7. A cultural offer as citizens (Follonica)

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Migrants become citizens by promoting the culture for the city

On the morning of Saturday 12 May, the sixth activity of active citizenship of the Growing Together Project was held. This time, it was a focus group on the theme of racism, focused on how migrants perceive racism against them, discussed in a debate with various associations. The meaning of the activity under the profile of active citizenship is to be found in the comparison on the theme, in the work of conceptual abstraction aimed at offering a new tool for educational processes within local associations: migrants, with citizens, in essence, produce and offer to citizens the themes and reflections useful for their growth.

The meeting began by looking for a shared definition of racism. To the question “what is racism?”, The migrants have agreed that it is a sense of superiority towards other people of ethnicity, religion, race etc. Furthermore, there are so many elements of possible discrimination, there are many causes of racism.

In Africa, they explain, there is racism, but it is based on ethnic differences; while the racism that they suffer in Italy, almost daily, concerns a visual rather than historical aspect: the color of the skin. At this point, we tried to take another step forward, defining the cause of this racial hatred for black skin. The first reason emerged are the false myths that the mass media spread. But why is this yardstick in racism? The answer emerged is ignorance. Not knowing the uses and customs of a population leads to an idea based only on the few and approximate information.

One conclusion to which the working group has come is that any activity against racism must start from a profound change in communication and from meetings with citizens to whom it must be felt that in order to trust “the other” it is essential to know him as an individual with a history, a culture, a past, of dreams and hopes.