B4/12 – Cultural Diversity

B 4/12

Cultural diversity

a common heritage of Humanity

Cultural diversity is a key fact which recognises and legitimises the differences between cultures: its meaning is closely related to the concepts of identity, interculturality and multiculturalism. They involve contacts between different languages, ethnic groups, religions, artistic expressions, values and world views.

different cultures

Today we perceive the concept of cultural diversity as a product of numerous processes of historical, socio-political, economic and technological nature that have contributed more and more to the encounter between different cultures.

In fact, throughout history, cultural diversity has promoted the recognition of what is foreign and the exchange of knowledge and fundamental values such as respect, tolerance and coexistence between different groups of people who share the same geographical space.

These exchanges of knowledge and expressions valorise the cultural assets of a Country or region. In this sense, cultural diversity is considered an immense intangible heritage. For this reason, in 2001, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and, in 2002, established World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Article 1 of the Declaration, entitled “Cultural diversity: the common heritage of humanity”, states:

"Culture takes diverse forms across time and space. This diversity is embodied in the uniqueness and plurality of the identities of the groups and societies making up humankind. As a source of exchange, innovation and creativity, cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature. In this sense, it is the common heritage of humanity and should be recognised and affirmed for the benefit of present and future generations."

fight the prejudices

So, by committing to these actions, UNESCO means to valorise the dialogue between cultures, invite people to support diversity, and fight the prejudices that distort the knowledge and opinion about other peoples. To combat these stereotypes, you can start with small actions such as, for example, listening to music from another country, cooking a traditional dish from another culture, or learning a greeting in another language.

intercultural skills

In this direction, UNESCO has also developed the Story Circle training project, a tool for developing intercultural skills by comparing and sharing life experiences. These “narrative circles” are made up of small groups of students from different geographical or cultural backgrounds who are invited to participate in two moments of discussion. A first phase of narration/listening, and a second phase of sharing/reflection. Following the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, this methodology has proven effective in various situations – from the social inclusion of migrants to dialogue between indigenous peoples – and allowed participants to acquire strong listening skills, empathy and critical thinking.

Inclusion and diversity are also crucial for us who are committed to sharing a series of best practices with our network:

"Living in the 21st-century society means recognising ourselves as portions of a vast and heterogeneous cultural archipelago: adhering to this awareness favours the exchange with different cultures. This is an opportunity for us to increase our mindset. We work on projects which require multi-disciplinary and infra-territorial skills. For this reason, the openness to different cultures and the ability to communicate with people of different backgrounds is an essential requirement to achieve our full potential, also extending this attitude to our customers and stakeholders."

B3/12 – Fighting for minorities

B 3/12

Fighting for minorities

how the Internet can save endangered languages

More than a third of the world’s population natively speaks one of the five most common languages on the planet: Chinese, Spanish, English, Hindi and Arabic. However, in the world, there are almost 7 thousand different languages, half of which may disappear by the end of the century.

languages safeguarding

Languages such as Breton and Gaelic, or the indigenous population’s languages, are already extinct or on the verge of extinction.

But why do some languages disappear?

The most common answer is the cultural imposition of a foreign language – as happened in Ireland and Scotland with English – or the prohibition of communicating with local languages (such as native American languages), or simply the birth of modern states which promoted the standardisation of national idioms.

Therefore, the extinction of minority languages is a modern process which is an alarming phenomenon on a cultural level: losing a language means losing a distinctive and unique way of thinking and seeing the world. This is why UNESCO decided to map the endangered languages through the project Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, which aims to raise awareness about the danger of extinction and the need to safeguard the world’s linguistic diversity by noting the condition of the languages at risk and the trends of linguistic diversity on a global level.

linguistic diversity

Luckily, while the effects of modernity have contributed to the affirmation of some languages on others (just think that 50% of the contents on the Internet are in English!), the progressive digitalisation of society in the last decades has made news travel fast, increasing the awareness towards these issues on the web. Many initiatives are promoted online to protect and preserve endangered languages.

One of these is the action by some streamers on Twitch. They have spontaneously gathered in groups to support each other and create communities around languages like Basque, Galician, Breton and others. Examples of this are the collective Galician Games, with 58 channels in Galician, or even the campaign #3000Twitz carried out by the basque streamer Arkkuso, who stated: 

Today if you aren’t on the internet you don’t exist, the same will soon happen also with languages

intangible heritage

Language communities also operate on other online platforms such as YouTube, where you can find Livonian language lessons, a native language of the north-western areas of Latvia, or even lessons in languages of native populations like the Mazahuas of central Mexico, or the Sioux of America. There are also channels dedicated to safeguarding Italian dialects set up just like a course, like the Milanese dialect course, which has over 60 video lessons.

Concerning this issue, we emphasise that dialects are minority languages that need to be protected. In Italy, there are really a lot of them still alive. In Officine B12, we believe we can actively contribute to the protection of the intangible heritage constituted by the dialects and the regional linguistic traditions. That is why we welcome communication projects aimed at their safeguarding, as in the case of Alberobello Monumento Abitato and Arteca for which we have created multimedia content in the local dialect.

Yourban 2030


Yourban 2030

The eco-friendly street art

Yourban 2030 is a not-for-profit group wich develop and coordinate artistic projects to make people reflect on issues such as the environment and the relationship between human and nature, in support of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable and Development Agenda.

Starting from the idea of the founder, Veronica De Angelis, they regenerate the urban environment through street art and innovative green technology.

Hunting pollution, Rome

Yourban 2030 works consist with anti-smog murals, that is street art eco-friendly able to neutralize air pollutants with paint. This is possible thanks to a chemical process in the paint called Airlite.

This revolutionary technology reacts to light – both natural and artificial – whereby pollutants are essentially captured and removed from the air, purifying it in a natural way. This particular paint can have beneficial effects up to ten years after its application, and of course, larger the painted surface is, more it has a positive impact on the quality of the air.
Yourban’s first project is located in Rome, where the international street artist Iena Cruz painted the largest green murals in Europe in 2019. Hunting Pollution is the name of this project and that’s literally an anti-smog surface: almost one thousand square meters in the polluted center of the Ostiense district in Rome, purify and clean the air like a forest of thirty trees. In 21 days, Iena Cruz painted, on the facade of a building on Via del Porto Fluviale, a blue heron above on an oil barrel and surrounded by poisonous tentacles, a metaphor for the pollution.

Amoretcura, Rome

The artist, who has always had an interest to environmental issues and climate change, had already experimented different techniques for making his urban artwork around the world, but had never used the Artlite painting proposed by Yourban 2030. He has commented :

"I didn't know this kind of paint, I discovered it only thanks to Veronica, and knowing that the paint I work with, instead of polluting the air, made it even cleaner, made me happy".

No polluting spray were used for Hunting Pollution, which has become the first example of a virtuous solution of urban regeneration. Still in Rome, Yourban 2030 has developed a green murals dedicated to the LGBTQ+ movement and the project “Amoretcura” by the Chilean artist Carlos Atoche, dedicated to the prevention of breast cancer. Besides this, in Amsterdam Yourban 2030 has painted the eco-murals Diversity in Bureaucracy” dedicated to the development of equal opportunities.

Diversity in bureaucracy, Amsterdam

So, the organization of Veronica De Angelis, as well as raising awareness of environmental issues, promotes high social impact initiatives, in wich art can be used to promote environmental sustainability, increase public awareness and suggest good practices: a crucial resource for understanding the present and looking to the future.

B2/12 – Gender equality

B 2/12

Gender equality

The role of the creative industry countering stereotypes

The cultural and creative industry has always played a fundamental part over revolutions that changed every age, thanks to his capabilities to interact with the collective immagination and to influence social values.

We saw a lot of changes in the society during last years, like the contrast to stereotypes and gender disequality – also international politics and Agenda 2030 of the United Nations have discuss about this topic – and, of course, the culture industry have played his role too. Many women work in the cultural industry (47.7% compared to 45.9% of the total economy) but despite this, they are victim of the same stereotypes of the other professional areas.

The issue of gender equality in the cultural industry had studied for the first time in 2014 by Unesco through the report “Gender Equality: Heritage and Creativity“: a study on the case studies implemented up to that moment on gender equality and emancipation of women in the creative areas. The result has been an evidence of the marginalization of women from cultural life and the segregation of them to specific activities with low chanses to access to decision-making roles.

defence of rights

Although the actions in defence of women’s rights have multiplied during last years, the actual situation is almost the same of the past, and women haven’t managed to break the glass ceiling yet, as confirmed by the latest research by the European Commission “Towards gender equality in the cultural and creative sectors“. The research analizes the status of female employment in the cultural and creative industry within the work plan of the Council for Culture 2019-2022. According to the European report, for culture area professions the gender gap shows up just upon starting the professional career: during the academic career, women are over 65% of people studying humanities courses, but this figure becomes dramatically low when they are hired until it almost completely disappears in managerial roles.

To balance gender equality in the cultural area, it’s essential that these issues appear at the top of the list of public policies in the coming years.

In this way, initiatives such as the one carried out by Creative Europe are very important. It is the program of European Commission to give support to culture and audiovisual industries, which 2021-2027 announcement have been implemented with valuation criteria that focus attention on gender perspective to distribute equal funding.

contrast to stereotypes

Artistic and cultural institutions have the responsibility to promote interventions and actions to encourage the equity and the correct representation of women, but we shouldn’t underestimate the contribution that small businesses can make every day for this battle. We too, in Officine B12, work daily in the name of social inclusion and gender equality. Our Ethical Poster is inspired by these principles, and one of our initiatives is just the contrast to gender stereotypes:

"In a situation where there is a very low presence of women at managerial levels in Italian companies, Officine B12 was founded by a woman and a man who share equal rights, responsibilities and remuneration. At the same time, while not encouraging a vertical and hierarchical view of the business organisation, we promote greater female representation in positions of responsibility and leadership."

balance gender equality

It’s not a mystery that we have a long way in front of us yet and that it is necessary to speed up the changing process, but it is equally clear that it is no longer possible to go back.

Where Love Is Illegal


Where Love Is Illegal

LGBTQIA+ stories of survival

Where Love Is Illegal is a project of Witness Change originated from the idea of Robin Hammond, photographer and documentarist, to tell hatred and intolerance of some Countries around the world towards LGBTQIA+ communities.

Through the years, Hammond has traveled the world documenting stories of people who lives where love not heterosexual and not cisgender is considered illegal.

Foto a cura di Robin Hammond per
Where Love Is Illegal

"70 countries around the world have laws criminalizing the existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people. That’s 70 countries where people who love each other must do so in secret, where people must hide their true selves. While the laws of each country vary, they all restrict the right to freedom of expression of people’s sexual orientation and gender identity. Punishments include fines, imprisonment, torture and, in some instances, death."

Foto a cura di Robin Hammond per
Where Love Is Illegal

Violence and prejudice based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics is not limited to these countries alone.

Where Love Is Illegal, is a global platform allows sharing stories of discrimination and survival from all over the world: everyone can share their experience and send their image, freely choosing which image show of themselves, without the fear of to be punished or to be censored.

In this way the campaign is not limited to the physically reach, but aims to help LGBTQIA+ people in taking back control of the narrative of their lives.

"The team behind Where Love Is Illegal believes that stories have the ability to connect people, transform opinions, open minds, and change policies."

Foto a cura di Robin Hammond per
Where Love Is Illegal

Hundreds of LGBTQIA+ identifying people around the world send their image and story, all linked by denied love. Here some of them:

Foto a cura di Robin Hammond per
Where Love Is Illegal

Victoria Cruz

United States

«My name is Victoria Cruz. Born male, in Guánica, Puerto Rico. My real name was Victor Cruz […] when I was in high school, found out that I could transition into what I felt like, female, with hormones»

Foto a cura di Robin Hammond per
Where Love Is Illegal

Lucky & John


«My parents realized that we’re gays. […] One time, I was no around, so they attacked him. He menaged to escape. He ran away, and then, he told me: “Don’t come back home ’cause your parents went there to kill me”»

Foto a cura di Robin Hammond per
Where Love Is Illegal

Sunita Thing


«At the age of 17 my father wanted me to get married. I came from a poor family and was not aware of my identity so I agreed to get married. […] We got divorced and went our separate ways. I got my children’s custody and started taking care of them. I introduced myself as a transgender women and changed my role from their father to their mother»

Foto a cura di Robin Hammond per Where Love Is Illegal

Victoria Cruz

United States

«My name is Victoria Cruz. Born male, in Guánica, Puerto Rico. My real name was Victor Cruz […] when I was in high school, found out that I could transition into what I felt like, female, with hormones»

Foto a cura di Robin Hammond per Where Love Is Illegal

Lucky & John


«My parents realized that we’re gays. […] One time, I was no around, so they attacked him. He menaged to escape. He ran away, and then, he told me: “Don’t come back home ’cause your parents went there to kill me”»

Foto a cura di Robin Hammond per Where Love Is Illegal

Sunita Thing


«At the age of 17 my father wanted me to get married. I came from a poor family and was not aware of my identity so I agreed to get married. […] We got divorced and went our separate ways. I got my children’s custody and started taking care of them. I introduced myself as a transgender women and changed my role from their father to their mother»

B1/12 – The culture of inclusion

B 1/12

The culture of inclusion

Why create an inclusive culture in the workplace?

Because it leads to more creativity and innovation within the group. But there is something more.

The word “inclusion literally means the act of including an element within a group and it is used in various areas, from mathematics to rhetoric, from chemistry to biology.

belonging to a community

In the social sphere, this word has a much more complex meaning and it is related more than to the concept of assimilation or integration, to that of welcome: for an inividual, to be included means belonging to a community – both a group of people or an institution – and enjoying all the rights entailing this belonging, but above all, it means to feel welcomed. As the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas wrote:

«Inclusion does not mean assimilatory hoarding, nor closure against the different. The inclusion of the other means rather that the boundaries of the community are open to all: also, and above all, to those who are reciprocally strangers or who do not want to remain».

Because of stereotypes and discrimination associated with race, sex, culture, religion and fragile conditions such as illness, disability and poverty, this does not always happen. On the contrary, marginalisation and social exclusion affect many aspects of our society, from work to politics: for example, there are companies that choose whether or not to hire someone based on sex or nationality, or even ethnic groups that are not properly represented in institutional offices.

In addition of discrimination, there are also other factors like poverty. It is not a coincidence that in contemporary society the categories most vulnerable of exclusion are homeless people, people with disabilities, former prisoners, people with addictions, elders, immigrants, single-parent families and women. So it is easy to understand why a culture of inclusion is necessary and why it is important to promote it starting from the workplace.

diversity & inclusion

In the last few years, interventions aimed at promoting social inclusion has become a priority at an international level. Goal 10 of the Agenda 2030, for example, is about to “empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status”. Another SDG – Goal 8 – aims to “achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value”.

You may have heard of this acronym D&I (Diversity & Inclusion), as part of ESG objectives of a company. It entails Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance and it is about the factors relative to the material and intangible commitment of a company or organisation in terms of sustainability.

In this sense, D&I is decisive in social responsibility activities and it is certainly a positive value for the whole society, knowing how diversity generates a multiplicity of points of view and how this represents a source of wealth. Consequently to this, today’s businesses should not show only a positive and reactive attitude towards diversity, but they should also promote activities and projects that encourage and valorize it.

social responsability

We want to play our part.

Even if we are a small company, our intersectional team cultivates values inspired by cultural diversity and inclusion, as an enhancement of different points of view.

The first of 12 posters inspired by our ethical manifesto is now downloadable: every month we will explore the words that characterise our creative mandate.

Dàme – Independent publishing



Independent publishing rewrite the way to represent the women

Dàme is an independent print magazine, founded by Sara Augugliaro, graduated in fashion journalism at London College of Fashion, and published by Frab’s Publishing.

The magazine originated from Augugliaro’s graduation project and explores women’s bodies from different perspectives. Its key topics are the body normalisation and acceptance, but also the role that fashion and culture play of one’s perception.

Photo from Dàme Issue 01

Starting from women’s body – as the most stereotyped aspect in a patriarchal society, together with diet culture, catcalling, and gender discrimination – body positivity is not addressed in the magazine in its mainstream meaning, instead Augugliaro aims at dismantling the concept of beauty and the canons of female performance:

"Dàme does not urge others to love themselves unconditionally, she simply tries to reshape the way women are represented in today's media in order to normalise diversity".

Photo from Dàme Issue 01

Dàme is unique and peculiar because each issue focuses on a specific body part and – among the pages – you’ll find interviews with (extra)ordinary women, designers, and artists who argue on the relationship with their own body.
Issue 01, for example, focuses on the belly, and It includes contributions from Jennifer Guerra, author of Il Corpo Elettrico and Il Capitale Amoroso, Chiara Meloni, activist, illustrator and founder of Belle di Faccia, Veronica Yoko Plebani, Paralympic athlete and Norma Rossetti, CEO of the e-commerce of sex toys MySecretCase, and many others.

Photo from Dàme Issue 01

In the first issue of the magazine, belly is a starting point to discuss broader and more complex topics: Dàme seeks to discover stories, symbols and stereotypes. In addition it focuses on the monthly period and gender identity, sexuality and social stigma of obesity.

As it is written on the magazine’s website, the belly is the part of our body which makes us feel emotions: it is a symbol of connection and a metaphor of fertility, but it is also a source of embarrassment for women who do not match whit aesthetic standards of the society.

“An original research conducted by Dàme’s team showed that 89% of respondents are ashamed of their belly – it is the area of the body they hate the most. Respondents also expressed a desire to connect with more authentic idea of womanhood in the media, dealing with taboo topics.”

The choice to show a new representation of women’s body through a printed publication encourages a slow way reading, makes Dàme a point of reference for these issues. So Dàme is now a new inclusive and safe place, a community, a source of inspiration.