Giovanni Infante and “Mofetta more active than this”: culture and education

A municipal administration’s cultural policy can not be the result of improvisation, can and must not follow criteria of occasional, of only attention to the immediate event and disconnected from the context in which it is lowered from above and without a serious long-term planning duration: In this way will society will never feel involved and its creative potential will never find a place.
The tools for serious sharing must be rethought and strengthened, starting with Kulturforum, a basic tool for democratic participation that is able to “accompany” the administration in defining the “strong ideas” on which each intervention must be based, and in the common implementation of cultural programming.
At the same time, the relationship between the promotion of culture and the arts and education and training policies remains inseparable in a trade union that today sees the experience of the educated society as an essential element in building civic culture, beginning with the younger generations. The need to tackle the phenomenon of early school leaving, which according to the latest ISTAT studies in the south sees that 16% of young people between 18-24 do not continue their studies after high school, often for reasons related to the families’ economic context of origin, requires everyone to experiment with new ways to get involved in, such as the pilot experience with training income that started in Barletta in the early years of the last decade. It is a form of income support released from the criterion of profit and recognized for girls and boys on an ISEE basis, freeing them from the extortion of survival.
It is not enough to reopen the municipal library, which remained closed for years in the indifference of the outgoing administration, unable to identify another public space to meet the strong demand from students. Instead, it is necessary to relaunch the activation of cultural spaces and at the same time sociality, by identifying real study rooms in the neighborhood that are also open to children, and where one can try to organize “accompanying” services for the study for children who are more fragile and close to dropping out of school.
What are the “strong ideas” that one can discuss with the citizens? Let’s try to identify some of them.
The system of artistic and scientific creativity
The system of cultural and educational services
The system for improving the cultural heritage
The entertainment system
The system for promoting tourism
For a city that is more active than that.

The system of artistic and scientific creativity
What answers can a municipal administration give to so many young people’s desire to express their creative potential, both in the arts and in scientific experiments? Is it possible to imagine scenarios and places where dreams, desires, expectations can find a place in a context of encounter and comparison that is capable of triggering unexpected and positive relapses?
We believe it is possible, desirable, achievable.
It is called the “House of Cultures and Sciences”.
The strong idea is to create a network between the municipality, cultural and third sector associations, schools, universities and the Polytechnic of Bari, with the aim of managing an urban space (former municipal offices overlooking San Bernardino) where one can activate an incubator of ideas:
o space for the implementation of active and participatory policies to involve young people in the activation of the Youth Council;
o collaborative spaces that allow the creation of scientific / technological, artistic and tourist / cultural start-ups;
o encourage the exchange, sharing and transfer between generations of knowledge, skills and abilities;
o space to plan and carry out activities related to the promotion of active citizenship, culture and solidarity and activities related to the promotion of active labor market policies, where it is possible to plan and organize:
• Culture and art promotions;
• Periodic meetings based on knowledge of the functioning of municipal bodies, investment policies and public funds, to promote the conscious approach of young people (including foreign origin) to policies and institutions;
•  creation of a gathering and meeting place in synergy with the area’s cultural associations;
• Training meetings aimed at young entrepreneurs to promote market knowledge processes, job orientation, growth and the promotion of new activities and vocational training courses.

Let us imagine a place, physically and socially, where ideas and intuitions can take shape, evolve and evolve thanks to “con-division”, that is, thanks to bringing together people, dreams, expectations, artistic and scientific skills .
Let us imagine a place where young creatives can have facilities and services available to “invent”, “create”, to “show off” their skills in a permanent display of the best creativity.
Let’s imagine a place where you can meet specialists who are able to guide young people in making the most of their talents, to “accompany” them in the transition from the incubation phase to carrying out their projects.
Let us imagine a place where we can become protagonists, a place that is not attached to the occasional, but characterized by a long-term project that is capable of having a real impact on society.

To make it happen you need ideas, arms, legs, heart, skills and a lot of will. Starting with the right protagonists: the young people of this city, ready to get involved.
We want to play this game, life’s big game.

The system of cultural and educational services

The challenges that await citizens on a daily basis in terms of education and active citizenship, from the earliest years of life, increasingly require a new approach to issues related to the concept of “city of education” that is able to develop the structure of relationships that support and cooperates, constituted and nurtured by those who live and work in a territory who care about its fate and who recognize the civil responsibility to live it and live it together.
Not only individuals, families, educational institutions, associations, social assistance structures and offices are called upon to address these challenges, but also local administrations with the places and institutions they are encouraged to administer in order to provide services. friendly “, especially for younger people.
What can be the guiding ideas for successful programming?
1. Circular and intergenerational social planning (children, young people, the elderly) with integrated cultural, motor, sports, school activities;
2. the widespread and participatory promotion of cultural planning, which sees neighborhoods and outlying areas as “places to do”, without limiting cultural and educational services and offering only the central areas;
3. map the buildings owned by the municipality for use as neighborhood study premises, the management of which can also be left to groups of student collectives according to the principle of “responsible self-management”;
4. improving the usability of the municipal library (longer shifts, free wi-fi work, sockets for laptops, heating, access to online databases, manuals that can be consulted);
5. accessibility and strengthening of the Municipal History Archive’s activities with the organization of thematic exhibitions in close connection with the planning of the Municipal Library;
Activation of an agreement with the University of Bari – training course in restoration, to establish in Molfetta, within a functional space, the construction site school for stone products, addressing an idea that started years ago as a training school for artisans stone, but rethought in scientific terms within the university’s restoration process and also aimed at training specialized craftsmen who could collaborate with restaurateurs and construction companies on interventions on stone monuments;
7. creation of the “network of educational support”, in municipal spaces spread throughout the city or through agreements with subjects from the 3rd sector, to accompany young people who need it, to better address the problems associated with school dropouts.

All this can not be separated from the relaunch of Kulturforum, which is also and above all an assembly of cultural and educational actors who can qualitatively support the municipal administration in improving the quality of the services offered, but forward above all, contribute to the construction of avenues for the inclusion, definition and verification of welfare programs.
For, as Don Milani said, “I have learned that the problem of others is the same as mine. Sorting them all out is politics. Sorting them out on their own is greed.”

We will continue to elaborate on the issues in the last days of the campaign and during the closing initiative

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