The narrative of the self as an instrument of knowledge and dialogue with other stories is at the heart of the national project ‘DIMMI Migrant Stories’ (Tell Me about Migrant Stories), funded by the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development (AICS) and implemented by the association Un Ponte Per..., at the forefront of 47 Italian organizations. The project will make a stop in Ancona for the event ‘Stories to Leaf Through’ on May 6th and 7th.
Young migrants – who are beneficiaries of international protection and have been involved in a workshop of self-narration through art over the last months – will tell their stories to students in two lyceums in Ancona. The meeting will be held at the Lyceum of Human Science, Musical and Classical, C. Rinaldi, and the Scientific Lyceum, G. Galilei, respectively, and involve one hundred students between the ages of 15 and 18.
The project ‘Stories to Leaf Through’ was realized by the Comitato Tre Ottobre in the regions of Marche and Emilia Romagna. The objective of the event is to promote a more equitable vision of diversity, a better knowledge of the issues of migration and migrant reception and integration, while facilitating unfiltered and reciprocal interactions between migrants and high-school students.
In the Marche region, the first phase of the project was developed in Osimo between October and April, in collaboration with Il Gruppo Umana Solidarietà, the lead body of the SIPROIMI project ‘Orizzonti’, in the venues made available by the Association Auser Marche - Progetto Abitare Solidale. The workshops involved migrants, asylum seekers and people who are beneficiaries of diverse forms of protection. With the support of two trainers – an artist and a psychologist – the young people had the chance to tell their stories, using not only their words but also other forms of expression such as clay modelling and the creation of evocative objects.
"The workshop’s dimension is intimate and snug, but it also has an extended dimension which is neither identified with a pure psychological path, nor an artistic one – Evelyn Puerini, psychologist and psychotherapist, affirms – we put our tools at people’s disposal and they decide what to do with them, how to use such tools, in order to create a self-narration both meaningful and important to share.”
In the second phase of the project, young migrants share their own stories with the Lyceum students in two sessions of four hours each, inspired by the methodology of the Living Library. Over two days, young people originally from Ghana and Guinea, tell their own experience with the help of maps and objects. The students, divided into small groups arranged in circles, can listen to the different testimonies and can experience distant realities first-hand. They can also ask questions and share anecdotes and memories themselves. In the second part of the meeting, a debate on the stories heard takes place and, together, students and migrants model clay to give shape to thoughts and emotions.
After the meetings of May 6th and 7th in Ancona, two similar events will take place in Modena and Cesena on May 20th and 21st, and will involve the asylum-seekers who have participated in the self-narration workshops offered in Bologna by the cultural association Cantieri Meticci, in collaboration with the local partner Migrabo LGBTI and the Cooperatives Sociali Lai-momo and Camelot.
Dopo gli incontri di Ancona del 6 e 7 maggio, due eventi simili si svolgeranno il 20 e 21 maggio a Modena e Cesena, coinvolgendo i richiedenti asilo che hanno frequentato i laboratori di auto-narrazione proposti a Bologna, nella sede dell’associazione culturale Cantieri Meticci, in collaborazione con il partner locale Migrabo LGBTI e le Cooperative Sociali Lai-momo e Camelot.
‘DIMMI Migrant Stories’ is a project financed by the Italian Agency for the Development of Cooperation (AICS), promoted by the Fondazione Archivio Diaristico Nazionale (National Diaristic Archive Foundation) and implemented by the association Un Ponte Per... together with a network of 47 partner organizations, including the Comitato Tre Ottobre. The initiative aims at overcoming the stereotypes and simplifications about migrant-related issues, through self-narration and listening of the Others, while allowing the collection and preservation of stories. The competition ‘DiMMI Multimedia Migrant Diaries’ is also part of this project.