For this series of hosted sessions in spring 2022, we strive to work with memory, or do memory work, in the context of Borgo Rizza. We hope to begin building a digital archive of collective memories from the DAAS group, the students from Critical Urbanisms, and from the local Carlentini/Lentini participants in Sicily. In doing so, we want to better understand how the collective memory of this place is diminishing, how the past is ‘playing out’ in the present, and how to draw connections between the current global rise of fascism and its obsession with old symbols and places. We do this in order to continue asking ourselves ethical questions in regard to doing work in places of difficult heritage, and to form a basis from where to begin crafting interventions. This will help us in thinking of possible reappropriation(s) of Borgo Rizza that can act as a kind of template for how to engage with other places of difficult heritage whose memory is fading and falling into collective amnesia.
For us, a large part of the work is connection and networking with other realities and collectives who are organising internationally. Thus, we aim to invite persons or groups working on similar topics to exchange experiences in a collective learning process. The aim is to reflect on memory and community, especially in a place such as Borgo Rizza, which is located outside the city and not (yet) often occupied or used in regular and/or public activities. With our engagement we would like to reflect on the importance of community in the preservation of memory, and exercise strategies of both remembrance and community making, in parallel relationship and critical approach to, and dialogue with, the Summer School program in late Summer 2022.