The MoHu Centre’s social impact activities are carried out in connection with the Museum of Geography of the DiSSGeA Department. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum has found creative ways to connect in the current shared condition of immobility by inviting people to re-imagine their mobilities.

Mind travelling with the Museum of Geography

Geography comes alive in places, landscapes, travel and encounters. During the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the staff of the Museum of Geography, which has been closed since the end of February 2020, wanted to counteract the imposed immobility with an original initiative designed to open the horizons of our minds and move through stories and emotions.

‘Instead of looking nostalgically at the world we have left‘, comments prof. Mauro Varotto, scientific director of the Museum of Geography, ‘we decided to take advantage of what this difficult situation offers: the opportunity to think over our personal geographies, to recall distant geographies, places we visited and photographed perhaps too hastily, returning to the repository of our emotions related to places to make them live again and share them’.

The initiative is identified by the hashtag #LaMiaMenteViaggia (literally: my mind travels) and consists of sharing the places of our own geographical mental explorations. Sparked by the staff of the Museum of Geography, the initiative is addressed to those who, despite the closure, have continued, if only in their mind, to travel to reach the places in their heart.

Every day since the 3rd of March, 2020, educators, teachers and staff of the Department of Historical, Geographical and Ancient Sciences of the University of Padua have shared personal stories of public and private places on the museum’s Facebook and Instagram profiles, accompanied by a photograph and geographic coordinates.

In late May, 2020, the #LaMiaMenteViaggia campaign shared their 100th post, concluding a journey that visited many places in the Veneto region, 15 other regions of Italy, 35 states in all continents and 2 planets (in addition to Earth and Mars).

The initiative has reached over 150 thousand people through social media networks. ‘The initiative was liked’, confessed Giovanni Donadelli, curator of the museum and the initiative, ‘confirming yet again the power of storytelling and showing that there is no lack of stories of precious places, but rather the time on our part to listen to them and savour them. During this quarantine, time has dilated, also reinvigorating our geographies of the heart’.

Everyone can read the stories posted within the initiative by looking for the hashtag #LaMiaMenteViaggia on Facebook and Instagram.

Lesbos (Greece)