SPRAY: Space Regeneration through Art by Youth
Timespan: 01/04/2019 – 31/12/2019
Donor: European Comission (Erasmus+ KA1 – Learning Mobility of Individuals, Youth Mobility)
Applicant: Municipality of Bassano del Grappa
Partners: ALDA (FR); House of National Minorities (CZ); Pargauja Municipality (LV); Local Democracy Agency Mostar (BiH); Association for Developing Voluntary Work Novo mesto (SI); Kitev (DE); Clube Intercultural Europeu (PT); Coalition of youth organizations SEGA (MK); Center for Democracy Foundation (SR); Invictus Project (IRE)
Rationale: The proposal strives to turn sporadic experiments (e.g. a few cities in former Communist countries painting high-rise blocks in the frame of isolating projects, without any concepts behind coloring and targeting community engagement) into bottom-up initiatives driven by youth in a co-creation process aimed at urban and social sustainability of quarters. In other words, SPRAY believes in the opportunity to reconcile street art and urban and social regeneration through the empowerment of youths at the European level for them to act as multipliers of sustainability in their own communities.
SPRAY responds to the need of regenerating degraded quarters in both urban and social terms, by using art and, specifically, street art. Moreover, it empowers young citizens to take up the renewal of their own town through a bottom-up approach, while inverting the perspective associating graffiti with vandalism and the disfigurement of public spaces.
By capitalizing on experiences, techniques and knowledge at the European level, the proposal aims at testing the interconnection between contemporary arts and social complexity of degraded quarters to transform them in sustainable urban hubs. The rationale behind such a proposal is that urban regeneration pursued through artistic and cultural participation by citizens can trigger a virtuous circle of local identities and public spaces rediscovery.
BEFORE THE EXCHANGE (April – August 2019)
1. Call for participants
2. Advance Planning Visit (July 2019): prior the exchange, the leaders of the national groups will gather in Bassano for a 2 days meeting to define a well-structured agenda for the activities that will take place during the exchange and evaluate the feasibility of the Wall Experience (i.e. where to do it and how) and the modalities. Moreover, they will shoot brief videos of self-presentation called “Street art and me” (i.e. who they are, how and when they learnt their technique, their previous experiences, etc.) that will be circulated among the selected participants through project partners, for the youngsters to get to know them in advance and smooth the team-working dynamics during the exchange.
3. Local info session: participants will be briefed by sending organizations about the youth exchange
4. Preparatory activities: participants will prepare a short presentation about pieces of street art existing in their community (photos, videos, interviews, etc.). They will have to chose an object representing a piece of art of their country
EXCHANGE (six days – September 2019)
Day 1: arrival of all national groups. Welcoming activities (name games, expectations, etc.)
Days 2 – 3 – 4: Street Art Masterclass. Participants will attend a Masterclass held by the art experts to learn more about street art history and techniques. More importantly, they will reflect on the nexus between arts and urban and social regeneration of quarters, with art expert providing examples of successful experiments of the kind at the European level.
Day 5: Wall Experience: art experts (the group leaders and, potentially local artists mobilized by the city of Bassano) will translate into a street art work the ideas developed by the youths during the week, on surfaces previously identified. Youths will also contribute, by working (painting or spraying) on blank canvas. Contributions from the local citizens will be welcome and warmly encouraged.
Day 6: Wall Experience – completing the job. Then, the final evaluation will take place, through nonformal methods. Youths will then assess themselves by filling out their youthpass. Final event to celebrate the street art work with the local citizenship, as well as the conclusion of the youth exchange.
During the exchange, qualitative evaluation sessions will be conducted through “reflection groups” at the end of each day. In such interactive and creative sessions, participants will express their opinions and attitudes towards the issues discussed, level of involvement in each activity, emotional state, interpersonal relations and new findings, by evaluating the activities implemented during the day, positive and negative sides, improvements and expectations for the next day. At the end of the youth exchange, each participant will fill out his/her own youthpass.
Youthpass, as an instrument for the evaluation of non-formal learning process, will be presented at the beginning of exchange activities (a short info-session will be held on what the certificate is and its added value in terms of awareness and reflection by participants on their learning process and competences).
AFTER THE EXCHANGE (September – December 2019)
Each national group will organize a “GRAFternoon” in its own community, a creative workshop open to the public where they will showcase the art works done in Italy (i.e. projecting photos or videos on a public wall of the city).
At the end of the GRAF-ternoon, youths will gift their city with the canvas they have produced in Italy, deposing it in a public space that will have been previously chosen to regenerate.
A Facebook group will be developed, so participants will be able to share contents, photos and impressions. An Instagram profile will be also opened, as a professional tool where to display the art works in Bassano and back home. Youths will be responsible of the management of both tools.