A map for solidarity
Rete della Conoscenza is a student and Italian youth organization that since its foundation promotes mutual aid and solidarity, especially among students and young people, but also on a broader dimension.
Arianna Petrosino, responsible for the project SOL.MAP, explained to us how living the corona lockdown in Italy had an impact on her decision to apply to our call Culture of Solidarity fund. They realized that many activists and organizations had to reinvent their traditional activities to face social distancing and the restrictions imposed by the lockdown.
Everything became digital, and there was a need to create new bonds among local communities. They decided to apply for the Culture of Solidarity Fund because they welcomed the idea of sharing positive experiences to imagine a new future post lockdown. They want to trace an original path for the future that must restart from a new concept of Europe as a space of social justice and solidarity among people.
The project Sol.map. stands for solidarity, mutual aid, activism and participation. The core of the project is the idea of mapping solidarity experiences through Europe. Sol.map will be developed in three phases and will last from summer 2020 to September 2021.
First, they will launch an open call to organizations and individuals to create a map of social innovation practices and solidarity examples, enriched with videos of people sharing their experiences. The map, including videos and other material, will be available on a dedicated website that will be online soon. Further, they aim to produce a toolkit with good practices and experiences from national and European contexts.
The last phase is dissemination, advertising the project at European level both through events and online, increasing participation. The events are organized with local communities in several cities; this will allow people with different backgrounds to meet and connect, learn from each other. The final event happens during Riot Village; the students camping they organize every year in Italy. This event brings together young people from all over Europe, engaging them with workshops, debates, cultural events, concerts and informal moments to socialize. It will be a perfect place to share what they achieved and learned from the project.
The project aims to approach local challenges from a European perspective. By gathering social innovation practices from local communities and discussing them with activists and youths from across Europe, they plan to both improve these practices and to build lasting connections. For this reason, they place a heavy focus on networking with local stakeholders to create a toolkit that is defined by the needs of local communities while maintaining a European scope.
In this way, activists from different local communities will meet on a European stage sharing experiences, support each other and nurture the development of a genuinely European mutual solidarity.
Solidarity and social innovation appear to be more important than ever after the crisis the world went through. “Now is the time to create bonds between communities, organizations and activists that in their country act on mutual aid and solidarity, spreading the idea that local communities can truly change the context they live in and affect a more general dimension.”, explains Arianna.
The idea behind the project is to “think global and act locally”, this means to create conditions for people to meet, share know-how and experiences, and support each other.
How would the project contribute to the future of our European public space?
Drawing a map of solidarity with mutual aid and activism is their way to imagine the future of the European public space, pointing out that many organizations are already positive examples of social innovation practices and solidarity.
However, It will be essential to “put the map into reality” by organizing events for people from different countries to meet and build together a shared idea of the future.
Grant awarded: €23,000