C4 – Italy visiting Lithuania

Venti di Cultura (Manuela) and Avril had a rich exchange of ideas on how the learning
activity of the C session could fit into the aims of our projects and on how this could
represent a tool for the change of perspective and approach that we all expect from the
project. They talked about the I-Improve project, the learning section, the Italian group, new
methods-old methods to work.

Afternoon Meeting with Jekaterina, Julius and a large group of co-urbanists and
neighbouring communities coming also from Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia. All of us will present
projects in two days at the Co-urbanism seminar.

Evening meeting with Francesco, Marta Julius and Jekaterina. Brainstorming about the
program, about the next days, and how we can or could solve issues depending on our
different politics, culture, neighbourhoods, in our different countries.

Inspirations for our individual intellectual work and/or for our local activities:
toast to the project!

March 20th, Wednesday, 10,00-22,00
2nd day: Kaunas trip for the International Happiness day celebration
Meeting at the railway station and first picture all together in front of a big Vilnius in the
lobby! We get on the train, all together, so we could already confront each other about our
backgrounds, countries, ideas, projects. In less than two hours we are in Kaunas for the day
of happiness celebration!

Walking to the Kaunas 2020 city of culture offices. Coffee time, and in the mean time Anna,
chief officer at Kaunas 2020, explained the agenda for the next two years: lot of projects,
some of them fascinating, some of them practical, some of them we can dream about.

Then a walk through Kaunas happiness day: photography exhibition at a laboratory for
medical treatments, urban neighbourhood art gallery, no-family children creative activity
association to give a reference point when starting an individual life, the soviet “frittella” in a
real sovietic timeless shop, cultural library association barbecue, silence disco...(a very short
parenthesis to shop linen, drinks, and souvenirs). And then jump on a train to get back to
Vilnius, after having dances in a silent disco on the railways station.

Inspirations for our individual intellectual work and/or for our local activities:
FC: being european cultural capital is a great opportunity to build local heritage
communities, ignited by the Culture Capital young and competent staff. We passed through
their interpretation of happiness that was very fascinating, because grounded on the
diversity of the approaches to happiness from many different kinds of people: disable, child,
artist, etc... Very inspiring intellectually but difficult to connect with our venetian activities.

March 21st, Thursday, 9,00-18,30
3rd day: Co-urbanism – where everybody is a change maker.
Every morning we have a VdC brainstorming on the visit. After we had the co-urbanism
seminar, about “Inclusive Urban Development, Tools and Cases”, held by Jekaterina for her University.

Ten interventions coming mainly from the Baltic Republics – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
About centres created by community people; open air theatre play to energize the
neighbourhood; temporary use of buildings to revitalize abandoned spaces and at the same
time contributing to their maintenance; new ways to reunite neighbourhood in a crescendo of
social activity; another segment of what’s going on in Kaunas since the election for the 2020
European cultural capital with a growing network which covers the whole Country to reach
the international audience. Others interventions about very specific local issues, on
“deprived” areas, or dangerous traffic round-about, or military land transformed into a
communal garden. In between Marta and Francesco explained the Arsenal game and how a
game “can make the difference” in an important area of the city.

After a business lunch, a walk in the “future” garden as an example of how community can
create work and dreams together.

Then meeting in a small group with Marta, Francesco, Manuela and Jekaterina to discuss
about the change maker resolution, the project path, the informal educator process,
focussing on the point to be developed on the next days meeting.

Inspirations for our individual intellectual work and/or for our local activities:
FC: courbanism is very close to a part of my professional experience dedicated to
co-housing and urban acupuncture, but also with the notion of heritage communities in the
Faro Convention we experiment in Venice with Venti di Cultura and Faro Venezia.

March 22
nd, Friday, 9,00-21,30
4th day: Learning activities about the visit, the Venetian game, and Faro Convention
A new VdC meeting to discuss the panel we are asked to fill in and present in Stockholm
next August.
Then meeting with Jekaterina in a wonderful location at Vilnius University (planned to be
also an exhibition hall and even a playground for children of the next door kindergarden).
We had a Skype chat with Avril: learning activity, comments on the last two days meetings,
impressions and inspirations for all of us thanks to the rich program Jekaterina and Julius
made for us.

Avril made suggestions to reflect on how these Lithuanian inspirations could be new tools to
help us find solutions for the Venetian issues. We already have done that and we could
compare how the two worlds are so different and, at the same time, they have the same
problem of “lack of dialogue” between different layers.
Then we had information exchanges between Jekaterina and Julius and us, that can open
our minds on how to let the changemaker be a “change” not just a in a traditional way.
Presentation to Jekaterina of the Arsenal board game. Significant comments about the rules,
the design, the area we are talking about.

Visiting State Heritage Cultural Office in Vilnius. With a coffee and a sweet we confronted
our similar issues to contact and communicate at different layers on politics and culture
administrations ...And the effort to do that with no funds, in the framework of the Faro
convention, that seems very inspiring for them.
Visiting a coffee shop for playing video games and board games. The sweet girl of the coffee
shop informed us that people of every age play with both. From 7 to ...no age...
School children arrive after school and stay until the right time to go back home. Adults after
work or they reserve a game space to play with friends. Differences between different games
(time duration, difficulty, what people which game, etc.)
Lunch (3.30 pm) in which we still discussed on how we have to walk through this rough path
of I-improve/Rivers Cities project.
Visiting Vilnius to try to have a sense of the culture and history of it.
Dinner time with Julius and Jekaterina, brainstorming about what we are going to experiment
next day on the urban game, but also ideas on how both our groups could find new ways to
exploit I-Improve River Cities at maximum yield at the lowest cost.

Inspirations for our individual intellectual work and/or for our local activities:
FC: the State Heritage Cultural Office in Vilnius was interested to work on the Faro
convention framework and this seems to be a very good opportunity to exchange in the
future competences, networks, knowhow, between us in Venice and them in Vilnius, through
the line indicated by Jekaterina, with the field work with both her association and her

March 23rd, Saturday, 9,00-19,00, 5th day:
Learning activities about the Urban game in Šnipiškės and Trakai
In the morning coffee with Jekaterina telling us the origin of the Urban Game. The site, the
history of the place and his inhabitants, how it started the idea, and the whole process to
reach the best divulgative solution and then how to make it work. And the success
afterwards, and also about new commitments with other countries to adapt the same Urban
game to other issues, or different locations.

Then we played! It was: fun for sure, but also very interesting (and inspiring) on how you can
show with a simple game how things can change, how to interact with people, how you can
go deep or stay on the surface depending on what you want from the experience.
That means, that Jekaterina and Julius Urban game, is for all: it grabs people, each one at
his/her level of knowledge, analysing capacity, detective capacity, curiosity, and fun desire,
and age.
The Urban game let you “understand” the specific place on which the game is about.
Lunch with all of us going deeper about the Urban game, Jekaterina and Julius telling us
technical experience about it (producing it, publishing it, distributing it, etc.) and also some
tales about people playing it.

Trip to the countryside to Trakai: a peaceful walk through the woods on the border of a
wonderful lake. Visiting the castle, observing Lithuanian people rest Saturday moments, and
a sunset landscape breath-taking.

Inspirations for our individual intellectual work and/or for our local activities:
FC: beside learning the many strategies of the Laimikis lituanian cultural network, our goal
was to balance the two partners Changemaking processes (1), and to have the Limikis help
in VdC second possible step of gaming, with an urban game (2). We are glad and thankful of
the time spend with Laimikis discussing this issues:
1. We found each of us in very different states of the process, quite the opposite. We
VdC with a changemaker defined since December, discussing now about prototype,
cost and contract. Laimikis at a very early stage of the process. This difference raised
a discussion among us about the meaning itself of the project, that we decided to
solve asking to all the partners to clarify at which stage they are, in choosing and
contracting their changemakers.The nice immediate answer from some partners was
clearly indicating a diffused very different state of the local engagement in the
changemaking process, being us VdC much ahead. Therefore we discussed the
issue in VdC, and decided to slow down a bit, waiting to build the best timing
amalgama with the others partner.
2. Laimikis could be very interested to help us in the urban game if they might find time
for it, but the two places Šnipiškės and Arsenale could not be more different, in terms
of: accessibility, propriety, centrality, value, monumentality, etc.. Laimikis produces
different urban games strategies, nevertheless that cultural difference, and our
physical distance, doesn't allow any easy solution, nor immediate. Also with regard ofthe many engagement that Laimikis already has in the next year. Therefore we
postponed any further reflection on the venetian urban game at their coming in
Venice for our I_Improve TM in Venice next year.

March 24 th , Sunday, 9,00-14,00
6th day: City life
To the Three Crosses Park walk, the park where a lot of Vilnius citizens go on sunny
Sundays for not using cars and relax in town. Tour of the city, you know, just to orientate
ourselves and try to understand where we have been for the past 5 days.
Inspirations for our individual intellectual work and/or for our local activities:
Farewell toast.


C 4 - Venice in Vilnius

Venti di Cultura experimenting Laimikis urban game