From September 11th to 22nd, 2017 Omnimedia is hosting the workshop in Komiža, in the Island of Vis. The event will be held as part of the project Participatory Art for Invisible Communities” (PAIC) – socially and culturally oriented multimedia art project which uses share production, collaborative creativity and participative artistic forms and structures, and explore the possibility for community transformation. It brings together communities from four EU countries with the aim to artistically instigate cultural shifts to improve the quality of life and build public will that help to cohere island’s community members around common purpose, identity, and sense of belonging which lead to development of social capital.
Artists Marica Grgurinović and Christian Liljedahl will work with local people on the revival, renewal, reactivation and highlighting of cultural resources through activities based on a combination of creativity and collective, personal and historical knowledge, emphasising historical heritage, combining tradition and innovation. The general objectives of the workshop will be to incite cultural regeneration by preserving heritage and developing a new sense of cultural identity in a form of renewable culture – a culture of island’s community that is able to survive and transform places by breathing in vitality.
The island of Vis and the town of Komiza represent particular topologies within both Croatian and Adriatic geographical and historical context and within the wider Mediterranean cultural-historical and geo-political environment. They have a lot to offer as their current identity is the result of cultural stratification that occurred over the centuries. Thus preserving heritage as the evidence of their past and their local culture has intrinsic value and can act as a strong bound element in people’s lives. Building a sense of belonging and strong common identity will create a strong sense of place as a set of cultural, emotional and cognitive experiences and practices that link people to the place and shape the way they interact. In this context, it is important to ensure that local cultural values are enhanced and that past, present and future are mediated by culture to give island’s locations special ‘feel’ and characteristics that make them authentic and unique.
But, sudden event such as the invasion of Hollywood film makers and bringing the Hollywood film industry to the island can make a crack in local culture and can become a source of harmful stress for the members of local culture and can damage the nature of local community identity.
In the current situation when the island of Vis is becoming a scene and backdrop of both – Greek island and musical Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, this workshop will addresses the impact of such phenomenon on local society, including the arenas in which cultural heritage is preserved, held, collected, exhibited, presented and exists in the context of conflict between need to preserve island’s culture and increase commercial value with development of film tourism as a possible side effect of Holywoodization of the island.
The challenge will be to explore the effectiveness as well as problems of participatory approach and the way how it can be put into the practice when “the society of spectacle” and very powerful film industry turn the island’s cultural life upside down, threatening to replace the essential historic authenticity with fake authenticity and turning filming into symbolic capital of destination.
Also as this kind of mass tourism is based on the commodification of what should be valued as unique and on the homogenisation and standardisation that eliminate difference and wonder, through the PAIC workshop we need to imagine and explore a better alternative for a change focused on mindful alternatives which shift the definition of success from more (more visitors, acomodation capacity, resource to be exploited with destruction and harm) to better (more respect, community cohesion value, meaning, skills, vitality, sence of place, fulfilment, identity and heritage protection).