uniqueness that everyone can donate to the others.

And do not forget to have fun! Because only in lightness we can appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

Festival del Silenzio is supported by Regione Lombardia - Direzione Generale Autonomia e Cultura, Pio Istituto dei Sordi, Fondazione Cariplo, Mibac - ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali, Bar Senza nome, C.L.A.P.Spettacolodalvivo.

It is organized in cooperation with: Comune di Milano - Fabbrica del Vapore and Assessorato alla Cultura, IETM International network for contemporary performing arts, AGIS – Associazione generale italiana dello spettacolo, Careof, Viafarini, ENS Milano (Ente Nazionale Sordi), Fondazione Milano Scuole Civiche, Paragon (UK), BookCatering, Lisabilità, DiDstudio, Anios - Italian Association of sign language interpreters, Cinedeaf - International Deaf Film Festival, Touring Club Italiano, Vapore1928, Mostrami factory, the ArtLand, Umane alterAzioni, Aperisegno, Studio Azzurro, ForoStudio, ZonaK, Associazione Fedora, Crossing the sea, Ramaya productions, Aperisegno, Mare culturale urbano, Pixel picnic, Non riservato.

Mediapartners: blog Invisibili - Corriere della sera, Radio Popolare,, stratagemmi Prospettive Teatrali, il Manifesto, Telelombardia (Milanow).

Practical info

Pricerange per day

Under 10 euro


Partner hotel , Youth hostel , AirBnb


Fast snack , Snack bar , Resto , Veggie/vegan , Gluten-lactose free

Main target group

16 - 25 y/o , 25 - 50 y/o

Directions & transport

Train/tram/bus , Airport (max 20km) , Shuttle service


City center

Average attendence per day

2000 to 10.000 attendees

Art disciplines

Contemporary Dance , Interdisciplinary , Theater

Support for disabled people