Domenico Romaniello – Basento Camastra LAG Director
What is your idea of social and cultural innovation and your relationship with the Land of Stories project?
Innovation involves the use of new technologies and organisational forms with a bottom-up approach. This means working with a social network, where social relations are tools to be used in the business and agri-food activity. In this perspective, the nature and experience of LAG which works in partnership and with a bottom-up approach, help to strengthen regional identities. "By deepening the links to our past, with all its contradictions, we can hope for a better social and cultural structure in our internal areas." "Our Local Development Plan called Il sole anche di notte contributes to identify the central issue of a development process which keeps the core values, knowledge, and system of essential relationships, i.e. the local identity. For a local system to evolve, it needs to learn from its own experiences and be able to feel any external conditions that are changing". The agri-food business development activities started in the framework of LEADER, the cultural and social realities and the local and cooperative networks in the territories are fully integrated with the Land of Stories project.
What are the LAG’s integrated development experiences that provided the keys to social and/or cultural innovation?
There have been many Basento Camastra LAG projects that assisted the agri-food sector’s development. For example, the Agnello delle Dolomiti Lucane project aimed to save a well-identified breed of sheep which was representative of the area. LAG has built a network of entrepreneurs to support it. In the current 2007/2013 programme, there were important projects connected to the enhancement of the Podolica breed of cattle, social agriculture initiatives and projects involving the conservation of products of collective interest. The project La Hall dell’Albergo orizzontale aimed to organise a tourism chain in the LAG area by "taking the correct steps to help establish projects that rebuild and enhance the natural and cultural heritage and make them work, so that they can play an important role and integrate with the area’s great tourist attractions."
Does LAG have cultural and social innovation projects yet to achieve?
There are different activities that the LAG is supporting in its Land of Stories project; some are still in their start-up phase right in these days. "La nostra storia: Gioacchino Cutinelli Rendina Senatore del Regno" aims to restore the image of the Marquis Gioacchino Cutinelli Rendina who was an illuminated lord from Campomaggiore Vecchio and Senator of the kingdom. In collaboration with the Historical Archive of the Republic Senate, the State Archives of Potenza and the National Library of Potenza, there is a project to bring to light the estate and local development activity that Teodoro Rendina undertook at the end of the eighteenth century based on the utopic social model of Robert Owen and Charles Fourier. This aims to retrieve what some historians describe as a genuine agrarian ante litteram reform that brought in work and dignity and on that model to assume new assets for local development.
In "Le forme del teatro" project some permanent physical spaces will be established within the town of Albano di Lucania. This follows the expedition led by the anthropologist Ernesto De Martino. De Martino’s most known work included a chapter on Albano di Lucania, entitled "Vita Magica di Albano di Lucania". The project aims at building a magical path with its rites (witchcraft, superstitions, astral influences, etc.), its myths (the magicians and Majare, prayers, healings, etc.), its faces, its sounds, its magic filters and the documents and the large De Martino expeditions/investigations. The final event in the journey will include the "La notte delle Majare" which will last for several consecutive days and engage the entire Albano di Lucania community also next year.