Luis Felipe Moreno and Gioel Gioacchino
This technique is a mix between a mapping exercise utilized by Recrear and another one developed by Luis Felipe at the Institute for the Protection of Children and Youth (IDIPRON) in Bogotá, Colombia. At IDIPRON, the exercise was used in a study researching the relationship between a Hip Hop group and a new community integration strategy called ‘Armemos Parche’.
This technique helps us understand the interconnection between the physical environment of a neighbourhood/town/city and the youths lived experience within that environment. They tell us their stories by using their very own symbols, history and their relationship to their territory to create their individual map.
By learning about the relationship with physical space, this exercise can be a tool to reflect on young people’s lives. It might highlight power relationships, as well as the rhetorics and stories that young people use to interpret and process their experience in a specific context.
Organize the space and prepare materials and camera;
Explain that this is a mapping exercise that is useful to share stories about the personal and the group’s relationship to their neighbourhood/town/city. If this exercise is used as part of a specific research process, feel free to adapt it to include other steps/details in the mapping process.
If you are working with a large group, divide in smaller sub-groups of 4 to 5 people (ideally from the same neighbourhood).
Invite people to draw the map of their community ( 15 minutes);
Give instructions to include the different actors that are important to the group in the map (15 minutes);
Give instructions to include the locations of particular symbols that are important to them in the map(e.g. a statue, street art, etc.) (15 minutes)
Give directions to add hearts to the map to describe places where they feel good and ‘Xs’ in places in which there is conflict, tension, or violence (15 minutes).
This is a great tool to learn about the history and the vibe of a place from a youth perspective. This tool can also spark deep conversations about divergent opinions on community dynamics.
This technique might be hard to implement if you are working with a group of people from different geographic locations.
If you are implementing this technique with a group, it might be helpful to assign one person per group to act as an observer and take notes. This will prevent important informations from getting lost.
No additional resources for this technique…
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