Placemaking, Collective Care, and Culture: A Conversation with Global Practitioners
In a post-COVID world, the question of collective care is increasingly urgent. Yet cultural entrepreneurs and curators were problem-solving this challenge long before the pandemic, building resilient cities and relationships by elevating and innovating cultural heritage. COVID has accelerated the need to look toward their work and ask: could our need for collective care be tied to the places we live and love?
Join us for a conversation with change-makers about their approaches to activating cultural resources to cultivate creativity, revive economies, and build stronger networks of care. Nairi Khatchadourian will discuss collaborative art projects undertaken in Armenia during and after the recent conflict in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, or what Armenians refer to as Artsakh, to demonstrate acts of care toward heritage, place, and people. Soraya Hosni and Mark Gonzales will share insights from founding The New Medina, a network of purpose-driven spaces in the medina of Sousse, Tunisia—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—including a culinary lab, heritage start-ups, and a global residency center.
Real-time captioning (CART) and American Sign Language interpretation will be provided for this program while it’s live. To access, please follow the links below.
About the Participants
Nairi Khatchadourian is the senior museum specialist for the My Armenia Program, funded by USAID and implemented by the Smithsonian Institution. As a Paris-born independent curator based in Yerevan, she works in the fields of contemporary art, design, and cultural heritage. She is the founder of aha collective, an initiative gathering creating minds together. aha collective aims at conceiving projects in a way so they foster collaboration, bring discovery and delight, become a subject of conversation, of the society, of the future.
Soraya Hosni is a visual anthropologist, cultural activist, and co-founder of The New Medina. She uses stories, video, and photography to transmit intergenerational knowledge and empower isolated communities with a specific emphasis on children and youth. She had worked extensively in communities within Senegal, Chile, Syria, Palestine, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu, and she has held series across continents and oceans in over twenty countries.
Mark Gonzales is co-founder of The New Medina and chair of the Department of the Future. He develops tools, tech, and narratives to ignite civic imagination and shape human existence. With over twenty years of experience spanning over a dozen countries, his portfolio reads like a lookbook of possibility. It includes connecting artisans, investors, and urban planners to tell the future story of space, pairing kid lit creators with architects to create more child inclusive cities, and building real-world applications for the emerging empathy technology field.