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Launch of Mapping Memory Routes of Moroccan Communities

Posted on by aldaterra



“Mapping Memory Routes of Moroccan Communities” – an innovative and thought-provoking multisensory digital artwork from the artist behind the acclaimed art installation “Streets of… 7 cities in 7 minutes”

On 3 March 2017, between 6.00pm and 8.00pm, ALDATERRA Projects will hold a private view of Alda Terracciano’s new installation “Mapping Memory Routes of Moroccan Communities” at Rich Mix, 35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA London. The installation will be open to the general public from 12.00pm to 6.00pm on 3rd March 2017.

This innovative multisensory digital artwork is the result of an arts and heritage project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and produced in collaboration with Al-Hasaniya Moroccan Women’s Project, Making Communities Work and Grow, Goldfinger Factory, Politecnico di Milano, and Queen Mary, University of London.

Over the past year, the artist has engaged members of the Moroccan community in West London with the aim of exploring the Moroccan living heritage through a series of memory sessions focused on the cultural memories of people’s everyday life.

These memories are now shared through a digital interactive sensorial map of Golborne Road (also known as Little Morocco), which includes physical objects related to various aspects of Moroccan culture, each requiring a different sense to be experienced (smell, taste, sight, hearing, touch). Augmented Reality (AR) and innovative olfactory technologies have been used to superimpose pre-recorded video material and smells, sourced from people of Moroccan descent living, working or visiting Golborne Road, to the objects on the map. As a result, the neighbourhood is represented as a living museum of cultural memories expressed in the form of artefacts, sensory stimulation and narratives of citizens from the area.

The project represents a creative response to the increasing gentrification of Golborne Road, which means that many Moroccan families and businesses are slowly leaving the place and memories of their contributions to making this one of the most culturally vibrant areas of London risks of getting lost. In this respect, the project addresses the lack of direct involvement of local communities in the decision-making processes about the development of their neighbourhoods. It also aims to create a space for directly involving communities, as carriers of a rich cultural landscape, into revealing the tacit cultural ‘areas’ within the fabric of the city, the utopic city within the city, offering at the same time rich insights on how to design and develop urban interventions that improve everyday life in an informed and democratic way.

Finally, working closely with Moroccan and Muslim communities aims to awaken a critical understanding of current cultural stereotypes, stimulating participants and wider audiences to re-evaluate our interconnected histories on both sides of the Mediterranean at a time of conflict and political instability. In this respect, the digital device and physical model of Golborne Road can be used in other geographical areas and social settings as a catalyst for community participation to stimulate public responses to the digital/physical interface and associated storytelling, adding new material to the web portal that will be developed.

A presentation of the initial project design was given at the prestigious CHI 2016 (Computer Human Interaction) conference in San José by the artist and the HCI designer Dr Mariza Dima, as part of the workshop on Multisensory CHI. Further presentations will be delivered in Sweden, Germany, Canada and USA.

For more information on the project, or to arrange an interview with the artist,
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