New Humanity Movement

Social Communication

PuntoLab2

PuntoLab is a municipal workshop of communication, open to all residents of Rome and inspired by the theme "the way we are: identity and relationship." Organized by experts and communications professionals, it wants to contribute to the formation of active residents through knowledge and conscious use of the media.

 

by Paolo Balduzzi

Saturday, March 24 at 4:00PM in Rome PuntoLab will open the doors of its workshop for the fifth time to the inhabitants; this time the title will be: "The other, possession or sharing".

In this delicate phase of financial speculation and economic crisis, consumer society will be discussed, its representation, but also the dissonant voices, that see a chance to change and put the focus on a more sober lifestyle, and economics of happiness.

But what is PuntoLab? How did this workshop come about, which attracts more and more people in every event that it holds?

Rome, Lepanto station. We are in the hall of a small apartment, where every fortnight the organizing team of this laboratory meets: we need to organize the next event, we have to discuss step by step the schedule of the workshop, its contents, the finishing touch. The group arrives one by one, almost always in a hurry:  the editors, people from the television stations, those who just finished a film shooting or from the school where they teach. The chosen day is almost always on Fridays, when there is more time to be together and finish the work, which is usually very hard.

On the other hand, the laboratory has always been working in this way since its beginning in May 2009, when it was set up by a group of communications professionals, who shared the same desire to build a more united world.

The team is made up of journalists, television writers, filmmakers, video makers. Some are already friends with each other, the others will become too. Working more or less in the same field would be easy to fall into the temptation to have a good debate or a sophisticated conference.

But instead no! Everyone involved their colleagues in an attempt to put together their professional skills, building events for those who use the media: the citizens.

During these meetings a particular topic taken from the current news is adapted to a specific television category, trying to get inside the communication logic behind the news, a documentary, a reality show, the advertising. The participants are provided with cultural insights and interviews "live," in order to gain a greater awareness of what the media offer, everything in a fast-paced and engaging manner.

The aim is not only to better understand "who we are" and "where we go”, but above all to emphasize the real relationship with the other, who is different from me; this is always the best chance we have to be happy. This is what tells us Tamara Pastorelli, a program-director, and one of the authors. In this process TV, the internet and newspapers all have a responsibility, for the ideas and the values they express. 

The initial work was long, but we have seen the birth of a workshop with a growing number of members, most of whom young people. The exchange between the professionals and young people is the true workshop. Together we view the materials, we decide how to deal with the different arguments, we confront one another with decision, but also with a great openness: everyone is called upon to offer her analysis and is open to discussion .

In the group there is Caterina Manganella, author from the Italian National Broadcasting Company: "We have experienced how challenging but also beautiful is to work together, by considering the other as the most important, by listening deeply to the other, and putting into evidence the positive traits of the other. It is the production method that makes the end credible."

Annalisa Picardi is a videoeditor: she worked for many successful television programs on the main TV channels in Italy; she says: "PuntoLab is a civic school - organized through thematic events - where people, who normally watch TV and maybe are unconsciously influenced by it, can learn how to have a critical eye, capable to decode the reality that is proposed to them, rediscovering the sense of a more authentic communication, even en interpersonal one, which aims at unity."

"Our meetings are critical" - the scriptwriter Francesco Frascella echoes her - "to promote a conscious reading of the language and mechanisms of the media, to transform ourselves from passive viewers into active viewers in the standpoint of the world's unity and solidarity".

The fact is that, through the proposed work method and addressed themes addressed, PuntoLab aims to promote a communication, which helps the understanding among different groups, enriches the mind, generates new and shared ideas and applications, and promotes solidarity and peace.

Every group discussion includes several items: a critical voice, a dialogue, a purposive standpoint, an artistic standpoint, and a point of view different from ours. Film contributions, guests, interviews, role-play games. PuntoLab proposed in recent years a format that is convincing and has been consolidated through relations with the public administration (some municipalities and the municipality of Rome sponsored the project), but also with cultural associations and teachers who have involved some high school classes.

PuntoLab1
On May 7th 2010, a year after the beginning of the work, a debut took place in a theater of the Roman Balduina Quarter with the show The other in the news:

The first appointment was followed in the next November by a second one with the title: The vision of women in the media.

The other: meeting or confrontation, was instead the title of the third meeting, held on March 25th, 2011: it was dedicated to a particular type of television genre, the reality tv, going in depth analysing its mechanisms and the underlying model of society.

The following May 6th at La Sapienza University, a second meeting was dedicated to the news and aimed primarily at university students.

And eventually we got to the next meeting of March 24th, which was be held in a theater in central Rome. It 's the first one held in a Saturday afternoon; the first one to touch such an important subject as the financial crisis, tackling it from a very special point of view, certainly an event not to be missed.

 

 

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