Who we are

“Popoli in Arte” was created the 22nd of April 2007 by a small group of people with direct experiences of international cooperation and with the objective of renewing the terms of the traditional international cooperation. Namely, as stated in its statute, the association:

  • “fosters democratic and participative grass root processes within and outside the Italian society
  • Manages, on its own and in collaboration with other subjects, dialogical international cooperation actions that trigger democratic and participative processes at the local and international level
  • Manages, on its own and in collaboration with other subjects, local and national sensibilisation actions in order to facilitate the abovementioned processes”

Reviewing its objectives, following its 10th birthday, the association renewed its formative objective and strengthened its openly positioned engagement on crucial political and social issues of its time. 

Currently, the association has 24 associates. Its main core operates in the province of Imperia. Yet, the associates live in southern Piedmont, Chiavari, and Trento in Italy; in Berlin, San Sebastian and Bruxelles in Europe; in Recife in Brasil outside Europe. 

The members of the current Executive Board are :

  • Anna Maria Zumbo (President)
  • Educator, with professional experience in international cooperation, living in Narzole
  • Sara Catalano (Vice-President)
  • Physicist, with experiences in experimental theatre and in free climbing, living in San Sebastian
  • Luca Guerreschi (secretary)
  • PhD student in philosophy, currently living in Berlin
  • Maria Paola Rottino (Councillor), teacher and educator, with experience in international cooperation, currently living in Sanremo
  • Paola Mazzucchi (Councillor), teacher and educator, with experience in international cooperation, living in Ventimiglia
  • Isabella Valenzano (Treasurer), teacher with experience in sales, living in Sanremo

All the members of the board have theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the principles and practices of the popular education developed by the Brazilian pedagogist Paulo Freire


In this methodology we prefer to replace the word “project” with the word “process”. Bearing in mind that by process we refer to all the relationships that arise with the partners or single subjects we get in touch with. Thus, at the end of an activity, the evaluation is based on the question: “Which and how many contacts have been activated? What is moving here?” and not “Have we reached our objective?”. This, based on a reading of the history as in continuous becoming.

The popular education, born in Latin America, is the thread that tied together the activities developed by the association. We consider that the popular education itself – efficient tool of resistance to military dictatorships in the past – can still give its contribution to the formal education in America as well as representing a possible response to the education difficulties everywhere (in a formal and informal context).

The resources 

“Popoli in Arte” is a small association that gathers funds essentially from donations, from privates and associations. We also gather funds through specific crowdfunding initiatives (jumble sales, antiques markets, and crafts markets). Since September 2014, we rent a stockroom in Sanremo, via Galilei 613 in order to stock the material people donate. In the last few years we have been collaborating with local ethical purchasing groups (Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale -GAS) producing natural soaps and other beauty and bodycare products.

The association is part of the CE.S.P.IM, the provincial office for charity organisations, from which it received several funds for formative activities throughout the years. We have been publicly funded in 2007 and 2008. Sanremo’s Local Council supported the “Festival dei Boschi” in 2015, joined by the Casino di Sanremo in 2016 and 2017. In 2015 we were financed by the otto per mille of the Valdese church in order to improve the conditions of the stockroom (in particular the front door)  

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