The collaborative project Home-Town Sustainability Through Enhanced Media and Information Literacy will run from 2022 through 2024. It uses historical and contemporary image material to introduce new perspectives on how local natural and cultural heritage can be saved and used towards long-term goals. Based on workshop meetings in which two generations together create short films about the future of their local environment, the project develops an educational model that increases the participants’ social engagement and their participation in democratic processes. The aim is to enhance their ability to find and critically evaluate image information and thereafter to use that ability in their own visionary film productions. This kind of learning by doing gives both young and old alike better media and information literacy. It establishes a strong foundation for continued visual communication and civil dialogue.
Given the age segregation of today’s society, issues of collaboration between generations are becoming increasingly relevant. From the perspectives of natural and cultural heritage, equally important new questions arise about how different generations can find practical and visionary approaches to what it means to “live sustainably”. By using visual archival sources to gain insight into what “living sustainably” once meant for local environments, Home-Town Sustainability Through Enhanced Media and Information Literacy offers important points of entry and answers to these kinds of questions.
The expectation is that the project will enhance the participants’ ability to critically relate to and actively communicate about what they consider valuable and necessary to preserve. At the same time, in their shared work with local issues around sustainability, the participants clarify their own potential role and function, as well as how they can use photography and film together with other people to impact the writing of history and their local environment.
The project works very closely with the Västra Götaland Landscape Observatory (Landskapsobservatorium Västra Götaland) and builds on its earlier work in the area of local home-town landscapes, in which older and younger people were given an opportunity to work together toward desired outcomes and uses for the land in their local communities. Thanks to Home-Town Sustainability Through Enhanced Media and Information Literacy, younger and older generations will now get a chance to express their visions visually and audio-visually.
Home-Town Sustainability Through Enhanced Media and Information Literacy is made possible by a collaboration among Mediapoolen Västra Götaland AB, Filmpedagogerna, the Gothenburg Region, the Västra Götaland Regional Council’s Cultural Affairs Committee, the University of Gothenburg, Visual Arena and participants from a local historical society and a secondary school class.