The House of Cliza @ Cosmo Trastevere
“The city abounds with venomous creatures the worst of which are the signori – the Italian men – especially those in low life, who play together at ball for 5 mins, the next 5 mins they quarrel and the next they kill” Ann Flaxman (1760-1820), 16 June 1788.
Ann Flaxman’s words are representative of how the residents of Trastevere were appraised by foreign visitors of the time of the Grand Tour. This rione has a long history of being the other - even its name, from the Latin trans Tiberim, refers to a beyond, the outside of the perimeter, and from as early as the Roman Republic, Trastevere has been a home to temporary visitors, settled migrants, and all sorts of outsiders.
Much like the Trasteverini were vilified by some visitors during the heyday of the Grand Tour, so is the wild boar population in Rome portrayed now by Roman residents – as savage. Some gaze upon the wild boar roaming the streets of Rome with wonder, others view them with resentment. Wild boar represent otherness and become the receptacle onto which we project the wild and unsavoury aspects of ourselves. They challenge the order and the veneer, and they are vilified – much like a queer being. And now a transmogrified wild boar will set up an itinerant court in the subterranean bowels of Cosmo Trastevere.
Cliza and their retinue will for one night only open their Queer court to entertain the punters of Trastevere.
Who is in? Who is out? Who is other - in this place we cannot call home.