Since its inception the Italian Network of Folk Culture (INFC), present and active today in most of the Italian territory and composed of public and private stakeholders (local authorities, cultural institutions, voluntary and cultural associationsl), works for research and valorization of the local cultures and for development of different models of sociability.
Mark Prensky, American writer and scholar of learning and education processes, in 2001 he invented the digital native term, referring to the debate on the transformation of the educational institutions in the United States. «Our students have changed radically... today they are the first generation that has grown up within this new technological paradigm, have spent their entire lives surrounded by tools that have been created by the digital revolution... The name most effective I coined for them is "digital natives." Our students today are all "native speakers" and speak the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet».
Nowadays traditional culture needs to do not lose any more ground against the advance of technology, to face the emergence of new media languages. In the case of the Italian Network of Folk Culture, it wants to communicate to new generations, to transmit traditional cultures, to continue in the process, typical of folk culture, of involvement of people. It is possible, communicating in a digital and contemporary way, not only using the traditional methods and tools. Transmit a tradition means also betray it, take possession of it, because any traditional culture can live only if it can interact with people without losing its original poetic.
What is the Participatory Archive of Italian Network of Folk Culture
The development of the web platform of the Italian Network of Folk Culture, active since 2011, until today has provided the creation and management of a web community, the development of a web radio (www.tradiradio.org) and the creation of a Participatory Archive. This last section of the project will allow members to upload their documents on traditional culture: interviews with the masters of folk culture, videos, music, texts, photographs about festivals and traditions, traditional games and ways of working, research about food and crafts and everything that could be shared by researchers, artists, students and common people. Thanks to an interface for mobile devices, you can easily and directly upload the archive documents: you simply have to download on your device the icon of the network which it will connect you directly to the archive. Only one-click to upload photos, videos and researches.
Into the archive will converge all the materials collected in the course of the activities of the Network during past years. Such as Tullio De Mauro who is being donating his collection to Italian Network of Folk Culture and thanks to all the owners and book collectors who are doing the same, on the archive will also be available some of the greatest book collections of Italian scholars and characters of folk culture. It is possible with the development of a system connection to the others existing on line archives of Italian Network of Folk Cultures. Many others are following the example of De Mauro: schools, associations, researchers and the supporters.
The project provides the opening of others twin platforms in other countries and territories, which will be developed following the example of the Italian archive. Among the first entities, with which the project is already under construction, we note the Generalitat de Catalunya, which will upload more than 10,000 documents about festivals and rituals.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Public Education regional departments, the project is developing training courses in the first and second level schools of Italy regarding rituals and festivities of their own territories. It aims at increase the attention and participation of new generations in the community to which they belong. An example is the work made in the Province of Grosseto by the students of High School A. Rosmini, which has led to the development of a research and the creation of a video documentary, designed and produced by the same students, titled "Santa Caterina. A fire that never dies. A high school point of view on a folk tradition" dedicated to the ritual of Focarazza of St. Catherine in Roccalbegna. These materials will be loaded in the Archives on line by the same schools and institutes.
Tullio De Mauro Fund in the Italian Network of Folk Culture Archive
The fund comes from a private collection formed during many decades and donated to the Network, by an official act of 2011, by Tullio De Mauro and his wife Silvana Ferreri. It is a few thousand books, pamphlets and documents of "gray literature" relating to two different areas: the Italian dialects one and minority languages one.
Italian dialects section contains dialect dictionaries, literary works by the major and most well-known authors (Ruzante, Belli, Porta, De Filippo, Firpo, Noventa, Buttitta, Guerra), texts lesser known or known only locally, collections of nursery rhymes, proverbs, tales and fairy tales in different dialects.
Minority languages section contains dictionaries, literary texts, collections of short stories, fables, proverbs, archival materials (Gaetano Arfè documents relating to its activities in Italian Parliament on the Charter of the linguistic minorities rights; Piero Ardizzone's documents related to Italian laws on minorities; etc).
Catalogs and digitized texts gradually will be accessible on line, paying attention to the copyright owners's rights. The Fund is open for further donations, both by Professor De Mauro, and by other donors.
Funds on the Popural Network
Participating to the Archives with a Fund means use the platform as a technical tool,(a server space, tag keywords, complete additional informations for each item in the database, geocoding addresses and automatic location for each item with the possibility of creating an interactive maps, integrated search engine, automatic coding of multimedia content to create a standard compatible with most devices, mobile version interacting with the website) aimed at the sharing of all materials, text, audio and video already cataloged and digitized .
Documents, even if uploaded on the Italian Network of Folk Culture Archive, remain property of the owners who are responsible of copyrights.