This one-day online workshop on 7th July 2021 will explore the role that cultural heritage can play in strengthening social inclusion and particularly the inclusion of migrants and refugees.  The workshop will approach the subject from practice and policy perspectives by presenting the results of the case studies and the policy recommendations produced as part of the EU-funded research and innovation Horizon2020 project ‘CultureLabs’.

In the first part of the workshop, participants will be taken on a journey to unpack the social and creative results of four pilot projects that used varied cultural participatory approaches with the aim to reinforce social cohesion and engage migrant and local communities.

The session will present the methods employed, challenges encountered, and outputs achieved by the projects, which were organised in three different European countries: ‘So Distant, Incredibly Close’ organised by Fondazione Sistema Toscana in Pisa, Italy; ‘Zoom In On Heritage’ organised by The Finnish Heritage Agency in Helsinki, Finland; ‘Bridging Culture Through Arts’ organised by the Social Cooperative COOSS Marche in Ancona, Italy; and ‘More in Common’ organised by People’s History Museum in Manchester, UK. 

At the end of the first part, participants will have the opportunity to discuss with the organisers through a question and answer (Q&A) session.

Building on a series of research activities and the hands-on experience gained by the pilot projects, the second part of the workshop will point at existing challenges and propose a set of policy recommendations for the more effective implementation of participatory approaches that involve hitherto under-represented or disadvantaged groups, and particularly migrant communities, through cultural heritage activities. 

The workshop will close with a round table discussion with the participation of EU-level and regional policymakers alongside experts in the field of cultural and integration policies.

Registration is free and open via Eventbrite

Programme (All times are CEST)

  • 10.00 – 10.10: Welcome from the organisers
  • 10.10 -10.20: Introduction to the CultureLabs project – Eirini Kaldeli, National Technical University of Athens
  • 10.20 -10.35: Participatory heritage for better communities: an overview of CultureLabs pilot projects – Abir Tobji, People’s History Museum
  • 10.35 – 10.55: So Distant, Incredibly Close (Pisa, Italy) – Marzia Cerrai, Fondazione Sistema Toscana
  • 10.55 – 11.15: Zoom In On Heritage (Helsinki, Finland) – Suvi Sillanpaa, The Finnish Heritage Agency
  • 11:15 – 11:30 Break
  • 11.30 – 11.50: Bridging Culture Through Arts (Ancona, Italy) – Francesca Cesaroni, the social cooperative COOSS Marche
  • 11.50 – 12.10: More in Common (Manchester, UK) – Abir Tobji, People’s History Museum
  • 12.10 – 13.15: Q&A and discussion – Moderated by Elena Silvestrini, Platoniq
  • 13.15 – 14:30: Lunch break
  • 14.30 – 15.00: Presentation of the CultureLabs policy paper – Wolfgang Bosswick, Senior Researcher, University of Bamberg
  • 15.00 – 16.00: Policy paper round-table discussion – Chaired by Eirini Kaldeli, National Technical University of Athens

comics from so distant. incredibly close

The stories emerged during the CultureLabs pilot project organised in Pisa, “So Distant. Incredibly Close“, were converted in web-comics and finally they found an appropriate web space thanks to the Sistema Musale di Ateneo of Pisa and Fondazione Sistema Toscana, after a two-year long creative and co-participation process.

The pilot involved people of different ages, coming from various countries of the world and resident in Pisa for more or less time. After the visits to the museums, each person produced a story about their past and to the traditions of their country of origin.

The collected storie were then transcribed and turned into comic for the web by the students of the Liceo Artistico Russoli in Pisa and the cartoonist Alice Milani.
The non-profit association “ORISS” and the cultural association “Casa della Donna” collaborated in the project, providing added value and cultural mediation.

This journey produced nine unique comic strips: nine stories that start from a remote time and touch the antipodes of the Earth, even reaching the Moon: from the sacred crocodiles of Gambia to the legends of Brazil, from the cuisine of Nigeria to nocturnal escapes on a frozen river in China, from Persian myths to the sound of Burkina Faso’s tam tam.

So Distant.Incredibly Close enabled all the participants to take a double journey: one to the heritage preserved in the museums and the other to the places, traditions, legends and customs of distant countries.

Each comic is accompanied by the original story from which it is taken. Each comic is also part of a true story.