Laboratorio Lapsus is a non-profit organization based in Milan, working on the research and diffusion of modern history. Born in 2007 as an informal group in the History department of the Università degli Studi in Milan, Lapsus has expanded its focus to Education and Public History. Our mission is to spread historical thinking outside traditional academic fields, in a bottom-up process of historical knowledge production. Our approach mixes interdisciplinary, analytical and comparative methodologies with a problem-based, collaborative and public-oriented ethos.
“Laboratorio” is an Italian word that means both “scientific laboratory” and “workshop”; we imagine our workspace as a “multidisciplinary scientific workshop”: starting from research, analysis and conceptual elaboration, Lapsus works on creating cultural products as university courses, educational tools and support materials, theme-based projects for schools, exhibitions, documentaries, cultural events and ebooks.
Some of the projects carried on by Lapsus team are dedicated to the education field, such as History Labs for middle and high schools, organized from 2009 to the present day, focused on some of the biggest issues of contemporary history. Also in this field take place the online course hosted on EduOpen website “History and remembrance of nazi-fascist deportations” and the bilingual educational package "Why do they bomb us?", created in collaboration with University of Lincoln, presented in September 2020.
On the other hand, Lapsus has a great interest in public history methodology and dissemination of historic al heritage. In 2011 inaugurates the first big exhibition made by Lapsus team focused on Strategy of tension in Italy; in 2015, thanks to a successful crowdfunding, kicks off the second one, based on the history of crime organizations in Italy (Mafia, Camorra e ‘Ndrangheta). Moreover, Lapsus members designed “Eros, rivoluzione e musica”, a theatrical performance on the sexual revolution; “Autista moravo”, a transmedia radio show on WW1, in cross-medialcollaboration with Radio Popolare; and sponsored the web documentary on Pinochet dictatorship and chilean refugees “Sopra il vostro settembre”, made by Elio Catania.
Lapsus members have experienced successful projects based on oral testimony, such as, among others, several interviews for IBCC Digital Archive and the online course “History and remembrance of nazi-fascist deportations”. The educational package "Why do they bomb us" also explores the controversial problem of Allied bombings on Italy and their difficult heritage with the substantial contribution of oral interviews. In WE-Hope project Lapsus will mobilise existing networks to collect oral testimonies of refugees and asylum seekers in Italy.
Having had the opportunity to interview elderly people about the experience of the air raids of World War II, we have perfected our traumatic memory collection techniques. Now the opportunity to interview refugees who have recently experienced the trauma of war presents us with a new and important challenge, but we are sure that this task is decisive for making the culture of inclusion and empathy known and spread. The interviews will be recorded following the “tale of life” methodology and will be edited if necessary, under the consent of the interviewees. Memoro Italia will be responsible for this sub-contract.
This article was written by Lapsus, a WE-Hope partner.
Discover the educational resource "Why do they bomb us?" here.
Translation of the poster: "If you find such an object do not touch it! Immediately notify the carabinieri.", Image published by IBCC Digital Archive under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license.