Guide Migration, Narration, Identity: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

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Resources may also include publication series that are constantly growing e. It offers feedback from these projects, recommendations on the future programme generation, and suggests actions for the CULT Committee and its Members in order to inform and influence the future EU programme generation beyond This in-depth analysis is an overview of publically funded cultural projects with refugees as target group. It asks the fundamental question of what it is to live a good life together in Europe today and how cultural interventions can contribute to this aspiration.

Cultural work with refugees has a long history. It is a contentious area. Instrumental approaches to cultural work with refugees raise significant issues. This briefing outlines the contentions, provides a theoretical basis for the work, gives leading examples of cultural work with refugees, including work that promotes intercultural understanding and work that promotes fear.

It outlines key findings and recommendations, which have a substantial focus on ethical engagement, aesthetic importance and societal wellbeing. Migration is not a new phenomenon. However, the current refugee crisis has drawn attention to a situation of greater proportions than those we have known so far, which is complex and urgent. In this context, many professionals in the cultural sector have been questioning their role and that of the cultural organisations they work for in the effort of our society to include people who are forced to migrate or to seek asylum outside and far from their countries.

Where to start? What do we need to know? What to do and how? With this publication, Access Culture aims to contribute to answering some of these questions. It includes interviews, a manual with recommendations, useful contacts and bibliographical references and others. The publication is available in English and Portuguese. The report prepared by a Working Group of the European Union explores the ways culture and the arts can help to bring individuals and peoples together, and increase their participation in cultural and societal life, as well as to promote intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity.

It focuses on three topics: Empowerment, Intersectoral and Evaluation and takes on questions of how culture and the arts contribute to intercultural dialogue, and what strategies and options are in place to do so.

Communication in Cross Cultural Negotiations

Additional case studies offer examples of successful projects and approaches. Heritage and Peacebuilding explores one of the most critical issues of our time: whether heritage can contribute to a more peaceful society and future. It reflects a core belief that heritage can provide solutions to reconciling peoples and demonstrates the amount of significant work being carried out internationally. Based round the core themes of new and emerging ideas around heritage and peace, heritage and peace-building in practice, and heritage, peace-building and sites, the twenty contributions seek to raise perceptions and understanding of heritage-based peace-building practices.

Responding to the emphasis placed on conflict, war and memorialisation, they reflect exploratory yet significant steps towards reclaiming the history, theory, and practice of peacebuilding as serious issues for heritage in contemporary society. The geographical scope of the book includes contributions from Europe, notably the Balkans and Northern Ireland, the Middle East, and Kenya.

Visnja Kisic : Governing Heritage Dissonance. Her research in South East Europe brought together cultural policies and heritage studies and connected them to issues of difference, conflict and reconciliation. She analysed four examples of attempts in South East Europe to use heritage to re-forge consensus and unity and in effect asks why heritage dissonance is feared — must we always try to smooth it away, can its tensions be used constructively?

Additionally, they provide recommendations to cities on developing a long-term strategy on culture for the integration of migrants, including information about how to include staff members in the process. NEMO last updated September : Collection of initiatives of museums in Europe in connection to migrants and refugees : The document offers an overview of individual museum projects fostering inclusion and welcoming of refugees and migrants in Europe.

It also includes a list of EU funded projects and guidelines and umbrella organisations who support projects and initiatives on the matter. The list is growing regularly with new additions. IETM : Creation and Displacement: creating new narratives around migration : The study is also a mapping of artistic European and international projects displaying engagement and solidarity with refugees, asylum-seekers and recently displaced persons. It offers resoruces, information, inspiration and contact points for those willing to connect with or support other artists and organisations, whether they are refugees themselves or not.

Furthermore, the study provides arguments to support initiatives for intercultural engagement and dialogue, especially for arts funders and policy-makers at different levels. Museums have been place of intercultural dialogue since their inception and there is a range of good models how museums work with migrant groups and help to facilitate intercultural dialogue on different levels. The present publication, originally published by the German Museums Association and now adapted and published in English by NEMO, gives concrete and hands-on instructions for museums to find a multi-perspective and multicultural approach to their work and their collections in order to contribute to a healthy and diverse society.

RICHES : European Policy Brief: European Minorities and Identities: strengthening relationships for a sense of belonging in the digital era : This policy brief discusses the main findings of the study conducted in RICHES Renewal, Innovation and Change: Heritage and European Society , the 7th Framework Programme, about digital cultural heritage websites and their contributions towards the development of a European identity that encapsulates the diversity of communities across the continent.

Through analysing current practices, skills and competences needed for successful interactions between arts and society readers can reflect on their own skill sets. Furthermore the publication offers multiple perspectives, theoretical approaches, case studies and tools that are left for the reader to rate as applicable or not.

The research included reviewing relevant literature, interviewing a wide range of individuals, a programme of round tables and a concluding conference, Polylogue III, as well as the study of a range of international strategies for creative and cultural education. Situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, its history is one of fractures and discontinuities, invasions and conquests, trading and business, cultural exchanges and the circulation of goods, human beings and ideas.

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Spain, for example, has the highest number of foreigners residing in a European country. Italy comes in only twelfth after the United Kingdom and Germany. By defining this issue political, the sociologist refers to the fact the Italian state reacted in a very frantic manner to immigration, as a contingent emergency to be solved, and has politicized the issue without taking into consideration its complexities and continuity.

Only in the late s and early s, did the Italian Parliament change the legislation and approve in a very short period of time four different immigration laws, all created in a panicky mode while dealing with emergencies with neither planning nor careful consideration.

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What it is important to emphasize here is that all laws are defined as sanatorie 11 , which Graziella Parati defined as follows:. This terminology, borrowed from the rhetoric of sickness, is based, in this context, on the assumption that becoming a country of immigration involves a contamination with the body of the country. Parati, , In so doing, the Italian state is reaffirming that immigrants are inferior and therefore subjected to humiliation.

The most recent law, the Bossi-Fini, was approved in June , modified under the left wing government in , but modified again in by the right wing government. The law established and implemented the C. Centri di Identificazione e di Espulsione , Centres of Identification and Expulsion for illegal immigrants located in the outskirts of some Italian cities, a softer version of labor camps where immigrants sans papiers are confined for up to 60 days, waiting to be expelled and repatriated usually much longer considering the notorious delays in the Italian justice system.

It devised also some very highly criticized extraterritorial camps located in Libya where migrants have been denied basic human rights.

Global Identities. Postcolonial and Cross-cultural Narratives - Mousse Publishing

The most well known example is the novel Immigrato by Salah Methnani and Mario Fortunato, published in It focuses on the experiences of Salah, a Tunisian migrant who arrives in Italy, in Sicily, travels north to Milan and narrates all the difficulties, dangers, compromises and experiences of his precarious life as an illegal immigrant in Italy. For the first time, his narrative reported, directly in Italian to the Italian public, the racism and hostility migrants were facing.

In these narratives, Italians are described, narrated and judged by migrant writers. In each city the migrants are rejected and not integrated or accepted. This is precisely what Salah will do, even if he does not explain it clearly in the book. Its critique of Italian society is harsh and depicts it as a very inhospitable place. His encounters with Italians are scarce, not very positive and always beset by difficult communication, to the point that even though Salah is able to communicate fluently in Italian he has to falsify his proficiency because he knows the locals want migrants to speak a certain way.

This means that migrants often feign not knowing Italian although, like Salah, they have a graduate degree. Writing becomes the way for migrants to express, for the first time, their opinions on Italian society, to recount their experiences, and to be heard for the first time by the Italian public, up until this moment indifferent to their struggles.

Iain Chambers notes that. Chambers and Curtis, , In fact, aside from autobiography, writers have begun exploring different fictional issues with very individual literary styles. As Julio Monteiro Martins, a Brazilian writer, explains:. Maybe it missed an important literary flux but maybe this has left an open door and has made Italy the center of migration literature in Europe.

From what I have read, the number of writers is similar but nowhere else they come from all over the world. All these authors use Italian and, unlike the first wave of writers, they are autonomous and do not need an Italian co-author to assist them. This choice is greatly significant: it means they can ably manipulate the language and that Italian has become a sort of lingua franca , a neutral language not linked with a colonial past for most of the authors.

Some writers of the first wave have become journalists, editors and full time writers. Methnani became a journalist for Rai Another writer, cited alongside Methnani, Pap Khouma, the author of Io venditore di elefanti, una vita per forza tra Parigi, Dakar e Milano, one of the first ground breaking novel, is now the editor-in-chief of an on-line magazine of migrant literature, El-Ghibli , 15 and published in on La Repubblica 16 , one of the most important Italian newspaper, a open letter after being aggressed on a bus in Milan, which stirred the debate on how important it is to discuss integration in Italy.

If talking back is the essential first step towards re-appropriation of agency, migrant authors moved away from autobiography and started to produce complex fictional narratives about migrations and integration. In doing so, they are not only replying to the narratives produced by the state and the media but they also initiate and create a cross-cultural interactive dialogue with the Italian public that will eventually subvert prejudices. They position themselves inside the hermeneutic circle within a complex dialogic process that refers not only to the fact that now they are able to speak for themselves but also because, departing from a strict autobiographic voice, they are able to embody in their works not only their personal voice but those of others as well.

The recent works of Italophone migrant writers can be considered dialogic in the Bakthnian sense because they incorporate different languages, disparate stylistic levels and antagonistic worldviews of various characters who relate to migration in complex and contradictory ways. The first one is Kossi Komla-Ebri, a doctor at the hospital Fatebenefratelli in Como, a journalist and an activist for cross-cultural integration, who published the novel Neyla, incontro tra due mondi and a collection of short stories in the two-volume Imbarazzismi.

The second one is Igiaba Scego, a second-generation Italo-Somali and a journalist, editor and writer. The short stories are a collection of small narrative flashes displaying the creative capacity of the author, who constructs in a minimal narrative space a significant, sometimes brutal and ironic, short story in which the narrative structure works eminently well. The stories are original and powerful because they communicate in everyday language a very realistic and satirical situation that is; at the same time, visionary, because of the presence of some mysterious angels flying over the characters, commenting, not without embarrassment, on what is happening below them.

All the stories have a tough theme in common: racism. Irony is a tool that frees discourses on difficult themes and subverts the current state of affairs. I could no longer start a decent conversation with my girl friends from before. Back home, she discovers that she misses Italy and therefore she goes out to watch Italian movies, listens to Italian music at home and cooks Italian dishes. Komla-Ebri is particularly ironic because he subverts the roles in his narrative: it is now the migrant who adopts the expression, switching positions within language with the colonizer.

This narrative re-appropriates agency and enables those who had no voice before to find their own. Me, myself. Her action is compelled not so much by the curiosity of trying something prohibited in her own religion and common for Italians as the desire to sample something that will make her belong to her own country. It is significant that the narrator cannot bring herself to ingest the sausages that she believes will prove her repudiation of her Muslim and Somali identities in favor of an Italian one.

The salsicce are a challenge to define her position in the country and her role as a different kind of citizen. She writes:. The anxiety I am feeling comes from the Bossi-Fini and the fact all the extracomunitari will be fingerprinted. And what should be my role? Would I be an extracomunitaria , a potential crime perpetrator whose fingerprints the Italian state would take in order to prevent a crime not yet committed but supposed to be perpetrated sooner or later?

Or an Italian to whom the state given the benefit of the doubt even if I might have been a previous offender and a habitual criminal? Italy or Somalia? Fingerprints or no fingerprints? Terrible doubt. Scego, , Her story is very powerful and challenges the preconceived message the Bossi-Fini law gave Italian society. What does it means to be Italian today? How is Italian identity challenged by the law?

How does the law impose what a person is or is not? Igiaba does not fit in but she feels she belongs to both of her countries. She therefore makes a long list of what defines her: she feels Somali when she drinks cardamom tea and cinnamon, when she prays five times a day towards Mecca, when she puts on her dirah , etc. At the same time she feels Italian when she eats sweets for breakfast, when she visits museums, monuments and exhibitions, when she talks with her friends about sex, men and depression, when she watches movies with Marcello Mastroianni, and other Italian actors, and more.

Igiaba both fictional and real is an Italian citizen who feels betrayed by her own state and decides to define herself with her own words, rejecting the definition given by law. Barni, the aunt, is a cleaning lady. She was a cleaning lady and she had to run around Rome in order to clean pink toilets very dirty. Her hard work, however, allows her nieces to go to school and get an education: Rhoda goes to university but all of a sudden refuses to continue, turning to prostitution, whereas her little sister, Aisha, pursues her education. Rhoda quits her studies troubled when she slowly discovers her sexuality.

She is rejected by an older Italian woman who refuses her affection and love and moves to Naples to start her dark journey far from her family.

Conceptual Analysis ARTICLE

The struggle to find her sexual, emotional and national identity is presented throughout the novel. She refuses to adapt to Italy, always feeling like an outcast. On the contrary, her sister. She tried to understand people. She talked with them, she discussed with them and sometimes she fought with them. But she never ceased to look for a comparison. She tried to understand their culture and she explained hers with sweet and precise words. She was always at the center of a constant exchange. We were not as integrated as she was. This is a particularly important narrative strategy because it enables the voices of all characters to be read and to be heard, especially the mysterious voice of Rhoda, the enigmatic character around whom all the action revolves.

The reader knows from the beginning that Rhoda has already passed away, not because of her illness but through the dreadful violence of a group of criminals in Mogadishu. But she is still present as a ghost voice, the haunted who becomes the haunter for those still living, the key to their lives and destiny. All the characters are constantly questioning themselves about the choices Rhoda made in her life, trying to solve the mystery of her departure. She left a void, which needs to be filled with words, even if they are not hers. Language in the novel becomes the site of a power struggle, where migrants, and especially women, strive to find their voices.

First of all Italian, the language of the host country. Barni went to Italian schools in Mogadishu and was very good in her Italian class. But when she emigrated to Italy,. Dante, Ariosto and Leopardi abandoned her and their place was taken by awfully conjugated verbs. Everything in her language became approximate and confused.

And she ended up becoming that stereotype of the immigrant woman which society or, even better, the media wanted to see in her. We have to let them know our dreams, our expectations. This discourse strategy is fundamental to counterbalance narratives coming from the media, from the state and from Italian society, it obliges all the characters involved to open up a dialogue and to work on the issue.