1999/2019 Twenty years of Il Laboratorio. Dance for social cohesion.

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For more than fifteen years I have photographically documented the activities of the Cremonese association Il Laboratorio APS.

«The Dance Workshop was born in 1999. […] The main purpose was and still is to promote a gathering and socialization space for girls / girls in the pre-adolescence and adolescence age group, promoting exchange and comparison between different experiences and heterogeneous socio-cultural stories. Through the expressive and artistic instrument of dance, children, teenagers and adults have the opportunity to experiment with forms of body communication complementary to the verbal channel. The Workshop is based on the openness and acceptance of ethnic, cultural and different forms of ease and unease, through the study of different dance techniques.»

For the twenty years of Il Laboratorio’s activity, a volume was published in which I was able to participate by providing many of the images contained in it and a short essay.
PALADINI, C. (2019) Babau – Immagini, racconti, riflessioni su un progetto di danza per la coesione sociale. 1 .ed. Matti da Rilegare, Cremona.

The introductory notes, written by the researcher Cristiana Paladini, author of the volume, read:
«These pages are born from the desire to tell the story of the Il Laboratorio Danza of Cremona, in its becoming over the years, for the Po district, not only a space of expression for the new generations, but also an educational center, a meeting place for artistic genres and diversity, until the implementation in 2016, of the Babau – dance for social cohesion project, funded by the Funder35 call for Acri and Fondazione Cariplo. The voices of many who live this reality from many points of view, will tell the story and the relationship built with the community. […]
The qualitative approach of the research, implemented through in-depth interviews, focus groups and analysis of the teachers’ working diaries, has allowed researchers to observe over the course of an entire association year and the collection of numerous materials. […]
The choice made with the association was to offer the reader, alongside the results of the survey, presented during a round table organized in Cremona in May 20185, a narrative text; a journey into the small reality of the Lab and its community through the words of the interviewees and some of the images that have accompanied this experience over the years. […]
The last pages end with the words of a photographer, Paolo Cisi, in a reflection that is a dedication of those who for years have observed and told the experience of Il Laboratorio through images. The choice to conclude the Babau project (dance, photography) with the voices of those who look at it from different perspectives and languages, as well as the decision to narrate a sociological investigation through the interviewees, alternating words and images, leaving the background theoretical support, it is largely linked to the working methods collected in these pages.»

Cristiana Paladini is a PhD in Communication Sciences and Complex Organizations. He collaborates with universities and research institutes in the analysis of social contexts and in the planning of inclusion, migration and youth policies.