Walls and Integration: Images of Europe Building (WAI)

Walls and Integration: Images of Europe Building (WAI) is a project presented by the Municipality of Macerata, within the Europe for Citizens Programme, approved by the European Commission.

WAI focused on the process of the construction of civil and political consciousness in Europe between the 1950s and the 1980s and aimed to engage and stimulate European citizens’ collective memories within cultural and critical discourses that, moving from the ideological divisions of the past, reflect on and discuss sociological, historical and political changes that led to the formation of contemporary Europe.

In this light, photography was selected as the main medium to explore urgent themes and issues pertaining to the project’s key words (walls, integration, building), which formed the basis for a series of international conferences and local workshops. Hence, WAI engaged with citizens, universities, cultural associations and public and private archives in order to collect and share photographs and historically significant documentary material related to the selected period. This has resulted in the creation of the travelling exhibition “Gates, No Frontiers”, as well as in the forthcoming WAI virtual archive and related e-book, which will collect conference and workshop proceedings.

“Gates, No Frontiers” was staged on the second floor of the O’Rahilly Building in UCC from January to March 2017. The exhibition tangibly expressed the main focus of the WAI project. The key-dates of “Gates No Frontiers” were in fact 9 May 1950, with the publication of the Schuman Declaration and 10 June 1979, with the first direct elections to the European Parliament. The pictures on display explored urgent themes and issues pertaining to the project’s key words and narrated both East and West, while showing significant images and other documentary material of national stories of six European countries, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Lithuania and Hungary, with a special focus on Ukraine.

In addition to this initiative, the one-day CASiLaC-funded event, “Feminist Insights on Europe Building”, which complemented the exhibition, was held at the same venue. This event aimed to provide a platform for a series of informal discussions on the general theme of feminist insights into the evolution of both Irish and European society from the 1950s onwards. The event aspired to establish a political, sociocultural and historical framework in order to explore the topic of Europe building.

School/Department: School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures – Department of Italian.

Main Investigator: Dr Alessia Risi.

In collaboration with:

Municipality of Macerata (Italy); Gender Observatory Cultural Association (Italy); Università degli Studi di Trento (Italy), Università di Padova (Italy), Istituto Tecnico Commerciale Gentili di Macerata (Italy), Universidad de Oviedo (Spain), Sindicatu Unitariu y Autónomu de Trabayadores de la Enseñanza d’Asturies (SUATEA, Spain), Universität Münster (Germany), Vytauto Didžiojo Universitetas (Lithuania) and Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem (Hungary).

Funded by: Europe for Citizen Programme of the European Union – Strand 1 European Remembrance.

Duration: October 5th, 2015 – April 4th, 2017.

Links: http://www.wallsandintegration.com/index.php/it/.


Full information on the WAI project

Further details of the whole project can be found by clicking on the links below:

WAI Information EN

WAI Information IT

Press Release

Press Release

Department of Italian


First Floor Block A West, O' Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Ireland