Narrations and communities: building communities for making citizenship
The workshop “Narrations and communities: building communities for making citizenship” will address the issue of narrations as practices for building communities’ identities. This workshop is the contribution of the INSITE Project, a EU Coordination Action, whose goal is fostering the dialogue between researchers and practitioners on “How to build a sustainable society, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible” [www.insiteproject.org]. A Manifesto of Social Sustainability has been issued as an outcome of this CA . The WP7--“Generalized ICTs”, directed by Denise Pumain (University of Paris, France) focuses on the primary functionality of information and communication technologies, conceived as that of augmenting human learning, both individually and collectively: to this respect, also cities and museums, at macro and meso level, respectively, have this role.
Which specific infrastructures enable interactions that enhance the exchange of information, as well as the acquisition and creation of new knowledge? We are not referring here only to the places formally in charge of this purpose, such as schools, universities, research or cultural centers, theaters and museums. We mean public spaces ‑ designed or activated by users ‑ to enhance interactions amongst people, such as squares, urban gardens, meeting places, Fab Labs, hybrid venues, just to name a few of them.
What is the role of narrations in the design and activation of such spaces and within the interactions of their users? Who is creating these narratives and for whom? Which are the infrastructures, practices and languages able to convey information, and at the same time to support the dialogue and the interaction within and across communities?
These are the core research themes of INSITE, aimed at contributing to the issue of “building an inclusive Europe” that encompasses all EU’s multiple identities, and therefore different narratives, also by means of a smart and reflexive use of ICT, on which the European Commission has been investing in the last decades.
The European Commission is currently looking for actions and instruments capable to encourage citizen participation, with respect to ever-changing communities in which we are living, and it is more necessary than ever to include those who come to be part of the European Community from a certain point onwards. With a focus on narrative practices relevant in building communities, being themselves social practices and not mere self-narrations, in the workshop we intend to focus on how the many narrative practices ‑ deep-rooted in the history and processes of humankind ‑ are changed and how they are used nowadays.
On 12th April, the INSITE workshop will focus on ICTs for museums: tools aimed at creating virtual exhibitions of museums’ collections, and at enhancing and managing online digital storytelling that can appraise museums’ intangible heritage. The collections show off for an opening which widens the horizon of their use, and not just in a temporary way. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with the Homm-sw, an ICT application developed by the Modena and Reggio Emilia University, within the Officina Emilia lab-museum, and to construct their own projects story net. The workshop is part also of the Modena municipality sponsored event: “Museums to be tasted, the flavor of the (re)discovery”. Special event is the symbolic delivery to the town of “A lathe at school”, an on line story valuing local network of competences. Ceremony at 11 am.
After having explored the contribution of museums, on Monday 14th April, the workshop will open up to contributions on the role of narrations in social innovation and local development processes. Then it will proceed on Tuesday 15th with contribution from: theater, visual arts, urban games, bottom-up community practices and tools for citizens engagement, such as e-deliberation.
What links the issues addressed by generalized ICTs, such as museums and cities, or projects such as La Notte del lavoro narrato, Il Palio del Grano, Il Villaggio dell’Arte, Come to Venice to the European Commission issues on social inclusion and participation? The common thread is that they all make use of practices (i.e. performing arts, visual arts, games, …), techniques and tools relying on relationships and information and communication technologies, so as to create spaces of interaction to create shared knowledge and meanings.
full program attached