Robida is an association and a magazine based in Topolò/Topolove, a small village of 22 inhabitants on the border between Italy and Slovenia. The magazine was born in 2014 while the association in 2017, from the need to develop other projects in Topolò, beside the magazine itself.
Robida magazine is a yearly publication dedicated to topics connected to Topolò and then thrown into the world. Robida wraps herself in an interlacement of languages as it grows in the place of mixing cultures, meetings and exchanging of ideas. Till today Robida reflected on: abandonment, city, silence, domesticity, Topolò, play and forest.
As an association, one of the first shared interests happened to be the landscape surrounding the village – a landscape we never really deeply explored before. While walking through it, we noticed that instead of being a wild forest it was marked by long dry stone walls that define once cultivated terraces. The forest covering them today is a young forest which grew after the massive abandonment of these areas. After this discovery – that added a whole new dimension to our understanding of Topolò – we started to take care of these walls, cutting the robida (=brambles in slovene) which was growing on the terraces and asking ourselves how to live (on) them again.
Inhabiting Topolò together, at first only during the summers, later throughout the whole year, revealed to us many things about the place and about ourselves. During winters we discovered the (wo)man-made shape of landscape among bare trees and, furthermore, we encountered isolation and the importance of a shared everyday life among our small group. Since 2019 – but probably already from before without having defined it – we invite artists to share their everyday life with us, to let them see and reflect upon this particular place, to inhabit with us the empty village and its landscape, to imagine new routines and practices.
Robida therefore bases its existence on the reflections and actions of inhabiting this very small place and of caring for it, through daily routines, workshops, reflections about its complex identity and history, theoretical explorations through the magazine, residencies, radio programs, explorative walks, etc.
Topolò Topolove is the seat of our association and our soul.
Topolò Topolove is a village in Benečija which today counts 22 inhabitants.
Topolò Topolove is our heart-quarter.
Topolò Topolove is our place of freedom and embodied history.
Topolò Topolove is the place where we feel the power of togetherness.
Topolò Topolove is our playground.
Topolò Topolove is the place of our collective imagination.
Topolò Topolove is the place where we experiment, with respect and humbleness.
Topolò Topolove is our utopia.
Robida is a curatorial group for long term projects connected to landscape and the place of Topolò.
Robida is commitment, dedication, concreteness, care and responsibility.
Robida is a way of learning from scratch to take care of one’s dreams.
Robida is a group of people with a great sense of community.
Robida is a platform for creating a place of belonging.
Robida is a space where to dig deeper into things.
Robida is a place for observation and reflection.
Robida is a project to connect people.
Robida is a place to experiment.
Robida is a laboratory.
Robida is relationships.
Robida is a cure.