‘Avant-garde citizens’ is the term Hannah Arendt used to define the exiled, who experience before others a condition that will become general. Exiled individuals discuss the role of national identity and its politics of representation in the definition of belonging. Lodovica Guarnieri’s thesis relates the top-down production and museification of culture to the lack of political representation in European society today. It takes as an emblem the condition of exile in which Italian citizenship currently finds itself, and focuses on Venice, which is experiencing an ever-growing detachment of culture from the territory. Questioning concepts like tradition and citizenship, the project formulates the possibility to re-appropriate our political presence through the re-interpretation of existing cultural elements. Locality becomes a means to actively ‘exile’ ourselves from the centralised identity, and represents a parallel institution. The designer’s role is that of a director of bottom-up cultural actions.