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A Visionary Place
in Bologna

Bologna will host the first edition of the international film festival “Urban Vision. Beyond the Ideal City” (UV) which will include a competition for short films, with sections dedicated to specific themes and several traveling cinema events, enhanced with exhibitions, public talks and art-based performances. In addition, there will be special sessions for the screening of award-winning films dealing with the complexity of the urban condition. 

 

The aim of the UV film festival is to develop a field of research activities to facilitate a dialogue between urban theory, social complexity and film studies, and to raise awareness of some contemporary urban issues, emphasizing the relationship between individuals and the urban spaces they inhabit. In this context, a film becomes a tool to open new perspectives, to explore new theoretical paradigms and research methods, to establish an effective understanding around urban humanities, especially in the urban settings in which the festival will take place. 

Activities

The first edition of the international film festival “Urban Vision. Beyond the Ideal City” (UV) in Bologna will analyse the living conditions of migrants, refugees and displaced communities, in Italy and elsewhere. The Bologna festival will offer an opportunity to activate, through placemaking activities such as workshops, talks and small events – to take place before, as preparatory phase, and during the festival – specific places in the Porto-Saragozza neighbourhood, in the southern area near the well-known Arco del Meloncello. 

 

The festival will include an A-Place section which will address the living conditions of migrants, refugees and displaced communities. This activity will be developed in collaboration with the UNHCR - The UN Refugee Agency, office in Rome. 

 

Italy is currently hosting around 150,000 refugees, which means two per thousand of the whole population. Over 24,000 people made the journey across the Mediterranean in 2018, many died in the attempt to reach a safe place, escaping from war, violence, poverty and authoritarian political regimes. Over the past years, Italy was the most exposed European country, given its Southern location, to a real humanitarian emergency from the MENA region. In 2017, only 40% of asylum requests were granted, and this percentage was much lower in 2019. Yet, the public opinion has been largely and negatively influenced due to the financial support that the Italian government has given to migrants and refugees, in the mid of an economic recession and the increasing poverty in the middle class. In this context, the rejection and fear of “the other” is becoming a rising sentiment that is leading to divisions and conflicts. 

Objectives

The planned activities around the UV film festival will contribute to achieve the following objectives of A-Place:  

 

  • To create cross-disciplinary learning spaces, engaging an inter-generational audience and different social groups, with a particular focus on youth, with the aim to connect them with migrants and refuges living in Bologna. The metropolitan area of Bologna currently hosts 1,585 asylum seekers. In April-September 2019, the main city reception centre welcomed 2,616 migrants, of which 2,371 were male and 245 female. Bologna is one of the most progressive Italian cities in terms of civil rights and policies to guarantee safe and caring hospitality for people in need. This activity will contribute to foster understanding of the living conditions of migrants and refugees. 

  • To develop and apply creative placemaking practices, through workshops, art-based interventions and temporary transformation of space, both indoors and outdoors, in order to establish new places for peaceful coexistence of residents, migrants and refugees. The activities will contribute to foster solidarity, cooperation and trust among people from diverse cultural origins and to approach notions of identity and belonging from a multidisciplinary perspective. 

Links

http://www.cityspacearchitecture.org/urbanvisions

Contact

If you would like to have more information about these placemaking activities, please contact: 

 

Luisa Bravo 

luisa.bravo@cityspacearchitecture.org 

Giulia Gualtieri 

giulia.gualtieri@cityspacearchitecture.org

Participants

The activities will involve stakeholders in two scales :  

 

  • neighbourhood, involving cultural venues and open public spaces where the activities of the festival will take place. Local stakeholders will be residents, local communities and shop owners, artists and art collectives, private and public institutions, civil society organizations and grassroots movements. 

  • regional and national, including governments and local administrations, private museums and foundations, cultural associations (such as associate partners Ecomuseo Casilino and SMALL), which will help to spread awareness and maximize the impact of planned placemaking activities. 

 

During the preparatory activities the film festival will engage: 

 

  • students and educators, from high schools and universities, in Italy and abroad, through dedicated calls for expression of interest. 

  • artists, architects and designers, in Italy, Europe and worldwide. 

  • policy makers and local administrations in Italy, to discuss current laws and regulations regarding migrants and asylum seekers and to share best practices of hospitality and social integration.