MIND THE GAP

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"We humanise what is going on in the world and in ourselves only by speaking of it. And in the course of speaking of it we learn to be human." Hannah Arendt

Mind The Gap is a creative programme led by the National Museums of World Culture to facilitate intercultural dialogue, inclusion and equality through digital storytelling.

So far, we have 5 editions (Gothenburg, Amman, Riga, Tyre and Siwa) during which we filmed stories of ordinary people who shared stories about gaps in their lives. We have a mixture of identity gaps, cultural, generational gaps, gender gaps, and gaps as a result of missed opportunities.

Our Story

Since 2017, the National Museums of World Culture began the journey to collect stories from ordinary people living Sweden and neighbouring regions on experiences with "Gaps". The journey started with Tandem for Culture programme when Rasha Shaaban (National Museums of World Culture) and Sanaz Amidi (Rosetta Arts, UK) met in Sofia in October 2017 and decided to work on addressing gaps (social, gender, identity, generational, cultural, etc.).

In the Spring of 2018, we held the first Mind the Gap workshop with members from the local community in Gothenburg and filmed 8 stories. In November 2018, we filmed 13 stories during the Amman edition with voices from Sweden, Jordan and Egypt.

In April 2019, during the ArtGora Riga forum on art activism for gender equality, we filmed 5 stories on gender gaps with voices from Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Sweden and Ukraine. In November 2019, we filmed 7 stories about gender roles gap in Egypt and Lebanon during the first residency of Mind the Gap programme in the South of Lebanon.

Through Mind the Gap programme, we aim at creating an intercultural dialogue space for people from different cultural backgrounds to promote active citizenship and reflect on gaps in our daily life.

We established several regional partners with creative organisations in United Kingdom, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Baltic Sea region.

What do you mean by "Gap"?

A gap is something that is disconnected. A disruption. An empty room. Something that is missing. A gap makes it difficult sometimes to grasp the wholeness of certain life event. We all live with a gap. Some of us are aware of it. Some of us are not. Gaps are contextual depending on where you are at that moment. They can be painful. But, they can also be a normal part of the course of our lives.

Watch this video interview with Elisabeth Punzi, Psychologist and Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology, Gothenburg University.

Why digital storytelling?

Storytelling predates writing. It is a unique art form for expression in daily jargon about our feelings and experiences. Storytelling is a form of democracy. It gives a free voice to the unheard.

Everyone can tell a story. We are so addicted to stories that our mind stays up all night telling itself stories during our sleep (The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall). When you tell a story, you can get an understanding both for yourself and for others, and it gives meaning and context to our experiences.

Digital storytelling is a form and a practice of participatory media in which digital media technology is used to create and share autobiographical stories of ordinary people.

More information about the programme, please contact: rasha.shaaban (at)varldskulturmuseerna.se.