URBAN ENVIRONMENTS IN TRANSITION: ENGAGING YOUNG LEADERS AND RAISING COMMUNITY AWARENESS THROUGH MULTIMODAL NARRATIVES
In 2012, a group of Fulbright alumni coordinated by Dr Tatiani Rapatzikou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of American Literature and Culture) submitted a project proposal to the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund to Support Exchange Alumni Projects that Tackle Global Challenges. The competition gives alumni the opportunity to form partnerships with each other and U.S. missions abroad to spur innovative ideas and projects that address global issues on a local, national, regional, and international level. Out of 700 international proposals, the Urban Environments in Transition project was selected as one of the winning teams and awarded a monetary sum towards the realization of their ideas. Urban Environments in Transition is a two-city project (Athens and Thessaloniki) that combines the study of literary representations of city spaces with creative writing and artistic practice. An attempt is made to bridge literary experience with real life situations through the use of multiple media and other activities in collaboration with non-profit organizations (immigration centers, ecological and artistic groups) and museums. This is a project that places university students (undergraduates and postgraduates) at the center of all activity making them the recipients and communicators of experience and knowledge so that solutions can be sought.