By Sophia Albano and Allison Peuterbaugh
FUA-AUF gives students many opportunities to participate in many events and practical activities to better illustrate what they are learning in the classroom. The Fall 2019 FUA-AUF Conference is a perfect example of this. The conference allows students and faculty to come together to discuss the main topics that also correlate with projects held throughout the school year.
The conference happens every six months and happens on December 6th and 7th this semester. The official theme is: Consumption, Gentrification, and the New Colonialism. These topics perfectly relate to Florence as a whole as we see how much these phenomenons are impacting the city. The effects of gentrification are visible through the streets of Florence today with smaller traditional shops being replaced by more modern ones,
long-term residents being pushed out of central neighborhoods, and the city being consumed with mass tourism. There are many ways in which Florence is losing its traditional atmosphere and this mostly has to do with tourist attractions replacing the original, culturally-rich sides of the city. The conference is going to touch on all of these themes and relate them to FUA-AUF projects, such as the Blending magazine and final exhibitions done by various courses.
One of the classes involved in the conference is Art, Food, Fashion, and Wine: Creative Advertising of Italian Destinations. Advertising in relation to tourism in Italy is a major focus for this class. FUA-AUF student Mia Sinatra was asked questions about her class and how it pertains to the conference. When discussing her opinion on the importance of the topics of consumption, gentrification and new colonialism, Mia stated, “The theme is very important because in order to keep up with the increasing amounts of tourists, Florence must maintain a high standard by continually renovating its buildings and streets.” Mia also talked about her responsibilities in preparation for the conference. She stated, “I’m preparing for the conference by keeping an eye out for different advancements in the city and focusing on my topic of leather production in Florence, as it relates to the theme of gentrification and tourism.” This conference’s themes encourage students to stay informed on the issues that come with mass tourism, and allows them to identify specific examples right here in Florence.
Overall, this Fall conference will allow students and faculty to join forces and bring their thoughts and ideas together as one. It also offers an important platform to deal with these topics and to further discuss issues that are important for those involved. Furthermore, the conference invites attendees to spread awareness about the things they have learned.
You will be able find the complette program for the conference here.