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[Article] The art of speaking about the unknown

Article by ShareMusic (Sweden) The Muse-IT project addresses the challenge of digital inequality and the lack of accessibility, despite technological advancements. By focusing on music, technology, and learning, the project aims to create inclusive and innovative solutions that benefit society and engage a diverse range of stakeholders in co-creative processes.

Picture shows Sophia Alexandersson (Sharemusic) during a presentation for a local community of the non-profit organisation “The Swedish Association for Senior Citizens”.

How is it possible to imagine the unknown, when we are used to relate to what is already known for us? 

The Muse-IT project has taken on a big challenge; to address digital inequality and the lack of accessibility for all, despite the technological advancements taking place. The project plan is ambitious and has set out on a route towards developing results, which shall be beneficial for the society and create an impact in the end. Some of the expected results are things we might not know about or are familiar with – yet. 

There are two main target groups in the project, who are expected to be the end-users; cultural institutions and  all people, with a specific focus on disabled people. So how can we meet the stakeholders already now, create an interest, explain the work and also invite for co-creating together? 

ShareMusic & Performing Arts, one of the project partners, has recently presented the development of the project at several events and for a wide spectrum of the target groups. One event was for a public cultural organisation working on regional level with cultural development and policymaking, another occasion was a presentation for a local community of the non-profit organisation “The Swedish Association for Senior Citizens”. A third event took place during a science festival and in a big public space – a city library where it was impossible to have any pre-knowledge about who was actually in the audience or why they had decided to attend the event. 

Three events in different contexts with audiences of very diverse backgrounds and pre-knowledge and most likely also with different expectations. But the communication challenge somehow seems to be the same – how do we get people to imagine the unknown and the unfamiliar? 

Consider we didn’t know we needed a smartphone, until we got one and now it plays an essential part in our daily lives – at least for most of us.  We are surrounded by products and services, which have been created from user needs, but also from someone’s imagination and clear vision about something completely new and unknown. Some of these new innovations might have been developed with a very set idea about the user, as well as the context. Some of them might have emerged without any particular reason. 

In the Muse-It project, we are striving for a participatory approach and driving co-creative processes. We do believe in people and getting them involved from the beginning. By doing so, we will hopefully end up with results, which will be accessible for all of us. Igniting people’s creativity is key in order to stretch the imagination. New solutions, new ideas, new needs, new contexts. The possibilities are endless, but perhaps we need to assure there will be space and time for speaking about the unknown.  


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