The UAB Research Park hosted on the 21st and 22nd of January the kick-off meeting of the European project SO CLOSE. Coordinated by the UAB, the project aims to enhance social cohesion through innovative digital tools and art.
The ambition of SO CLOSE is to contribute to social cohesion and fight refugee marginalization or exclusion by facilitating the encounters mutual understanding between refugees and their local communities. Using co-creative design methodologies and innovative digital and artistic tools, the life stories of refugees will be shared with the memories of European conflict survivors, stored in historical memory centres.
Apart from universities and refugee support organizations, technology development companies are involved in providing the project with a set of interactive tools that include the exchanges of experiences between refugees and victims of historical conflicts.
Working at the intersection of history, sociology, cultural studies, art and computer science, SO-CLOSE will design educational and cultural tools like interactive cookbooks, interactive documentaries based on immersive video recording or interactive exhibitions based on personal memories and storytelling. All of them will be integrated in an online platform, named Memory Centre, which will offer an innovative cultural experience that can generate social awareness. The pilots will co-create and prototype the four historical and cultural heritage facilities: La Jonquera Exile Memorial Museum, the Trikeri Island Concentration Camp (Greece), the Villa Decius Association (Poland) and the headquarters of the Monte Sole Peace School (Italy).
This European project is coordinated by Department of Modern and Contemporary History of the UAB and involves the Lunds Universitet, Stowarzyszenie Willa Decjusza, Fondazione Scuola di Pace Dimonte Sole, Consorci del Museu Memorial De l’exili, Ethniko Kentro Erevnas Kaitechnologikis Anaptyxis, Engineering – Ingegneria informatica, Tempesta Media and Elliniko Foroum Prosfigon.