Bottom-up policy development for cultural & social wellbeing in the EU

“The case study of the Par Tòt Donkeys”

Trans Europe Halles and its member Associazione Oltre… in Bologna, Italy carried out social well-being laboratories: intergenerational social well being with participatory arts and culture

In the prevention and health promotion category, the project works on youth and intergenerational relations: main targets are those between middle childhood to adolescence. More than twenty arts&crafts workshops, scattered across the various city’s neighbourhoods, have been carried out, and three of them have been chosen to be monitored and studied by a local researcher (Luca Negrogno) to assess the effects o n participants’ (and workshops’ conductors’!) health and wellbeing. These were selected because of their varied offer and different target audiences.

1) an experimental music lab for children aimed at developing instruments and sounding objects to use in the parade that could reproduce the call of the donkey, led by musician and choir director Serena Pecoraro, inside the premises of Associazione Del Guasto; 2) a dance and music samba workshop aimed at children, youngsters and their parents, led by Sambaradan, a historical samba batucada group which was born in the early years of the parade; 3) a music craft workshop led by Totem Lab inside the Romagnoli schools in the Pilastro neighbourhood, aimed at building cajon instruments to use in the parade. The three workshops addressed different communities in the population, including both central and peripheral areas of the city. The three workshops were carried out in April and May 2022, the two months prior to the parade during which all the preparatory workshops took place.

Each year, the parade is dedicated to a different animal (as mentioned above, this was the year of the donkey!). Directly involving the kidswho took part in the previous years’ laboratories and workshops, the new animal is decided collectively. This way of direct involvement of the youth is one of the main leit motifs which lead the parade, which aims at empowering the relational skills of those shares of the population which are often forgotten when building and designing a city and its services (namely the youth). Especially after the past two years, gifting the youth with ecucational tools (which foster a more interconnected and inter-neighbourhood city perspective) should be one of the main policies objectives, as well as one of the main objectives and positive outputs foreseen by cultural and creative participated activities.

Further info, pictures and videos on the project can be found at:

ZocZoc Asini Par Tot 2022

Documentary Asini Par Tot

The CultureForHealth Report