The goal of the Exercise Books Archive is not just to make this unique historical heritage accessible to everyone.
We have already successfully tested the use of selected content from our collection to develop projects of historical and educational dissemination (both online and offline). We have also developed pilot experiences for inter-generational and inter-cultural exchange projects involving audiences of different ages, ranging from seniors to adults to children.
We are looking for cultural organizations and institutions (schools, universities, museums, libraries) that are willing to start local collections of exercise books and develop ad hoc projects together with us.
Here are some examples of the projects we would like to develop:
In the “Exercise Books Community Readings” the contents of the exercise books, collected through a participative process, are used to improve the historical awareness of the local communities and become a bridge to foster dialogue between people of different generations and cultures.
WORKSHOPS FOR SCHOOL PUPILS
What would happen if today’s pupils could get in touch with their peers of the past?
In our workshops “Today’s pupils meet yesterday’s pupils” we introduce the participants (pupils aged 8 to 12) to a few texts written by “former pupils” in their exercise books, to introduce them to kids’ lives in the last few decades. On some special occasions, we will give them the opportunity to meet the authors of the texts in person. We have already developed a pilot experience of the workshop in collaboration with “La Grande Fabbrica delle Parole”, a creative writing centre for young people based in Milan, and we are excited about the possibility of replicating the experience in other parts of the world.
The variety of texts collected in the archive don’t only allow students to travel back in time. We are planning to experiment with new formats of workshops, where the contents of the exercise books, both old and current, can become bridges to connect and empower kids living in different countries.
We can develop exhibitions that integrate the contents of exercise books collected from local communities with those pertaining to the archive. These exhibitions may be complemented by one or more activities (workshops, community readings, seminars) to set up participative cultural processes that can accompany a community for several months.