Mobility Studies Curriculum 2020

Site-specific art installation at the railway station of Padua

The Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World (DiSSGeA) invites applications for its new curriculum in Mobility Studies within the MA Program in Historical Sciences and encourages students from all over the world to join one of the most renowned universities in Italy a and to study in a very lively, creative and interdisciplinary environment.


Variations on Mobility Creative Commissions 2019

with Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities

The DiSSGeA Department of the University of Padova and the Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities are pleased to announce the funding of 4 Creative Commissions on the theme of ‘Variations on mobility’.

Virtual, physical, potential and corporeal fluxes; networks, routes, circulation and stasis of human and non-human entities: Mobilities have become a frame through which we sense spatial practices and relations at multiple scales and levels (local, urban, national, transnational, global; intimate, intersubjective, interobjective, social, collective).

This joint edition of Creative Commissions calls for creative collaborations that explore the relationship between mobilities and the humanities experimenting with the potential of art and creative methodologies in the study, imagination and expression of mobility issues. In particular, applicants were invited to consider the arts and humanities as a frame through which to explore the historical implications of mobility, as well as the constitution of mobile phenomena in both space and time (from antiquity to contemporary history, from present times to possible futures).

We selected four exciting creative collaborations to support:

1) Of Steel and (un)stillness (Pedro Figueiredo Neto, Ricardo Miguel Falcão and Paulo Morais) exploring the relationship between mobilities, humanities and visual and sound art, through an exploration of the experiences of the routiers that drive old cars from Portugal to Senegal.

2) Flying Boat(Stephen Connolly and Layla Curtis) Flying Boat is a GeoHumanities project concerned with a legacy of the spatial and mobile imaginary enacted by the Empire Flying Boat, a live-air service connecting Great Britain with its colonies from 1937-1940, and some time post-war.

3) Pearls from China (Daniele Brigadoi Cologna and Ciaj Rocchi & Matteo Demonte) is an animated short documentary project exploring the mobility of goods and migration flows from China to Europe in the 1920s.

4) The Former State Project: A Journey through Yugoslavia(James Riding, Jack Wake-Walker and Simon Barraclough) a performative retracing of the landscapes of Rebecca West’s (1941) Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey through Yugoslavia.

(selection committee: Tania Rossetto and Giada Peterle form Dissgea – University of Padova; Veronica Della Dora, Harriet Hawkins and Sasha Engelmann from the Royal Holloway University of London Centre for the GeoHumanities).

The Creative Commissions will run from 1/10/2019 to 1/7/2020.

Street Geography

Site-specific art installation at the railway station of Padua

The Street Geography. Drawing cities for a sustainable future project stemmed from the collaboration between several geographers at the DiSSGeA (University of Padova) and the Progetto Giovani Office (Cabinet of the Mayor of the Municipality of Padova) with the aim of encouraging the dialogue between scientific research, art-practice, and the citizens of Padova. At the foundation of the project was the idea that academic knowledge should contribute to the conceptualization and realization of more meaningful and sustainable cities. The three keywords of the project, namely Neighborhoods, Mobility and Waterways, were intended not only as geographical concepts that contain some of the most significant contemporary urban phenomena and dynamics at the local and global levels; they were also used as the key concepts around which the artists have developed their site-specific installations to create a public art exhibition that crossed the city of Padova from north to south, along the tramline’s route, from September to October 2018.

Together with the curators at the Progetto Giovani Office, each artist collaborated with a geographer, who provided reflections on the key concept and the associated site. Engaged in this partnership, the three artists developed their own site narration: Fabio Roncato with a diffused installation titled At the Antipodes There is the Ocean for the Arcella neighborhood, Mónica Bellido Mora for the railway station, Caterina Rossato with an installation called Distances for the Lungargine Scaricatore at Bassanello. These works aimed to question the ways that the people live in cities, the issues of co-existence, and the meanings of change, movement and relationships in our shared and highly mobile urban spaces. In particular, A STATION OF STORIES: MOVING NARRATIONS was the site-specific art installation realised in the railway station of Padua by illustrator and cartoonist Mónica Bellido Mora (Mexico City, 1990), in collaboration with the Italian publishing house BeccoGiallo. The railway station functioned as a stage for a comic-strip story with the station itself as the protagonist. In Mónica’s story the building comes alive; as a non-human narrator, it speaks with its own voice and tells citizens, commuters and tourists about its daily repetitive, but also ever-changing, routine. The comic author’s illustrated panels invited visitors to perceive the station in new ways, focusing on the interconnection of mobile routes, existences and stories that cross in the same space. The story’s point of view made possible to consider the multiple values of transit spaces, interpreted as sentient beings that contain narratives, which are multilayered in space and time.

Thus, the railway station was transformed into a place of new relationships and experience, awareness and imagination.

The Street Geography scientific project was realised by Giada Peterle, Tania Rossetto and Mauro Varotto, University of Padova, DiSSGeA. The curatorial project was curated by Stefania Schiavon and Caterina Benvegnù, Progetto Giovani Office, Municipality of Padova. The project was funded by the Erasmus Mundus joint Master in Sustainable Territorial Development – STeDe, the AIIG Veneto, the GAI – Giovani Artisti Italiani.