On Friday 13 and Saturday 14 November the second meeting of the Mier network took place in Bologna, at the Palazzo D'Accursio. Mier (Intercultural media Emilia-Romagna, born from the commitment of the Emilia Romagna Region and Cospe) is an acronym that embodies the need for migrant citizens and not to concentrate their own multicultural activities, such as magazines, sites, in a single network web, radio and television initiatives.
Currently they are part of the Mier network: a web radio and a web TV (Asteriscoradio.com , Crossing TV ); two radio programs (Se ne dicon di parole - Radio Icaro Rimini, Around the world in 95mH- Radio Sound Piacenza); three websites (Albanianews.it , , Iltamburo.com ); six publications (Città Metticia -Ravenna, Il Sofà -Bologna, Il tamburo - Bologna, Segni & Sogni- Forlì, Special Mondoinsieme- Reggio Emilia, Mosaico - Piacenza) and two TV programs (the colors of music - It is TV Romagna and Rimini Icaro Tv and Mondo on air - Telelibertà Piacenza).
To understand the spirit of the initiative, I believe it is necessary to start from the very title of the event: "Giovani a" alt (r) a "voce". The game of consonants on the word "alt (R) a" is not a mere stylistic amusement, but rather the need to make known "different" Italy, not on tiptoe but in a "high" voice, with perseverance and determination.
The experience of individual life remains a story to be written in some beautiful novel and nothing more, if you do not have the strength to share it through associations. And that's exactly what the guys from the Together network did. The network includes multicultural associations scattered throughout the Emilia Romagna region: ArciMondo, Arcobaleno, Associna, Generazione Articolo 3, Next Generation Italy and Wor (l) d.
The event was greeted by Mrs Annamaria Dapporto (Councilor for social and educational policies for children and adolescents, policies for immigration, voluntary development, associations, the third sector of the Emilia Romagna Region) which emphasized the importance of of social cohesion and has passed the word to the boys of the associations mentioned above.
Sun Wen Long underlines how "Associna" was born from the need to "give true news about the Chinese world". The story of Arcobaleno is different (Rimini-Riccione headquarters), born from more material needs, that is to improve the housing situation of foreigners, it has evolved with the changing needs of its interlocutors. Blerina of Next Generation Italy emphasizes that immigration is not a problem in itself, but rather the encounter between immigration and citizenship.
Aziz Sadid of the TogethER network talks about "struggle".
Obviously, given the times they are running (times in which every Arab name is associated with a probable terrorist) Aziz states that their "struggle" is not fought with bombs but with "resistance", whose aim is to raise awareness of citizenship about all forms of discrimination (not just racial). Furthermore, both Aziz and the "Arcimondo" association emphasize that the goal of the associations is not the search for integration or social balance, as they are already present in society, but rather the need to put themselves in the front line, to act and be recognized as Citizens, with a capital C.
Adil El Marouakhi of the "Insiemeieme" intercultural center of the municipality of Reggio Emilia focuses attention on the sense of belonging. The need of the common citizen to place, even mentally, an individual within a given culture pushes to consider the children of immigrants as a tout court replica of their parents. The Italians are unable (or are struggling) to consider the "new Italians" as subjects with whom they can share a "normal" daily life. A brilliant project illustrated by Viviana Bussadori (Regional Center against Discrimination / Service Policies for Reception and social integration of the Emilia Romagna Region) is the "Living Library".
The project, of Danish origin, uses library practices to put citizens in contact with strongly stereotyped categories. Therefore, you have the opportunity to "borrow" or ask questions or simply chat with a foreigner, a gypsy or a Muslim woman (etc.) in a period of time limited to thirty minutes.you can see the details of the initiativeAfter an abundant buffet, the conference continued with a guest from America, Sandip Roy, a collaborator of "New American Media".
New American Media
"New American Media" was born in 1996 and is a site that collects news from foreign language newspapers, that is, newspapers having main non-American ethnic groups as main interlocutors. The first to note the relevance of ethnic newspapers were not institutions but, as often happens, private sectors. An example are the telephone companies that have thought of advertising their products and services in the language newspapers, in order to expand their market.
One of the many successes of "New America Media" was the initiative of having the ethnic newspapers in different languages (according to their readers, obviously) translate an editorial that wanted to exert a sort of pressure of the printed paper on the political world for a reform of the US immigration law. Therefore, on the same day, 300 editorials were published with the same content but in a different language.
The afternoon continued with a debate relating to the importance of the company, and therefore of the private sector, as a pioneer of the recognition of a society that evolves towards multiculturalism. And it is in this light that "Ethical Enterprise" was born, born in 2001, it gathers companies that together try to understand how to move in the field of multiculturalism. Among the many initiatives, Impresa Etica has introduced in Italy "the charter of equal opportunities", already present in several European countries.
The charter can be voluntarily signed by companies of any size that want to engage in an inclusion policy. Once the charter is signed, the companies are monitored so that they actually guarantee equal opportunities to those who make (or want) to be part of the company. Have you ever thought that integration can also take place through the exchange of blood?
This is what Andrea Tieghi (president of Avis) tells us: four years ago, Avis successfully started to involve immigrant citizens in the donation of blood. Blood donation does not only have a health purpose, but is an experience that allows the individual coming from abroad to feel part of the social fabric. In order not to miss anything, the evening continued with two concerts at Zò Caffè (Bo): Dadduo and Les Hardonik.
On Saturday morning the main feature was the live streaming television broadcast, conducted by Iman Sabbah (journalist of Rainews24) and Azeb Lucà Trombetta (Crossing TV).
Professionals and operators from different institutions (Emilia Romagna Region, University of Bologna, Journalists' Association of Emilia Romagna, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia) and associations (G2, New Corecom Emilia Romagna profiles, New profiles, Yalla Italia!, Cospe) commented on videos and interviews.
The first video showed a mini ""On the streets of Bologna.
Professor Claudio Baraldi of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia emphasizes the effort of respondents to respond. This "embarrassment" (as defined by Lubna Ammoune of Yalla Italia!) Derives from the confusion one gets about the term "racism". Schools that should provide tools for a correct interpretation of reality do not provide them, the media tend to amplify and root prejudices. And all this at the expense of identifying the real problem: not so much racism, but rather ethnocentrism. The second video is aItalian / Korean actor. A lucid analysis of the problem of the image of foreigners in Italian cinema and TV is made by the sociologist of the University of Bologna, Pina Lalli. The sociologist starts from a statistical fact according to which after the third year, the majority of meetings between Italians and immigrants takes place on the street. Therefore, to change the representation of the foreigner it is not enough to introduce positive figures in the cinema or on television. It is necessary to create informal and exchange meeting places, so that the Italian knows the immigrant not only in the role of the "rose seller". showed the interview made to foreign students who undertook internships in various editorial offices.
Certainly the boys' experience was positive both for the protagonists themselves and for those who hosted them. However, as emphasized by Gerardo Bombato (Order of Journalists of Emilia Romagna), the editorial staffs that have offered are "white flies" in the Italian reality.
To conclude these two days of intense human and cultural exchange were the words of Tahar Lamri, Algerian writer and newly elected president of the Mier network. Tahar sees Italian racism summarized in the anomalous "category" of "carers". These ladies, from all over the world, as well as not having a professional name, are treated as "slaves".
The new "slaves" always available to the needs of the elderly, cover the gaps of the Italian welfare system. The hope and hope is that the Mier network can make new "adepts". A network of multiculturalism is what the Italian regions (and not just Emilia Romagna) need, to have (finally!) A truthful voice on the reality of immigration.
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