- 2 minutes
As part of the Accessible Heritage and Inclusive Territory (PATI) project promoted by the Institute of design of SUPSI-Department for Environment, Constructions and Design, Swiss photographer Nathalie Bissig has created an inclusive, participatory and site-specific work along the Sentiero delle leggende (Legends Trail) in the Verzasca Valley, which gives rise to the open-air exhibition Memories and Imaginations.
The exhibition, which is presented in the context of the Verzasca Foto Festival, will be on view until Saturday 30 September 2023 at the Cà Nòv in Gerra Verzasca.
An expert in conducting workshops and mediation meetings with young children and on the subject of legends, Nathalie Bissig worked with 11 children from different backgrounds, with and without Down syndrome: Chiara, Cora, Diego, Elettra, Elisa, Emanuele, Leonardo, Marta, Satayesh, Simon and Zeno.
During one week in June 2023, the girls and boys made drawings and masks, living imaginary stories on their skin and wearing the clothes of fantastic characters that Nathalie Bissig documented with photography.
As Bissig says: "When I work with children, I invite them to delve into an imaginary world with me. Wearing costumes and masks, participants can explore different roles and 'practice' imagination. Imagination is the precursor to empathy. During the working process, I react spontaneously to what each child brings to this new space. First of all, this project offers the opportunity to spend time together and to meet in a creative space'.
The photographer then processed the images in her characteristic style and with the black and white/inverted technique, which creates a powerful evocative and imaginary effect. In a simple and intuitive way, she shares with the audience a creative perspective on legends and diversity, making children the figures of the stories told.
The exhibition Memories and Imaginations engages in dialogue with the natural environment and the intangible heritage of the legends told. It is promoted by the Institute of design of the Department of Environment, Constructions and Design of SUPSI in collaboration with the Verzasca Valley Museum and the Verzasca Foto Festival, with the patronage of Atgabbes and Avventuno, and is co-funded by the Federal Office for Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and the Verzasca Foundation.
Accessible heritage and inclusive territory (PATI)
This is a SUPSI pilot project supported by the Stiftung für Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte, the Swiss Federation of the Deaf and the Federal Office for Equal Opportunities for People with Disabilities, as part of the cultural and nature itineraries in Italian-speaking Switzerland. In 2023, as part of the PATI project, the Institute of design of SUPSI-Department for Environment, Constructions and Design, in collaboration with the Verzasca Valley Museum and the University of Geneva, developed, for the first time in Switzerland, training for deaf people who want to become museum guides. In 2022, on the other hand, the Institute for Design and the Verzasca Valley Museum collaborated on the project To Touch the Legends: a participatory open-air exhibition in the Ca' Nòv nucleus in Gerra Verzasca, which proposed a visual representation of the valley's legends using audio-visual instruments and an accessible language to involve all audiences.
Institute of design
SUPSI - Department for Environment, Constructions and Design