Day two, museum two. We visited Ferrara today to see what was happening inside the Museo del Risorgimento e della Resistenza!
After the rain of day one in Faenza, we leave Bologna under a grey sky, hoping to find the sun awaiting us this time upon our arrival in Ferrara. Shortly after we get there, the clouds part and we rejoice as we get ready to enter into the heart of Museomix in Ferrara, on the most beautiful street in Europe. They welcome us at the museum, give us some very pretty name badges and direct us towards the “work in progress” area straight away. Actually, no, stop everything! They tell us that there are some hot croissants at the end of the entrance corridor. We certainly don’t stand on ceremony. We need the energy to mingle with the museomixers and see what they’re making!
As soon as we enter the room we notice that the creatives are all extremely focused. Despite the large numbers of people milling around, we almost seem to read a certain orderliness in their faces. They’re in the middle of the prototyping phase. They have clear ideas now and want to put them into practice. As we wander around the room, we hear the bothersome noise of hammers and machinery being used in the FabLab and the sound of fingers beating away on the numerous computers dotted around the tables. Day two in Ferrara is one of voices blending in with each other, overlapping one another and merging with the constant click of the cameras. It’s a mixture in every sense: noises, people, ideas. If a painter entered the room and decided to paint the scene, the result would probably be a painting called Creativity and Disorientation.
Effectively speaking, you feel a bit bewildered when you enter a room with museomixers at work. Cups of coffee, electrical sockets, computers, jackets, bags, folders, incomprehensible objects and post-it notes everywhere. You don’t know where to stand to keep out of the way or what you should actually be looking at. A number of refugees, who were invited to take part in the marathon and were curious enough to get involved, photograph and film everything so as not to miss even the smallest detail. Others simply observe with the eyes of people who don’t really understand much of what is going on, moving between the work tables and the FabLab. A class of children visiting the museum seems to feel the same: disorientation is combined with intense interest. One of them wears an expression that clearly says: “Now what am I going to tell my mum when she asks what I saw at the museum today?” On the other hand, even we are struggling to understand everything that is going on in the Ferrara Museomix work area.
Time passes, we settle in and the morning concludes with a general meeting, which thankfully fills us in on what we missed yesterday. The teams (even if calling them teams suggests a competition) explain the situation with their projects. The names recall exotic animals: Ma.Ca.Co, Fenicottero and Ippopotamix. The first project splits the museum into three, linking the three parts to three different figures: Carlo Mayr, Pico Cavalieri and Alda Costa, with relative colour associations. The second, MEMORES, reminds us how even normal people can do extraordinary things. The meeting closes with the Ippopotamix (an amazing name), who show us four posters mixing past with present. The first two groups have decided to work together, merging their creative paths in an attempt to produce an even more surprising end result. Perhaps, because of this, it’s not appropriate to call them teams: here in Ferrara there’s an air of great collaboration and comradeship throughout the museum.