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Summer Drafts is a platform for experimentation with methodologies of citizens’ activation and transversal sociability. Born in 2008, on the occasion of Manifesta 7 and hosted by Lungomare, Summer Drafts proposes workshops, encounters and participatory projects with the aim of producing unexpected connections between different social and cultural realities.

The starting point is the consideration that Alto Adige / Sudtirol could become an experimental laboratory of new modes of citizenship by readapting hints elaborated in decades of experience in the organization of cultural difference, and combining them with suggestions coming from the new forms of life from the global world.

The term “draft” expresses two crucial intentions of the project: on the one side, building a space where social workers, relational artists, educators and cultural mediators could meet and experiment with new techniques, sketch different approaches and try out “drafts” without fearing red pens. On the other side, Summer Drafts aims to bring a “draft”, a blast of air into the city, to create a bit of bustle by remixing the forms of a sociality characterised by groups and meeting places which are often “homogenous” – that is, formed by the same typology of people, united by a linguistic, national, or class specificity.

Many of Bolzano’s citizen’s today cannot be classified by one of the two main labels produced by the South Tyrolean system management of cultural diversity management: the so-called “foreigners” living in Bolzano today are neither of “Italian” nor of “German mother tongue”. Their presence questions the South Tyrolean model of “cohabitation”, opening new possibilities for a living-together that are no longer reduced to a silent segregation.

Summer Drafts works with associations that often deal with migration and intercultural issues, but it is not a project about migration, nor about interculturalism. Those are rather points of departure for a wider exploration that concerns the experience of a contemporary sociability, the formats of the encounter, and the aggregation constituting the living fabric of the city. In this way, Summer Drafts is also a project of research about common contexts which are not given as “entertainment”, if to entertain means to stay, to remain where you already are. On the contrary the contributions coming from art, alternative pedagogy, self-organised activism, and theoretical reflections can function as an antidote to “entertainment”: they can “divert”, that is, offer an experience of diversity.

The format of Summer Drafts is accompanied by CopyLeft license, and can be freely used by other groups and associations.


How we work

We start by mapping groups and associations active in the area both socially and culturally. We meet, we talk, we get to know each other, and when the energies meet, a proposal for collaboration is put forward. After this, the associations choosing to take part in Summer Drafts identify a topic through internal discussion and involving their constituencies. This topic can be related to an area of intervention the association would like to explore, a theoretical investigation, or a call for new ideas to test a new technique or activity. From this initial request, Summer Drafts looks for guests with specific competences, and invites them to stay in a residency in Bolzano. During their stay, the guests create workshops, games, meetings, artistic projects and urban interventions, in collaboration with the associations and their constituencies, and open to everybody.