Knitting stories
project by Isabel Andreu Roglá

project in collaboration with:
Associazione Donne in Viaggio, Erboristeria Millefoglie, Casa di Giorno, Centostazioni


Isabel Andreu Roglá found out that though there are very many abandoned buildings in Biella there are no real meeting places or culture centres in Biella. Therefore Isabel has together with a group of women called "Donne in Viaggio" organised a series of knitting meetings in public places. The purpose of these meetings is to create an opportunity for people to get together in an informal way and exchange experiences. Her project was inspired by an artist group in London called Cast - off, that a few years ago started meeting in different places in the city to knit together.
Creating spaces and opportunities for people to meet runs like a red thread through Isabel's work at Cittadellarte. She sees the empty and abandoned buildings as a metaphor for the absence of relationships among the different ethnic communities in our society.
“During my staying at Biella – tells Isabel - I could note that, as happens in many other rich and industrial towns of Europe, Biella's way of life is quite individualistic and family-oriented, close to outside world.
Knitting is an activity normally considered traditional, out of date and characteristic of old women. Nevertheless, I think that is an activity which in some countries is modern, and starts to be appreciated by the young, as a relaxing and pleasant activity, which favours the meeting, the information exchange and the knowledge of the others.
Talking and sharing knitting knowledge with the others, it is prone to recover parts of people's own biography, which offer to the “knitting” listener practical instructions and advices about how to properly do the knitting.
The project “Wool stories” includes two complementary aspects: one, which is basically personal, consisting in a documentation process about the stories of differently aged women, talking about how they learnt knitting and how they liked this activity all their life long. A series of interviews will be recorded with a small digital video camera. The film will, the most of time, focus women's hands, while they are knitting or gesticulating when talking.
Another aspect of this is more social-oriented, and includes more public projections. The activation of an initiative of knitting can be held in public areas and empty areas in the town of Biella. The public knitting meetings project was named “Knitting the empty space”.

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