A group, that’s what we are: simply a group. A group of people meeting, sitting in a circle and talking about our problems, how we feel and what we think. One at a time, and the others listen. But the most important thing about “our painting” is that, while we are talking, we look in each other’s eyes.
AMA – Auto Mutuo Aiuto volunteers
Can the artworks of a museum be “illuminated”, so that we may find our life choices mirrored in them? This is the question underpinning “The Works and Days” project, jointly promoted by the Fondazione Accademia Carrara and CSV – Service Centre for Charity Work in Bergamo.
The storytellers of “The Works and Days” are 24 volunteers from 12 local voluntary associations operating in different domains, from the daily care of persons with physical or mental disabilities, to the assistance of those with material needs.
They worked in pairs, getting personally involved in museum activities designed and run by the Education Department of the Museum (coordinated by Silvia Mascheroni from 2016 to 2018), and revolving around macro themes connected with the charity goals of the participants’ respective associations: food, maternity, courage, portrait, landscape and journey. The aim of such activities, followed by an intensive storytelling work with Maria Grazia Panigada in the exhibition spaces, was to help volunteers identify an artwork from the Carrara collections which could embody the fundamental purpose of their work, and to start a “conversation” with it, by interweaving its story with theirs.
The whole process resulted in the production of a calendar for year 2017: short written versions of those “conversations”, different in structure and rhythm, and yet sharing a similar way of looking, where the artworks are recognised as a mirror of one’s own commitment and life experience as a volunteer.