“The Digital Environment Must be More Accessible, Safe and Creative”

25/10/2020
At 18:00 on October 29, Open Lectures “Culture 2.0”will hostan online discussion entitled “Inclusion and Ethics in the Digital Space”. Professionals of international cultural centers will discuss new ethics and forms of social adaptation in digital reality; the broadcast will be available on the official website of the Forum.

 

In the XXI century, almost all spheres of life have entered the digital space: business, education, cultural education, communication, and leisure. The role of modern technologies is so great that it requires the online space to be as comfortable as possible for all users, regardless of their age and health characteristics. Digital technologies must facilitate the social adaptation of disabled people creating the conditions for their full-fledged participation in public life. How to use the latest mechanisms and formats efficiently?

The discussion “Inclusion and Ethics in the Digital Space” will involve Sophia Alexandersson, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Swedish inclusive center ShareMusic & Performing Arts. The center creates art projects for people with disabilities and also supports them financially and works out tools for the development of an inclusive environment in cultural institutions. One of the center’s main research areas is the opportunities that can be provided by innovative technologies and switching to a digital format.   

“I want to discuss with my colleagues how we can create opportunities for online creativity so that everyone is on an equal footing. How do you create an online environment where everyone feels safe, inspired, and ready to unleash their creative potential?” Sophia says about her speech.

She also emphasizes the role of creativity in the adaptation of people with different specifics: “The fundamental idea of the ShareMusic Center is that everyone has the right for artistic expression in a world where people are valued for being different. In our work, we have seen the way creativity empowers people –reveals and unfolds their true potential regardless of experience, background, or abilities. People are starting to get noticed”.

Technology and digital formats can help address adaptation issues, but they also pose new challenges for cultural institutions. How can cultural institutions create high quality, ethical and successful digital projects? How can new technologies change approaches to inclusion in the future? What ethical and moral standards will emerge in the digital world? These and other topics will be discussed during the discussion.

The second speaker will be Ekaterina Men, President of the Center of Autism Issues. Ekaterina became the initiator and organizer of several unique projects that provide assistance to children with autism and their parents: inclusion in schools, science and education conferences, educational programs for doctors and teachers. The Inclusion 1465 project is already helping children with autism to study in general education schools on an equal basis with other children. During the discussion, Ekaterina will talk about her experience in fighting stereotypes, her successes, and the role of technology in social adaptation.

Robert Sochacki, an artist, stage designer, a lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poland, will offer his views on inclusion in culture and art. He has been creating art works in various formats for almost 25 years: scenography, performances and outdoor projections, interactive light installations. He is interested in tools that allow artists to remain in dialogue with their audience, which is why he constantly experiments. 

Also joining the discussion will be Diana Andone, Doctor of Engineering Sciences and Director of the eLearning Center of the Politehnica University of Timisoara (Romania). She will talk about how mastering computer skills and using technology helps people with disabilities participate fully in public life.

“Digital technologies must implement the function of social adaptation. After all, they are created to allow us to study, work, travel, communicate, shop and do it regardless of physical barriers. Particularly in recent months, digital technologies have played the role of a communication tool, and further on then they can serve for narrowing the existing social gaps, expanding inclusion, and improving the quality of people’s lives”. 

“However, the use of digital technologies for inclusion is not fully implemented yet,”notes Diana Andone. “Using the projects of our Center as an example, I will tell you how we use technologies to teach people in difficult situations and people with disabilities to work with computers. With the help of technology, we also want to ensure that cultural and historical values become more familiar, more understandable, and more accessible to all people”.

A detailed schedule and links to the broadcasts are posted in the “Culture 2.0” Section.