ARIA NUOVA SOCIETA' COOPERATIVA SOCIALE ONLUS
People with mental health problems often lack access to cultural and heritage resources. This leads to a limited understanding of things like beauty and identity, and low levels of awareness of the character of the places where they live.
The Arianuova social cooperative has been involved in the field of mental illness for many years, working on projects for local authorities in the Campania region of Italy, where it is based, and elsewhere. It specialises in a particularly complex area – namely treatment of people previously housed in Italy’s judicial psychiatric hospitals.
Arianuova’s Eco-Museum initiative promotes European values, identity and cultural heritage to people with mental disorders. The heritage covered is not limited to monuments and museums but also includes crafts, local products and the natural environment.
‘The Eco-Museum project was born from the desire to organise a series of cultural and artistic initiatives with the main objective of helping people with social and psychological problems,’ explains Maria Grazia Gaudiano of Arianuova. ‘Eco-Museum makes it possible to sensitise these groups to the preservation of tangible and intangible assets inherited from the past.’
Eco-Museum involves 39 participants with differing degrees of mental disability living in seven residential units around the cities of Caserta and Benevento – an area of particular cultural significance given its wealth of Roman remains, examples of architecture from many dif