Culture Lab
Europe

June, 2020
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CFS:
The Participatory
Action Research

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Vanja Ristić

Catania (Italy)

As an anthropologist and cultural manager, I was always dealing with social and cultural issues. After leaving Serbia where I was involved in several NGOs (dealing mostly with gender issues and audiovisual approaches in socio-cultural research) I came to Sicily and became part of ARCI Catania which is one of the associations running Giardino di Scidà. As a property confiscated from the mafia, this place represents an open community center aimed to strengthen social ties, promote solidarity and support alternative ways of living. According to its objectives, it engages the community, especially the neighborhood where is situated, through different activities as swap (barter), yoga for pregnant women, creative workshops for children, journalism workshop for young people etc. It is also collaborating with many different organizations and entities, hosting them and their activities as for example schools, women and media organizations, book presentations, discussion and debate events. Working on the creation of a map of confiscated properties from the mafia on the local and regional level, it is appealing to other associations which are potential seekers of those properties and municipality and national agencies managing confiscated properties as well.