Living Histories: the project history
The project begins with Professor Townsend’s research and exhibitions in Florence, Belgrade, and Kefalonia about how the European Union impacts individual national pride. Research focuses on symbols and communication strategies employed by the EU to create a sense of unity and affiliation among member countries. During this time a pronounced shift in globalization began along with challenges to the unity and hegemony of the more powerful EU states, which greatly influenced the original intentions of the research and exploration.
Professor Townsend participates in another series of research exhibitions in Corfu and Cairo. The project continues with research into social practices and interaction tools and methods in Kefalonia.
The first group of NC State students arrive in Kefalonia for five weeks to work on community design projects. Professor Townsend’s research and animations are featured in an exhibition at Institute Francais sponsored by the Dukakis Center in Thessaloniki.
A second group of NC State students arrive in Kefalonia for five weeks to develop speculative projects to address different community needs. Dr Maria Patsarika, from the Social Design Institute, University of the Arts, London, UK, joins the project to provide additional guidance with content regarding the social sciences, such as interviews and social practices.
One project proposal is refined to address intergenerational learning and community engagement. The project goal is to archive and preserve recent local history and practices for reference by future generations.
(COVID interrupts travel and work)
The administration and faculty at the second Lykeio in Argostoli meet with Dr Patsarika and Professor Townsend to formulate a plan for what will become the Living Histories Project. The goal is to create an educational unit within the existing secondary school curriculum. Vasilis Manikus, a teacher at the Lykeio, takes the lead on the project during the COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent restricted instruction. Under Mr Manikus’ guidance, the Lykio students can successfully conduct interviews, and the educational unit flourishes.
A third group of NC State students arrive in Kefalonia for five weeks to work with stakeholders to build a preliminary website to house all the material collected to date. Dr Patsarika, Professor Townsend, Sofie Giannakis Kagadis and Panagis Kavalieratos work to extend the existing collection of interviews. The website is built around ongoing curation and additions through community input and the original intent of Living Histories as an educational activity.