To Remember, To Listen

A durational performance by Marisa Garreffa


The first part of this project has concluded!

On Sunday 23 May at 22.00 (CET) Marisa Gareffa completed her 49 hours in  our Sala Lungarno, sewing together the stories of Florence into a flowing paper sculpture.  But the project will continue as we follow up with other actions to build our Living Library, an archive of these extraordinary times.  So it’s not too late to contribute your stories,  if you wish.  And please do help us to reach our fundraising target in support of Angeli della Città. 


If you missed Marisa’s extraordinary durational performance, you can take a look on Facebook or YouTube!


To Remember, To Listen is a community project, designed to help the recovery of Florence from the traumas of the pandemic. So we are raising funds from the performance for Angeli della Città, a brilliant local charity, supporting Florence’s most vulnerable people.


The British Institute will not keep any of the funds raised by this project.


We still can’t touch, but our stories can. 

Internationally acclaimed performance artist Marisa Garreffa will inhabit the Sala Lungarno in Palazzo Lanfredini for a week, sewing together the stories of Florence shared with us by YOU. The written stories will be stitched together, one page at a time, slowly creating a paper river in the room beside the Arno.  Gradually a patchwork sculpture of identities, stories, and memory emerges, a representation of the emotional landscape of Florence. The soundtrack will be your voices, telling your stories, as Marisa listens whilst she works.

© Mohamed Safkat Khan 


It will be a deeply meditative psychomagic ritual to reweave the fabric of our community, to bring our voices and lives back together during a time when crisis has held us apart. 

The performance will be live streamed over seven days, for seven hours each day.


We needs your stories!

Please send us your stories now – your experiences, thoughts, highs and lows, emotions, incidents and dreams over the past year in Florence. There are no rules or limits, just whatever you want to share.

Written or spoken in any language, all contributions are welcome.

Perhaps you are also tired of speaking of Covid. In this case, we invite you to share any story that you would like to tell, any story that brings you joy or meaning. Every kind of story is welcome.

After the performance, your stories will form the basis of a new Living Library at the British Institute, an always evolving collection of living stories from the community who inhabit, enliven, and activate the life of Florence today.

 © Sarah Hickson


How to Submit your story

Choose between online submission, and in person at the Library! 

If you’d like to submit online, please use the email address  or our social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

You can send audio, videos and texts, via WhatsApp, to the number:  +393792560904

Visit the Library at Palazzo Lanfredini and bring us your texts, or you can tell us your story and we will record your voice for you in COVID safe conditions. 

You could even send in stories by snail mail to The British Institute, Palazzo Lanfredini, Lungarno Guicciardini 9, 50125 Firenze.  Please write To Remember, To Listen on the back of the envelope.

Texts can be handwritten, typed, emailed, or photographs or copies of an original document . You can send the originals or photograph/scan your writing for submission. You may submit both audio and written texts. There is a limit of two audio and two written texts per person.  

By submitting a story, you will be giving permission for your text to be used in the performance and then to be held in our Living Library, which will remain accessible to anyone who visits the British Institute library.

Please send us your stories now!

To Remember, To Listen is a community project, designed to help the recovery of Florence from the traumas of the pandemic.  So we have decided to raise funds from the performance for Angeli della Città (a brilliant local charity, supporting Florence’s most vulnerable people).

The British Institute will not keep any of the funds raised by this project. 

 donate online here


Marisa Garreffa in partnership with The British Institute for SOTTO al British, May 17-23, 2021