The Education Advisory Group is a networking platform initiated by the education department of Manifesta 12 as part of its listening and communication strategy to involve the city. The aim of the project is to support and acknowledge innovative local initiatives that play an important role in social transformation by using culture and the arts as tools. Members of the platform have provided substantial support to the education department in the research and conceptualization of the pre-biennial programme.
Members advise the education department on establishing a relationship between biennial projects and the city, while also having the opportunity to propose new initiatives aimed at activating sustainable engagement during Manifesta 12.
Local Advisory Group members, who supported the work of the education department in 2016–2017, were invited to participate in the project on a voluntary basis.
Map of Socio-cultural Innovation in Palermo:
The group aims to activate cultural initiatives that connect Manifesta 12 visitors to the inhabitants of Palermo, providing biennial visitors the opportunity to discover a city that is socially engaged and active. The map highlights Palermo’s most prominent grassroots initiatives focused on sociocultural innovation, and includes special neighborhood tours led by respective inhabitants.
Members of the Education Advisory Group:
Cristina Alga works in the field of urban planning and cultural politics, focusing on key concepts such as inclusion, interdisciplinary creativity, and art and communication as instruments for participation and social critique. She is co-founder of the non-profit organisation Clac and coordinates the working group that manages the Ecomuseo, Mare Memoria Viva, in Palermo. Furthermore, she develops, promotes, and participates in active citizenship, audience development, and narration projects.
Claudio Arestivo is interested in the ‘creation of networking’; in 2011 he co-founded one of the first co-working spaces in Palermo (Link Officine Mediterranee). During its first year, fourteen associations active both in Palermo and internationally joined the space. Arestivo is also president of Per Esempio Onlus, an association founded in 2012; its offices are housed inside Moltivolti, a co-working, multi-ethnic restaurant in Ballarò founded by a group of friends from different parts of the world who live in Palermo. Moltivolti donates its profits to numerous associations engaged in the neighbourhood’s social activities.
Mariangela Di Gangi
Mariangela Di Gangi is the president of Laboratorio Zen Insieme, the oldest association of the Palermo neighbourhood Zen 2. Starting from Zen 2, Laboratorio Zen Insieme has worked in different areas of Palermo, collaborating with several individuals and organisations that seek to redress social exclusion. She is especially active in the field of children’s rights and the reduction of educational poverty. In fact, she believes that real change is only possible through the creation of instruments and opportunities that give every child the chance to escape the social marginalisation that is product of an unequal society.