Digitalising pictures was one of the key features of the NEET-U project.

Fostering intergenerational learning by digitalising pictures

EAEA GRUNDTVIG AWARD 2018. Young people not in education, employment, or training (NEETs) and Seniors from the Erasmus+ project “NEET-U” were involved in a four-day marathon Hackathon Umbria 2017 for the development of creative digital projects. Altheo Valentini, Senior Project Manager at Associazione Centro Studi Città di Foligno talks about the project.

What was the main purpose of this project?

“The Erasmus+ project ‘NEET-U’ has been implemented by 9 partners organisations from Romania, Slovenia, Italy, Spain, France, United Kingdom and Estonia. The project combined two of the most important social and educational challenges in the 21st century: how to re-activate the increasing number of experienced seniors with social and educational potential, and make them key players in coping with the dramatic increase of NEETs and other social excluded youths in Europe.”

How did the project foster cooperations and partnerships?

“The group of Italian seniors (Pietro Mercuri, Gianni Puccia, Francesco Mietto, Vittorio Casini, Moretti Marina Rosa, Santo Paolo Gabriella, Claudia Tardioli, Danea Ricci) representing the Association Centro Studi Città di Foligno came from different local groups and associations focused on the promotion of active ageing, such as AUSER and ANCeSCAO.

While they were attending the various workshops and intiatives promoted by NEET-U for the co-empowerment, some members of the group proposed to participate at the Social Hackathon Umbria 2017 as a team. Therefore, they got in contact with a local cultural association (VIAINDUSTRIAE) and the apply with an idea to answer the challenge on PUBLIC DIGITAL ARTS.

The ‘POST-MEMORY: POST YOUR PUBLIC MEMORY’ was a creative digital lab on private family memories and pictures realted to a specific area of the historical city centre. These pictures were re-edited to temporarily become public domain, higlighting the invisible bond between generations, as well as new meanings of cultural heritage made possible thanks to a process of exchange and dialogue.

Both NEETs and seniors learned many new skills, gained confidence and realised that they had many abilities, strengths, experiences and personal qualities that were of value for the co-creation of a creative project.

The result was a public exhibition of large and medium format photographs, extracted from “analog memories” and digitally projected on the walls, doors and corners of the city centre.
In preparation to the Hackthon, seniors and neets mobilised more than 70 seniors from the A.U.S.E.R and ANCESCAO associations, asking them to bring family pictures or pictures of the past representing and containing important memories for them, somehow related to the historical centre of Foligno.

Furthermore, the Association VIAINDUSTRIAE involved all the participants in a workshop to let them learn how to digitalise family albums and pictures (photos and negatives) in a proper way, acquiring also some knowledge on specific characteristic of the digitalised images (quality of the file, bit, resolution, size etc) and to make digital albums of pictures. Another objective was to transfer knowledge on differences between analogic and digital pictures, as well as different ways to preserve them.”

What was the best practice learnt from this project that you want to share?

“During the Hackathon seniors, NEETs, junior hackers and cultural experts worked for 48 hours non-stop in order to complete and submit the project before the deadline. Finally, the ‘NEET-U’ team was not awarded from the SHU2017 jury, but all the participants and the audience raised awareness on the value of collaboration between different generations, increasing the motivation of those taking part in these and similar projects.

Both NEETs and seniors learned many new skills, gained confidence and realised that they had many abilities, strengths, experiences and personal qualities that were of value for the co-creation of a creative project. They showed how seniors can act in a new way, as brokers, to make use of networks and contacts and to unlock these for the benefit of new social entrepreneurs.

Recovered from the digital marathon, which was a very demanding experience in terms of efforts and endurance, we have organised a follow-up session to discuss about the different possibilities to exploit their project beyond the competition. The team decided to focus on the social entrepreneurship potential of their approach for the valorisation of cultural heritage. They proposed to the Municipality to support them for the organisation of other similar exhibitions in places of historical relevance that, for different reasons, cannot be open to the public or are underestimated by the local population and tourists.”


Category: European projects
Coordinator: Associazione Centro Studi Città di Foligno
Country: Organisations from Romania, Slovenia, Italy, Spain, France, United Kingdom and Estonia
Focus: Digitalisation, preservation of cultural heritage
Innovative cooperation: Large partnership reaching different age groups
Resources: Project website and resource website

Text: EAEAPhotos: NEET-U project

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