Dolomites UNESCO LabFest: the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation Festival

LabFest tells the stories of the Dolomites World Heritage Site and listens to the many voices of those living in the mountains. It is an itinerant, themed, multidisciplinary, experimental and above all engaging festival. LabFest creates opportunities for encounters, dialogue, awareness and collaboration between the people of the Dolomites. It stimulates creativity and participation, involving locals and tourists. It uses innovative languages and tools and promotes interaction between different worlds and disciplines. The challenge for LabFest is to achieve synthesis within complexity, promoting the shared aspects of being a part of the World Heritage Site.

Dolomites UNESCO LabFest

The zero edition of LabFest was held in 2014 and was centred around La Val in Alta Badia (Bolzano), with the theme #HAYING, while in 2015 it was based in Auronzo nel Cadore (Belluno) with the theme of #CROSSINGBORDERS.


La Val – Alta Badia (Bolzano) 5-6-7 September 2014

The topic of the zero edition was hay harvest. It is a practical topic, linked to soil, that allowed us to discuss other topics, among which landscape conservation, tourism, agriculture and pasture, modernity of tradition, migration and return to one’s origins. This topic is both ancient and modern, it is ideal to overcome the stereotyped picture-postcard image of mountains, and to explain what mountains are really like. The LabFest wanted to illustrate the hay harvest with full-colour images, through social media, to young people and with young people, speaking about economy and literature, and listening to true stories. Taking care of meadows is still fundamental for the conservation of the Dolomites landscape. The issue of hay harvest involved experts and curious people coming from the world of geography, architecture, urban and landscape studies, anthropology, natural sciences, economy and tourism. And much more: environmental journalism, documentary making, administration of local areas, music and literature, theatre, food and photography.


Auronzo di Cadore (Belluno) 28-29-30 August 2015

The Dolomites have always been marked by borders but now, one hundred years after the Great War that turned neighbouring farmers into enemies, they are as one, recognised as one single World Heritage Site. The history of the Dolomites has been scarred by conflict but this land is also a meeting place, the scene of partnerships, trading, a cross-over point, the ideal setting for measuring up to one’s own limits, conditioned by the landscape and its natural barriers. LabFest 2015 explored the theme of borders and its many different aspects. Activities were led by theatre, dance, photography, music, as well as walking, discussing and playing… all at the foot of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, which, previously a front during the war, are today one of the symbols of the Dolomites around the world.