Kumeta is a video installation by Genny Petrotta and the first act of the project “MËMA MË FAL (Mamma Perdonami)”. The video artist from Piana degli Albanesi tells the story of the Repubblica Contadina (the peasant republic) that was founded in her home town towards the end of the Second World War under the leadership of her grand uncle Giacomo Petrotta – and evokes its violent repression after 50 days.

On a cold and rainy night from 19th to 20th February 1945, a massive mob of about 2,000 men set out to besiege a town ravaged by war and famine. 120 elderly and young people were arrested, including Giacomo Petrotta. He was tortured for 10 days, placed in agony in a supine position on a box measuring 1 metre by 80 – a so-called “torture box”. His hands and feet were dangled and tied to the sides of the box with thin metal ropes. He was splashed with water and salt and whipped repeatedly. 

In an artistic intervention about torture and state repression, Genny Petrotta invited the two sculptors, Francesco Albano and Simone Zanaglia to polish and smooth a rectangle portion of the rock facade of the marble quarry that overlooks the village. The polished surface has the same dimensions as the box where prisoners were kept during torture. The red marbles evoke human flesh, and the smoothing  becomes a gesture of caressing a sore body. The north-facing wall of “Mount Kumeta” where the intervention takes place, is also the scene of a massacre on May 1st, 1947, in Portella delle Ginestre.

The sculptural intervention of smoothing and polishing has been filmed for Kumeta. The presentation of the video installation will be displayed next to the former prison of Piana degli Albanesi.


Genny Petrotta is a visual artist from Piana degli Albanesi who lives and works in Palermo. She began collaborating with Fondazione Studio Rizoma 2021 as director of photography in a performance project of the Lebanese artist Lily Abichahine during the BETWEEN LAND AND SEA Festival in Palermo.

KUMETA and MËMA MË FAL is produced by Fondazione Studio Rizoma and Genìa Lab Art. 

Artist: Genny Petrotta | In collaboration with: Francesco Albano and Simone Zanaglia | Curatorship and dramaturgy: Eva-Maria Bertschy | Sound design: Angelo Sicurella | Camera, script and editing: Genny Petrotta I Poetic translation from Italian to arbreshë: Giuseppe Schirò di Modica | Production: Giorgio Mega

With the support of: