Tales of Heritage and Well-being. The Digital Appointment at the University of Catania from 11 to 13 February 2021


The first meeting organized by the newborn CHAIN—Cultural Heritage Interdisciplinary Academic Network, founded by professors and PhD students in Sciences of Cultural Heritage and Production at the University of Catania, will consist of three days of meetings and debates, in Italian and English, entirely online.

Culture and COVID-19: changes and impacts on human relations and socio-cultural mechanisms in times of Pandemic.

The conference is free of charge. To participate in the conference sessions, simply register on the website: https://www.chain-conference.com

CATANIA, 31 JANUARY 2021. During the three days of the Well-Being and Cultural Heritage conference, more than fifty scholars, professors, experts and practitioners from all over the world (Austria, China, Germany, Greece, Italy, United Kingdom, Russia, Spain and the United States) will animate an interdisciplinary dialogue to reflect on traditions, places and communities; to narrate the role and identity of tangible and intangible heritage in the digital age; to highlight the performative value of cultural institutions (e.g. archives, libraries, archaeological sites, etc.) and the expressive and cathartic power of arts and culture; to recognize, value and manage the different impacts (social, health, economic, etc.) of the cultural sector and its management systems for achieving conscious, inclusive and sustainable development goals (SDGs 2030).

The macro-themes of the conference (Memory, Perception and Research-Actions) will be introduced by: Christian Greco, director of the Egyptian Museum in Turin, with a focus on memory and material culture (11 February); historian and media theorist Peppino Ortoleva who will speak on the individual, environmental and media appropriation of cultural heritage (12 February); and Pier Luigi Sacco, professor of cultural economics at IULM University, who will contribute to reflect on the foundations of culture as a sociobiological element of welfare (13 February).

The conference theme has been picked out months before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has allowed a rediscovery and affirmation of heritage and culture as virtuous and fundamental elements for maintaining strong human relations in times of social distancing. Evidence shows, for example, that cultural participation has contributed to the psychological well-being of communities, reducing isolation.

The CHAIN network—supported by a board of professors Maria Rosa De Luca, Pietro Militello, Anna Mignosa, Stefania Rimini and Romilda Rizzo—envisages the exchange of ideas and projects between universities, research centers, businesses, associations, bodies and professionals in the cultural sector. Meetings, conferences and workshops will be organized over the next few years. “We are currently working on the final preparations for the first ambitious step of this project,” have declared the young members of the CHAIN Team—Thea Messina, Stefano Russo, Giuseppe Sanfratello and Giovanna Santaera—“and we hope that the growing collaboration and involvement of operators and experts from all over the world will give continuity over time to the initiative, which, like heritage, inherits perspectives from the past and assigns us the task to work on the heritage to be passed on to the future generations.”

Additional information is available at https://www.chain-conference.com/