RIME-How arts and crafts contribute to the inclusion of refugees.

Why artistic activities are relevant for inclusion

Our project aims to show that cultural work can be an economic driving force for the companies that operate in this field and for refugee people, who are valued in their skills or trained in learning new ones.

The aim of the training is to know, analyze and discuss some of the different possibilities of carrying out artistic and creative activities in favor of the social and economic inclusion of asylum seekers and refugees In the Bologna area.

Inside the RIME project, the Italian partner Lai-momo involved and coordinated the artistic work of 10 cartoonists to create as many comics telling stories of inclusion lived by refugees in the five partner countries of the project.

Lai-momo and Africa e Mediterraneo association in the field of African culture and art, have a long experience from the comic strip publishing to the most recent experience of the Cartiera leather workshop of the Abantu cooperative. That is why they have decided to present the activities that they carry out in these areas among others, and to explore further initiatives of other associations and cooperatives working in the artistic and craft sectors involving refugees recently arrived in Bologna.

Manual work, applied to the creation of products which involve creativity and aesthetic quality can also have “therapeutic” effects in people who have suffered trauma or who live in situations of discomfort.

Another important role that cultural and artistic activities can play is to raise awareness of host communities and institutions on the issue of international protection and inclusion of refugees together with creating relationships between people that foster inclusion at a personal and a social level.

Course of the workshop

The training lasted five days.

At the beginning, Lai Momo gave some context information about refugees in Italy. It was a strong request from the partners from the different countries who are very interested to exchange know how about these legal aspects. After the presentation and illustration of Lai-momo activities for the refugees’ inclusion, the group visited different situations where arts and crafts workshops are carried out employing refugees. They met an association that realizes, among other artistic activities, theatrical performances involving refugees and visited together one of their artistic installations on the reception of migrants in Europe.

They finished having a walk on the hills of the Marzabotto Memorial Park where they met people from Monte Sole Peace School.

A collective restitution was proposed on the last day.

A special exhibition « RIME Comics Exhibition Finissage” was also held to present the remarkable outcomes of this initiative, in which six African authors illustrated six comic novels on the issue of immigrants and displaced women and men in Europe.

 

Example places of the training and visits:

Project website: https://rime-refugees-inclusion.eu/ 

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