“YOU reSTART! – Inclusive artistic and cultural experiences” report

The final event of the YouRe Start project, an ERASMUS+ 2020-1-IT03-KA227-YOU-020598 project, funded by the AGENZIA ITALIANA per la Gioventù, entitled: YouRe Start-Inclusive artistic and cultural experiences between the real and the virtual, was held in Rome on 18 May 2023, at the Sala Ilaria Alpi, Via Monti di Pietralata 16.

The meeting offered participants a reflection on the opportunities offered by the digital world, before and after the pandemic, to cultural and arts practitioners, to foster the active participation of citizens, especially young people and those at high risk of isolation and marginalisation, in experimental workshops, art and creativity courses, and interactive cultural paths.  

During the meeting, Elena Bellantoni (visual artist and lecturer at the Accademia di Belle ARTI in L’Aquila and ABAROMA in Rome), MARINA CIOPPA (performer and playwright) and BENEDETTA MORICOLA, founders of CASA MIRAGLIA, ROBERTO D’AVASCIO and MARIA TERESA PANARIELLO, (President and Director of Circolo Arci MOVIE Ponticelli), talked with the participants, recounting some significant experiences. 

Elena Bellantoni presented her video-work ‘Se ci fosse luce sarebbe bellissimo’ (2023).

The video is the result of an artistic and performative workshop realised after the pandemic with the workers of a textile factory in Forlì. Concluded in the post-pandemic phase, the video is set in the ‘factory’ space and recounts the transformation of the industrial mechanical gesture (the daily actions of the factory workers) into an artistic gesture: in this transformation, the isolated bodies of industrial work are brought together and reconnected in a new relational dimension within the factory.

Marina Cioppa and Benedetta Moricola presented the video ‘Reaviling Partenope’, produced by CASA MIRAGLIA in 2022, financed by the Regione Campania within the Regione Lirica project in collaboration with the TEATRO SAN CARLO in NAPLES.

The project explores, through poetic narration, music and images transfigured by digital technology, the coastline of San Giovanni a Teduccio, the abandoned, forgotten, polluted sea of Naples that is nevertheless an identifying part of the city and its citizens; a sea that is connected through its treasures to the history of Naples as much as works and spaces in the city centre. The video is at the same time an artistic and political document of a peripheral Naples that returns to the centre of attention as a place of community.

Roberto D’Avascio and Maria Teresa Panariello told the story of the ARCI MOVIE club, located in one of the Naples suburbs most at risk of crime and poverty (educational, economic, social, etc.): the Ponticelli district. It is in this neighbourhood that the club has been practising its activities of active citizenship, cultural resistance, and community involvement through cinema and cinematography for about 30 years. Cinema is at the same time a concrete tool of aggregation (the ARCI MOVIE club manages the Sala Pierrot), a method for engaging and involving young people and adults (ARCI MOVIE runs workshops and courses in cinema, photography, screenwriting, etc.), an expressive and narrative tool for marginalised realities, a claim for protagonism and the centrality of culture as a space for inclusion and democracy. Filmmaking’ helped volunteers and operators of ARCI MOVIE in the pandemic phase to evade the isolation of people and encourage the creative and artistic process even in the forced distance.

Lastly, the project partners (ARCS, Cyclisis, Asociación Arrabal-AID, DRPDNM, Association “Professional Forum for Education”) presented the YouRe Start platform,https://yourestart.arcsculturesolidali.org/, which represents the virtual place where the position, significant experiences and methodological and operational materials of associative, cooperative and entrepreneurial realities of the five partner countries are mapped, committed to the inclusion of young and old in participative processes, live and in digital, through art, culture, creativity and the constant strengthening of transversal skills.

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