flags of transitorial occupation 

paths of participation project - progetto Sentieri di Partecipazione
                   2022 - by Resta Qui Airlines, in collaboration with Associazione Dragolago, supported by Civic Europe (Sofia Platform, MitOst, Shiftung Mercator), with the participation of the CCR (youth city councils) of Armeno, Invorio, Gozzano and Orta San Giulio (Lake Orta area, Italy).

Paths of participation is an outdoor and indoor series of activities on creative mapping and perception of green environments. The workshop’s main aim is to produce a site-specific experiential knowledge of geography, a personal and collective relationship with organic matter reflecting on the concept of wilderness, but also a political consciousness of how local artificial ecologies coexists with, or dangerously impact, a shared and mainly non-human ecosystem.

The project took place with 13 and 14 years olds from the Youth City Councils of four different villages of the Lake Orta area. The Youth City Councils are mini City Councils based in public schools, working as mediators between kids, teenagers, students and non, and the local political institutions, proposing and producing educational and environmental projects.

This region is a rural territory that holds a connection with an historical industrial past and its consequent post-industrial process of abandonment and depopulation.  

Through individual and group activities done in different steps and spaces, we created an alternative mapping process that doesn’t give us the best route from A to B, but rather makes us focus on the relationship that the cartographer-walker establishes with the environmental body at large, the relationship with the experience companions, and all the elements of the landscape.

Together with the naturalistic guides of Associazione Dragolago, the 4 groups of young teenagers made the hikes that connect their villages to the Torre di Buccione, a medieval tower recently made accessible. 

We produced a booklet that served as inspiration and guide for the outdoor activities, and then met the groups in their classrooms for working on drawings and conversations that deepened into what they saw, what they experienced and  percieved. 

Key points of observations during the hikes were:
natural areas of use or extractions such as woods and pastures; the difference between invasive and parasite plant species; autoctonous and alien; the meaning of using a natural landscape for Man’s porpouses, extracting resources, in opposition to the “invasion” of space by new exotic plant spieces. 



What came out is 4 flags made of the drawings, ideas and memories of the experience, that were brought in parade to a reunion of all the four Councils to the Buccione tower.