La Nostra Prato
ONE PLACE, MANY CULTURES
Prato is a historically productive city always open to the exchange of ideas, goods, people and languages, which has become over time one of Europe’s most multilingual, transcultural and innovative urban environments. The perspectives of students who experience encounters across different cultures and languages on a daily basis can provide a deeper and more complex representation of Prato, yet their diverse voices are rarely present in dominant media representations and in public discourse.
This is why in late September 2019 we organised five days of intensive digital storytelling workshops, where 48 students ranging in age from 16-18, and from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, worked together to re-imagine Prato from their own perspectives and through their own senses and emotions. They created 75 maps, 70 images, 3 interactive artworks and a multi-screen video installation.
They then organised a public pop-up exhibition, reclaiming a space to express themselves and imagine a better future for their city. Through this transformative and impactful public intervention 48 youth creatively reclaimed ownership of Prato’s future.
You can now experience their vision through a digital storytelling journey and a documentary.
Scroll down to step into their Prato.
LA NOSTRA PRATO:
A DIGITAL STORYTELLING JourneY
Step through the multicultural history of Prato across the years. Experience the city through the senses, emotions and hopes of 48 young urban explorers. Explore the urban reality they live in, and learn how they imagine a different and better future for their city.
Documenting a participatory action-research intervention
The workshops were for many students a transformative experience: not only allowing them to discover new parts of their city and form friendships with peers from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, but also to reclaim a creative and productive space for self-representation and to gain confidence in their own voices.
Watch how they set out to re-imagine, re-map and re-claim their city in the documentary short film we shot during the workshop and exhibition.
RESEARCH AND DESIGN TEAM
Rita Wilson is Professor in Translation Studies in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Interim Director of the Monash Intercultural Lab and Co-Director of the Monash-Warwick Migration, Identity and Translation Research Network. Her work contributes to a growing body of interdisciplinary research that focuses on the complexities of cross-cultural contact and the relationship between language, culture and social inclusion. Most recently,she has published on identity and culture in migratory contexts, and on narratives of mobility and place-making.
Francesco Ricatti is Cassamarca Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies at Monash University, Australia; a portfolio leader within the Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre; and a member of the Network of Excellence: Regional Liveable Diversity. His research focuses on creative, interdisciplinary and decolonising approaches to migration history and transcultural studies.
Matteo Dutto is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics. His research explores how cultural producers collaborate with Indigenous, migrant and multi-ethnic communities to produce transmedia and transcultural counter-narratives of belonging and identity.
Human Ecosystems Relazioni
Founder of AOS (Art is Open Source), Salvatore Iaconesi is an interaction designer, robotics engineer, artist and hacker. He currently teaches Interaction Design and cross-media practices at the Faculty of Architecture of the “La Sapienza” University of Rome, at ISIA Design Florence, at the Rome University of Fine Arts and at the IED Design Institute.
Human Ecosystems Relazioni
Oriana Persico is a cyberecologist, the Artistic Director and works with Salvatore on the creation of social imagination strategies and practices that enable participants to explore their renewed existential conditions in today’s technological world. Oriana joined AOS in 2007 and, before, she was at the Italian Senate, working at the Innovation group of the Green Party.
I work as a researcher, educator and professional consultant across interaction and service design, design management and innovation management – with a particular interest in critical and strategic thinking. I have conducted research and teaching activities at various universities (Harvard, MIT, Aalborg University, Polytechnic University of Milan, Malmö University and University of the Arts London).
Pieter Overgoor is a digital designer with a master in Service Design. He currently works as a freelance designer, mainly focusing on crafting digital interactions and user interfaces. In his work, he aims to design for moments and experiences that people will remember.
Sven Ebens is a young designer from the Netherlands with a lot of interest in technology and innovation. He is a creator and a tweaker and specializes in both educational as technology-driven design. Currently he works as a freelancer with his own design company.
Youth in the City: One Place, Many Cultures is Youth in the City‘s pilot project. It was run by Monash University, Aalborg University and Human Ecosystems Relazioni in collaboration with eight public high-schools in Prato, and the teachers responsible for the Intercultural program of the local high-school network. The project was funded by the National Geographic Society (NGS-56467E-19), the Scanlon Foundation and Prato’s City Council.