Green cities with lots of meeting spaces, a tomorrow tinged with optimism and a present lived with difficulty but also with hope. So the boys of Colle di Val d'Elsa, Poggibonsi, Radicondoli, San Gimignano, Volterra imagine the future according to # portraiture, an art competition organized by the Culture Attive association in which students and young people were invited to tell the world and life after the pandemic through texts, drawings, photos and videos.

The initiative was organized thanks to the support and synergy with the Municipal administrations of Volterra, San Gimignano, Radicondoli, Colle di Val d'Elsa and Poggibonsi, active parties in the dissemination of the contest to schools in their respective territories.

28 entries in competition, some made by individuals, others collectively by entire classes or groups. The prizes reserved for lower secondary school went to the students Thomas (from the Comprehensive Institute of Volterra, with the text "La mia Volterra"), to Giulia (from the Comprehensive Institute 1 of Poggibonsi, drawing) and Sara (from the Comprehensive Institute of Colle di Val d'Elsa, photo collage).


The students were awarded the awards for secondary school Chiara (from the High School of Applied Sciences of the Roncalli Sarrocchi Institute of Poggibonsi, with the text "22.29"), Sara, Andrea, Alice (from the San Giovanni Bosco and Cennino Cennini Institute in Colle di Val d'Elsa, with the poem "Pandemia"), Guya (from the San Giovanni Bosco and Cennino Cennini Institute in Colle di Val d'Elsa, photography).

In spite of a generation that we imagine hyper-technological, the most used tools by students were the drawing and the technique of collage. Deep reflections emerged from the papers in the competition: on the one hand trust and optimism in the future, on the other all the difficulties of the moment we are going through, in particular the forced separation from peers.

The jury was made up of Martina Marolda, art historian (for Associazione Cultures Attive), Carolina Taddei, art historian and councilor for culture of the Municipality of San Gimignano, Michela Eremita, art historian and director of the Children's Art Museum of Siena, Laura Manzi, cultural worker, e Massimo Ricciardo, artist and teacher.

# portraits of the city it also had a Turin appendage, thanks to the artist and teacher Massimo Ricciardo, which made the project its own by involving lower secondary classes of the Piedmontese capital.

“It is an honor for Volterra - declares the councilor for education Viola Luti - have among their students a winner of this important participatory competition. The project, which focuses on the ideas of the younger generations on their own cities, can really contribute to the regeneration and reconfiguration of urban space through humanity and the widespread knowledge that every local community preserves. And precisely looking to the future of young people - concludes Luti - gives us the strength to look with courage and hope at overcoming this very difficult historical phase, all and all together ”.

Susanna Salvadori, Councilor for Educational Policies of the Municipality of Poggibonsi, reiterates the importance of “continuing to think about the city, even in this period in which contact with the outside world has failed. Thinking about the city means thinking about oneself. And we are the relationships we build. This is the perspective in which to think about the future: together with sustainability, the ability to invent and make our realities attractive. The other aspect to underline - continues Salvadori - is the collaboration between many municipalities, schools and institutions. Because it is this collaboration that makes us strong, makes us a community, and helps us think about the world after Covid ".

"I send the warmest congratulations from the Colle di Val d'Elsa administration to the awarded students, in particular to the five of our city - declares the councilor for Culture Christian Bianchi - but at the same time I would like to thank all those who participated in Portraits of the City, because they have contributed with their projects and their imagination to give us an important starting point, a look inside and above all beyond the moment we are living. In fact, it is essential that the way in which we imagine the future is shown to us by those who will live there ".

“A contest that has been able to give our kids a voice - he says Carolina Taddei, Councilor for Culture of the Municipality of San Gimignano - to their dreams and ideas for the future: a young and resilient community that, thanks to art and culture, knows how to show us the direction from which to start over ”.

“The events that characterized 2020 - he declares Luca Fashion, Councilor for Culture of Radicondoli - are probably destined to change our way of life and work and consequently the vision of our cities. The students' perspective is certainly a current and representative point of view that must make administrators think. We share the feeling of optimism and trust in the future that transpires from the projects as Administration and it is a pleasure to find it in those who will be the protagonists of our company tomorrow. I thank the Tuscany Region and the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art in Prato for the sensitivity of the initiative, the Culture Attive association for the realization of the project, the other Municipalities involved, but above all the young people who wanted to participate with such enthusiasm. ".

Competition organized by the Culture Attive association of San Gimignano in collaboration with the municipal administrations of Volterra, San Gimignano, Radicondoli, Colle di Val d'Elsa and Poggibonsi as part of the project "City Portraits - For a contemporary narration of environmental art ”With the contribution of the Tuscany Region, through the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art in Prato, as part of Toscanaincontemporanea2020.