Who initiated the project and how ?
The Officina Sociale Avventura di Latta was born in Naples in 2013 as an offshoot of the Samb & Diop Association from an idea by Riccardo Dalisi, architect, designer and winner of several prizes. The organisations Officina Sociale Avventura di Latta. It was initiated by Marco Cecere – an architect from Naples (Italy) and Riccardo Dalisi – architect and designer working with metals. It started as a spontaneous initiative during an event aimed to to propose new activities for the migrants that would allow them to find a job. It started with workshops lasting 2 hours per week and without any funding.
How and where the practice has been organised?
The laboratory is in Naples in via Tribunali 188 in the Church of Santa Maria del Rifugio and employs around 10 migrants of African origin, divided between political refugees and non-EU citizens. In the workshop, poor metals are worked in order to produce design objects: jewellery, vases, lamps. The activities are directed by the architect Marco Cecere, the artistic supervision is by Riccardo Dalisi. Benedetta de Falco takes care of communications and external relations, promotion, and partner search as a volunteer.
Does the practice has any antecedent ?
The antecedent is a technique experimented by Dalisi about metalworking and ultra-poor metalworking techniques. Ultra-poor technique is starting from poor materials, worked by hand and it is about the possibility given to the error to have a much stronger expressive power compared to the perfection of industrial production. The imperfection coming from poor materials worked without tools is an added value in terms of artistic and design, especially if it is coming from a social context and different.
Do you have any collaborators, partners ?
We work in connection with an association of migrants in Naples – an NGO named Associazione Samb & Diop that is providing basic Italian language courses to migrants.
The example was used by other associations active in Naples in the suburban area (e.g., Forcella) open not only tom migrants by to all the population with the goal to activate the citizenship.
Who are the main target groups of your activities?
The main target group are political refugees, asylum seekers and people at risk.
Mainly the participants in the workshops are adults and women willing to learn how to use the ultra-poor metalworking techniques to create artistic objects and, thanks to this, to find a job opportunity.
Officina Sociale Avventura di Latta ha also an online shop where it is possible to buy the artistic objects produced by the migrants.
What is your mission and what are your main fields of action ?
Whenever art is placed in a social context, developing moments of play and discussion. It also brings out the potential of those who participate in the workshop. Art promotes the integration because, by manipulating metals with the hands, analysing the aesthetic aspects, taking care of beauty, mechanisms are triggered by which, through art, some deeper sides of a person's character.
Giving value to materials that usually don’t have any value. The aspect of symbolic value is given by the work behind it at a social level, in addition to the technical skills.
The errors, imperfections in creating the objects are the added value also because it is coming from an inexpert worker.
How is the activity financed ?
The workshops started without any funding. It is self-sustained and self-organised.
Thanks to the involvement of the founders that are well-known architects and artists, it was possible to sell a relevant number of objects and to sustain the activity.
What preparations and materials are needed to set up a workshop?
In the workshops are created jewellery in low metals, lamps, furnishing objects, wedding favours, accessories, artistic installations, sculptures, furnishing elements, home decorations, and everything that can be made with metal. No prior experience is required. The materials are made available by the hosting organisation.
How long time the practices can take?
An ordinary workshop lasts 2 hours. More advanced objects are created in several days and weeks in the venue of the hosting organisation.
How many participants can be involved ideally?
The limit is related to the workshop venue – usually 10 workers at the same time.
What is the main short-term and long-term impact of the practice on the participants? (Are these clearly identified?)
Short-term goal is the engagement of migrants with artistic activities.
Long-term is about Avventura di Latta that materializes the ideas by developing objects, artistic installations, and jewels, whose beauty lies not only in the object itself but also in its creation path, understood as a way of sharing time and as a tool for imagining a future that takes form through artistic making.
What are the main tangible results?
It is giving a job to 10 migrants, and it is supporting the integration of many others participating in the workshops. The social enterprise is self-sustainable.
How are these results promoted/disseminated?
It was promoted with the active participation of local organisations and associations.
It is disseminated via a website and the participation in fairs and events such as. Social fairs in Italy and in Europe where the objects created are presented and sold to ensure the self-sustainability of the activities.
How can the practice be readapted?
By using the same technique that is based on the use of poor materials and without specific tools.