Unveiling Family Photos Workshop in Istanbul – 20 August 2020

Family is a concept that is not only of profound concern in the academic studies of different disciplines, but it is also a concept that has been continually interpreted throughout various forms of art and has had a far-reaching influence on artistic production. Family photos, the visual record of family memory, offer more meaning than as just basic documentation of our special moments. Thanks to them, the traces of social, cultural, economic transformations, everyday life practices, cultural differences and intergenerational relations can be observed. When examined in connection with other concepts such as gender, memory, migration, identity, family, etc., these photos will delineate our personal history and offer us a way to access social forms.

In this workshop, the participants who have rendered their photos as the subject of relations between the past and present articulated how visual images drive their work by passing through their production processes. Focusing on the points where what is reflected by family photos contradict “reality”, they sought ways to reproduce private-sphere images by using artistic methods and reconstituted stories to transform existing perception.

The workshop, a public online event held in Karşı Sanat, is supported by CHIEF (Cultural Heritage and Identities of Europe’s Feature) Horizon 2020.

Observing Georgian Street Artists: Young People (Attempt to) Leave their Footprint on the Urban Environment

Authors: Elene Ergeshidze and Rati ShubladzeCaucasus Research Resource CentersGeorgia

Graffiti and street art is a quite novel form of expressive culture in Georgia. Despite the fact that the first pieces of street art emerged in Georgia in the late 1980s, the scene has not grown rapidly until recent years. For the broader public, street art was usually associated with vandalism, damage and distortion of private property, and unacceptable, on the verge of legality. Despite pre-conceptions associated with street art, societal perceptions are gradually changing. Nevertheless, the street art scene still enjoys some attention from social scientists and art critics.1 Within the CHIEF project, CRRC Georgia observed young people engaged in street art. The aim of the study was to examine the practices, attitudes, and concerns of young people in the context of street art. In addition, the study investigated young artists’ positions on different grass-roots cultural practices and emerging contemporary cultural heritage. This blog presents the key findings of the study as relates the challenges young street artists face and provides a brief overview of street art development in Georgia.

The street art community provides insight into youth cultural engagement in Georgia given its diversity: being centred in the capital, artists come from and work across the city’s districts and are from a wide variety of backgrounds. Considering that painting on walls is typically illegal in Georgia, and is subject to penalties under administrative law,2 street art is usually done surreptitiously at night, in abandoned places, or during street art festivals where special permission is provided for work on a particular building.3 Street artists, especially those specialising in graffiti, typically paint under a pseudonym and seek anonymity.

Street Art in Tbilisi Georgia
Image credit: Elene Ergeshidze, 2019

Continue reading “Observing Georgian Street Artists: Young People (Attempt to) Leave their Footprint on the Urban Environment”

Home, Heritage and Belonging

Author: Elina MarmerHaw Hamburg – Germany

In April last year, Simon Wellman and Darren Wood, members of our project team from the Culture Coventry Trust (UK), visited Hamburg to teach young people participating in CHIEF how to produce quality short films using a Smartphone. Between 2019 and early 2020 the team visited all partner countries with the same mission, India being the last in January 2020. Two months later, Simon Wellman contracted the Corona virus and died on 30th of March from complications of the illness.

With my article, I want to remember Simon and his contribution to our work by enabling young people to express themselves, reach out and touch others through the art of video filming.

The aim of the media workshops was to provide young people with skills training to better communicate their cultural knowledge and practices offering them an opportunity to present what they consider their cultural heritage. Since the workshop last April, two Smartphone videos have been produced in Hamburg, while two more still need some technical finishing. Each video was shot by an individual BA student; all female, aged 22-24 and based in Hamburg, who are in one way or other involved in CHIEF project. It is these first two videos made in this context in Hamburg that I want to write about.

Continue reading “Home, Heritage and Belonging”

Contested Identities and Questioning of Citizenship: How the context of citizenship questions changed in the course of conducting a survey

Author: Neha Ghatpande – Savitribai Phule Pune UniversityIndia

In India, we began a Survey of Young People’s Cultural Literacy (CHIEF project, WP3) in October 2019. Until the first week of December 2019, we had covered a lot of ground.

In our experience, several students used to find the following questions ‘routine’ or almost inconsequential:

‘Were you born in India?’

Do you have ‘Indian’ citizenship?

Was your father born in India’?

Was your mother born in India? Continue reading “Contested Identities and Questioning of Citizenship: How the context of citizenship questions changed in the course of conducting a survey”

Street Art, Public Space and Transformation of the City: The Mini-project Organised by CHIEF (UPF) and B-Murals

Author: Julia Nuño de la Rosa – Universitat Pompeu FabraBarcelona

Some months ago we enjoyed the presentation of the resulting projects from young people participating in the Street Art Workshop co-organised by CHIEF (UPF), the Youth Centre Garcilaso and B-Murals in Barcelona city. By showing a series of photographs from the five workshops, explaining the dynamics of the different days and letting young people themselves present some examples of their work, artists RiceVisuals and Mario Mankey gave attendees an insight into the project and explained the intentions of the different workshops.

Continue reading “Street Art, Public Space and Transformation of the City: The Mini-project Organised by CHIEF (UPF) and B-Murals”

Social Distance from the “Others” or Tolerance of Diversity? Attitudes of Young People in Slovakia

Authors: Daniel Gerbery and Roman Džambazovič Comenius UniversitySlovakia

A tolerance of diversity represents one of the fundamental values of the liberal democracies. Accepting diversity means, inter alia, that people do not maintain a social distance from the members of particular groups or social categories. Thus, by measuring social distance from various groups, which may face risk of social marginalization or exclusion, one can reveal the extent of in/tolerance in a given society. At the same time, it is also a good proxy indicator of interpersonal trust that forms a basis of social cohesion.
In Slovakia, several sociological studies report a growing intolerance and distrust against social groups that are perceived as being different by the surrounding society. There are also data on increasing prevalence of prejudice, chauvinism and extremist far-right values, as – for example – index DEREX (Demand for Right-Wing Extremist) reports. Continue reading “Social Distance from the “Others” or Tolerance of Diversity? Attitudes of Young People in Slovakia”

The Current State of Well-Being of Youth in Turkey

Author: Ayça OralMimar Sinan Fine Arts UniversityTurkey

A recent fieldwork report1 on youth in Turkey was published by a non-governmental organisation – Habitat Association (Habitat) in January 2020. This survey was conducted by the Infakto RW, an independent public opinion research company founded in 2003 in Turkey. The study by RW 6-18 Infakto dated April 2019, represented the urban youth population from 16 provinces of Turkey; data was collected through face-to-face interviews with 214 young people aged 18-29. 50 percent of the interviewed youth were women, 50 percent men, 44 percent were employed, 26 percent students, 13 percent were looking for jobs, and 17 percent were teens that neither worked nor went to school.

The report was based on the perspective of the ability (capacity) approach which was put forward by Amartya Sen. The approach provides a wide spectrum for youth’s capacity within the given opportunities and rights. In other words, to what capacity youth turn to themselves within the frame of rights and opportunities. Aside from that, this research report aims to create an archive regarding youth studies that have been analysed and commented upon by the youth and also show the correlation between the youth’s requests and public service.
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Youth, Sport and Social Activism within a Heritage Site

Authors: Marko Mustapić, Ben Perasović and Ivan Hrstić Ivo PilarCroatia

Space is a key resource for the local community, and the relationships that keep the community’s members together are founded on their satisfaction of social needs. Social processes that unfold in a particular space and the way people live and share space indicate the basic determinants of a given local community, as well as to functional and psychological ties among people. Thus, the ‘feeling of belonging’ to a particular community is of special importance. Every city has its own daily life experiences. Residents frequently alter urban public spaces through interventions such as graffiti and murals that mark space and depict community symbols. Graffiti as an expression of community collectivity became the subject of research in the social sciences in the second half of the 20th century. Public spaces in city centres are most frequently subject to this type of intervention from residents, generally without the prior approval of local authorities. The first sociological research on this subject in Croatia was published in the early 1990s, focusing on the city of Split. Continue reading “Youth, Sport and Social Activism within a Heritage Site”

Reflections on “Our” German Cultural Heritage and Identity

Author: Cornelia SyllaHaw HamburgGermany

As researchers, working for the CHIEF project, our current task is trying to find answers to questions on cultural heritage and identity. Which influences, which knowledge, which stories come to be the cultural heritage of a certain group? Which factors define someone’s cultural identity? Which roles do nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, politics, history, or other factors that we might not have thought about yet play?

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Organisational Complexity and Ambiguity in Cultural Management

Author: Saim Buğra KurbanMimar Sinan Fine Arts University Turkey

In Turkey, cultural policy is an important field of power, conflict, and transformation, especially in the process of nation-state building. Cultural management and heritage are crucial in every step of politics, from what can be accepted as a national heritage to which projects are supported and preserved by public funds. Although Turkey is a centralized country, one of the questions that can be asked at this point is why there is such a complex, changeable and entangled institutional structure associated with cultural assets and heritage?

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CHIEF Stakeholders’ Workshop in Coventry, UK

On 23rd October we held the first of a series of workshops with stakeholders in Coventry. The workshop explored how young people experience and participate in culture and included discussions on barriers to participation.

We were thrilled that young people could attend along with partners working in the youth and culture sectors. If you are interested in joining us for future workshops, please contact Katie McNie, CHIEF Project Manager at c.mcnie@aston.ac.uk

CHIEF project presented to students at the University of Bologna

On October 21st, Dr. Tinatin Zurabishvili presented information about the CHIEF project to Sociology students of the University of Bologna for their course on the Sociology of Youth (the course is taught by professor Alessandro Martelli). The presentation was focused on the goals of the project, its structure, its research question and research design developed in order to find answers to those research questions.

For Sociology students, learning about sociological perspective while analyzing specific areas of contemporary life provides a very important aspect of their education. Speaking of some of the most vivid examples: We all use various types of the mass media – and the sociology of media helps to understand their social function(s); we all care about being healthy – and the sociology of health helps to see the issues of well being in a more comprehensive way. Similarly, when speaking about the youth, it is very important to help the students see it as a social phenomenon which is closely related to the major social institutions, both affecting those institutions and being affected by them – all of which constitutes the basics of the discipline of the Sociology of Youth.

The main focus of the presentation was a discussion of the possibilities of empirical research of the youth in various countries. Specifically, we discussed the operationalization of the “youth”, comparability of data collected across different social, political and cultural settings, as well as a rather elaborated multimethod approach implemented by the CHIEF project. A previous EC-funded project on youth, MYPLACE, was also discussed. The students were particularly interested in the mechanisms of social and political engagement of young people and, specifically, the “drivers” that might foster such engagement. The questions related to intercultural dialogue, as well tolerance that is expected to be strengthen by openness to other cultures, were also among the ones that attracted students’ attention.