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Immaterial Commons

What can be defined as the intangible heritage of a community? How do cultural practices influence individuals’ sense of belonging to a collectivity, and how do cultural narratives shape the future of a community? What stories are passed on through generations? By whom, and why?
Starting from these questions, we delve into multiple approaches to the topic of immaterial heritage, touching on rural commons, folk dance and oral traditions, with an eye to speculative science fiction and an attentive ear to local voices.

Day 1: Immaterial commons, rural tradition and non-written transmission

 

Rural Commons Camp

We start our journey with Maddalena Ferretti and Sara Favargiotti – co-curators of the Rural Commons Festival together with Cristina Dalla Torre and Bianca Elzenbaumer  – who will introduce us to collective rural practices and creative co-design approaches promoting bonds of care for landscape, heritage and habitat, and for the living beings that inhabit rural contexts, including local communities.
(ruralcommonsfestival.com)

with Sara Favargiotti and Maddalena Ferretti, co-curators of the Rural Commons Festival together with Cristina Dalla Torre and Bianca Elzenbaumer

 

(Ch)Oral Tradition

We will start the afternoon with an informal chat about the transmission of non-written cultural practices – such as folk dances and songs – with the authors of the book Il Saltarello nel Piceno and Comunanza Canora.

This will be followed by a Saltarello workshop by the Sibylla Moris and one by the Comunanze Canore on folk singing as a collective practice. The evening will continue with the performance of Comunanza Canora in the barn of the camp.

In Piceno tradition, popular music and dance were used to mark moments of celebration, accompanying the most important events of the community and the alternation of the seasons: the time of sowing and harvesting, the reaping, the grape harvest, the olive harvest. They represented an occasion of aggregation and sharing of strong symbolic and identity value. The Saltarello traditional dance had been handed down by imitation for centuries, from generation to generation. Today, unfortunately, the mechanism of handover between generations has glitched. Il Saltarello nel Piceno was born from the desire to preserve the main traits of this unwritten choral tradition, through a bibliographical study of historical sources and thanks to the living testimony of local elders and of scholars and enthusiasts who for years have conducted research on the subject.

Comunanza Canora was born as a meeting of different subjects of the province of Ancona, united by the interest in social and popular songs and determined to preserve and bring back to the streets a small but rich heritage of local songs. Comunanza Canora is more than a choir, or even a musical group: the term comunanza expresses the essence of traditional collective institutions that for thousands of years have regulated common goods in the Apennines of the Marche region.

Day 2: Women’s voices, natural knowledge, new narratives for the future

 

Science fiction, utopia, future possibilities
with Antonia Caruso

Imagining scenarios and perspectives that don’t (yet) exist is the key to speculative science fiction: what role does science fiction thinking play in the construction of the liberated worlds we’d like to see arise and in the destruction of those we’d like to see burn?

Antonia Caruso is a militant transfeminist, columnist and co-founder of the independent project Edizioni Minoritarie. She works on communication, training, publishing and trans politics. She is an author for Jacobin Italy, Dinamopress, The Vision, La Falla, DWF, Frute. He has published short stories with Feltrinelli, in the comics anthology Sporchi e Subito, Golena, Fortepressa. He has also edited Queer Gaze. Bodies, stories and genres of rainbow television (Asterisco Editions, 2020).

 

WORKSHOPS
Ancestral knowledge and future narratives

We will experiment together with a creative exercise in speculative storytelling through oracles and surrealist devices.

Transfeminist Oracle: This workshop will allow us to unleash our creativity and imagine future technologies which operate according to transfeminist values to respond to our needs of a more just society.

 

Walk and wild herbs foraging
with Maria Sonia Baldoni, “The Sybil of Herbs”

We will end the afternoon with wild herbs foraging, under the wise guidance of the Sibyl of Herbs.
Maria Sonia Baldoni is the Founder of the Herb House Network, which has been contributing for thirty years to create and spread a micro economy of wild herbs, reviving the antique profession of the gatherer. Known as the “Sibyl of Herbs”, she is dedicated to passing on the uses and traditions of herbs.

Day 3: Hack the present

 

Transforming the present: the Monte Ceresa Ecomuseum

Starting from the experience of the Ecomuseum of Monte Ceresa, we will reflect on practices of care for the commons through projects anchored to local territory and traditions.
The ecomuseum is the tangible result of the effort of counteracting the condition of abandonment of many villages overlooking Mount Ceresa. The project seeks resources in local traditions of the past, while imagining a future for the local territory.

The Ecomuseum of Monte Ceresa is an intangible museum that enhances and promotes actions for the preservation of the places dominated by Mount Ceresa, a portion of territory of extraordinary scenic beauty, rich in history and traditions. It is coordinated by the committee of the ecomuseum of Monte Ceresa, made up of associations and individual citizens representing the adhering municipalities, Acquasanta Terme, Arquata del Tronto, Ascoli Piceno, Montegallo, Roccafluvione.

 

Workshop: Backcasting the present

We rework the outputs of the previous day’s workshop to re-imagine the narratives and practices that shape our present.