The Audience Development Programme at Fondazione Pistoletto – Cittadellarte explored and reflected on the Understanding Territoriality themes through a number of smaller projects connected to the members of the Geographies of Change network.
Cittadellarte began to develop its audience of social/ environmental/ ecological activists from the Biellese Territory through a mapping project. Two actors from the local Transition Towns network cycled around the region between July-August 2015. During the project they were hosted by people that they met on the journey, which resulted in an article and an exhibition of photographic portraits at Cittadellarte. From June 2016 to February 2017 Roberto Vietti, a member of Italia Che Cambia, created the project Biellese Che Cambia, a digital platform (http://piemonte.checambia.org/) that maps 60 territorial ‘changing realities’ in the Biella region – local associations, companies and individuals that have initiated bottom-up projects to effect change in different fields (agricultural, cultural, environmental, political, entrepreneurial, industrial etc.). The ambition is that this mapping is to encourage the proliferation of similar activities and to promote connections amongst the actors, as well as the potential to make wider regional, national and international connections. Cittadellarte continued to work to develop its audience from amongst the Italia Che Cambia and Transition Towns network by involving them in the residency programmes.
Cittadellarte also explored the subject of environmental and cultural sustainability – which sit at the heart of the concerns of the organisation. One way that this subject was used to engage a wider audience was during the Giornata dell’Arte, an event at Cittadellarte on 8 June 2016 in which 3000 students from the Piedmont district participated. During this event 25 young people took part in a workshop around responsible change in cultural and ecological practices. Geographies of Transformation Network members Italia Che Cambia and Biellese in Transizione also curated 3 workshops on innovative journalism, photography and communications during Giornata dell’Arte 2016. The workshops were developed around the theme of the journey, used in its widest terms so as to encompass the crossing of borders and at the same time, the need for respect of cultural diversity and a territorial sense of belonging.
Working with another Geography of Change network member Let Eat Be, an association and local network for sustainable agricultural production, Cittadellarte delivered a series of 4 workshops concerning themes of Migration and Development, Welcoming Strategies and Invasion, Human Slave Trade and Human and Labour Rights, on the occasion of World Refugee Day. A video was produced of the event and published on YouTube. The emphasis on integration and inclusion has also been picked up by Better Places-Hyrdo a new cultural association based within Cittadellarte, which has been set up with the aim of making the Biellese territory a place based on the values of integration and accessibility of experimental art, music and culture by all social groups, including refugees and other socially marginalised groups. The association produces experimental and underground artworks/projects in collaboration with other European cities.
In collaboration with Biellese in Transition – a member of the Geographies of Change network, Cittadellarte organised Transition in Action Youth Exchange in Hungary, in August 2016 – a practical/experiential campus for 5 young Biellese art students (aged 18-30) and 35 students from 10 other European countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia). Initiated as an experiment in dealing with migration and climate change in a more inclusive and constructive way, the aim of this exchange was to explore the meaning of active citizenship and ‘artivism’ by building a European territory based on ecological principles and creating and improving local communities, by learning from each other and from their immediate environment.