Article from Solidarius, Italy

From 25 to 28 May, a new COOPTERR Project Mobility took place in Rome.

Hosted by Solidarius Italia, it involved over 25 people from Italy, France, Portugal, Romania and Luxembourg.

At the centre was the theme of territorial cooperation and social inclusion declined, from day to day, in different ways: from inclusion as the involvement of people with disabilities and with different fragilities, to inclusion as active participation in the processes of co-programming of public spaces, to inclusion as the relationship between central and marginal areas of a city, which hide historical and cultural heritages to be valorised.

During the first day, the participants were hosted by the Come un Albero Museo-Bistrot and were able to experience the concept of social inclusion in the field of intellectual disability: not only training and discussion on the subject of disability, including a guided tour of the Museo dello Sguardo sulla disabilità, but also a fresh pasta workshop that was the result of a training workshop held in preparation for the reopening of the Bistrot in September.

During the second day instead, which took place at the Casa dei Diritti e delle Differenze, in Rome’s Municipality III, participants discussed the theme of public spaces and the relationship between local institutions, citizens and associations in their participatory management. In the presence of the President of the Municipality III, Paolo Marchionne, and Councillors Bianca Maria Rizzo and Matteo Zocchi, they were presented with the mapping of abandoned and little-used spaces and the strategy implemented by the Municipality for participatory planning. The Tiers Lieux experience in France, presented by UFISC’s partners, was then the focus of an interesting discussion that will continue.

The morning ended with a group work, simulating a co-design process of a public space, through the presentation of a case study: the participants directly grappled with the complexity of the process and the debate that emerged was very rich.

The afternoon was devoted to cultural experiences implemented as tools for mediation and community participation. Two interesting realities were presented: Pandemonium Teatro di Bergamo recounted its experience of reusing public spaces and storytelling to recover the memories of a neighbourhood; while Grande Come una Città recounted the evolution of a movement that since 2018 has managed to involve the inhabitants of Municipio III in many widespread cultural initiatives.

The final day on Saturday was hosted by the Cooperativa Parsec AgricUltura, in the Marcigliana Nature Reserve, and was an opportunity not only to get to know an interesting reality working in the field of solidarity economy and social inclusion, but also to discuss the theme of cultural, historical and natural heritage and the potential of its valorisation also in a framework of co-programming and co-designing that compares with other experiences at a European level.

Finally, in the afternoon, the participants experienced a sound walk through the streets of Rione Monti, in the city centre, guided by the Guide Invisibili, a project of the Association Laboratorio 53 which, following a storytelling workshop with refugee people, was able to transform the stories collected into an exciting cultural product.

The whole journey, accompanied by typical Roman dishes and joyful moments, despite the heat, has certainly left the participants with new shared memories and paths of reflection before the next reunion organized by CRIES (Romania) on September 25, 26 and 27, 2022 in Timisoara, Romania…