“Fare Rione, Fare Scuola” – Neighborhood Building, School Building

Stefano Barbato-Schule with kollektiv orangotango

How can students benefit from local communities? How can schools make use of the students’ extra-curricular knowledge? And how can schools contribute to their neighborhoods? In Barra, on the outskirts of Naples, young people are integrated into a lively social network. However this knowledge is hardly reflected in the curriculum. In order to strengthen self-awareness for these abilities, 5th grade students explored the local resources in their immediate environment, seeking out discussion partners in their neighborhood: What knowledge can the baker impart that is not taught in school? What can one learn from the municipal councilor? And what can these protagonists learn from the students? The students explored how schools can become sites for social living and the exchange of diverse forms of knowledge, realizing their ideas using artistic means: in mappings, wall pictures, or filmic works, they uncovered the knowledge hidden in their neighborhood.

The kollektiv orangotango was formed in 2008 as an informal network of critical geographers. The focus of its activities is critical educational work, the creation of self-organized structures, and concrete social interventions which contribute to the reflection on and overcoming of existing circumstances In addition, orangotango aims to create spaces for the networking and exchange of ideas between social movements, emancipatory struggles, and alternative everyday practices.