Saturday 15 October – Introduction and sensitive terms and concepts

During the first morning of the second training in Amsterdam we had a session on organizational issues and getting to know the new participants. We did some warmup games and got to know the schedule of the week, revised our group rules and wishes and expectations of this second training. It was nice to see everyone again and getting to know some new participants.

Critical reflection on the use of everyday concepts relating to migration & inclusion

In the afternoon we explored sensitive terms related to the concept of migration and inclusion. In small groups we all had to look for sensitive terms in: news papers, cartoons, music, children books, talk shows, Facebook, Twitter and advertising and come up with a contrasting term. It was not very difficult to find sensitive political terms relating to those topics, the term “refugee” for example already embodies a lot of stereotypes and generalizations in itself. It also depends on the context how those words are used and related to negative images or not. The challenge lay in finding contrasting terms, or terms that sounded more neutral. In the Netherlands for example, the term “newcomer” is now often used instead of “refugee”, as a means to exchange the political sensitive term of refugee for a more neutral and apolitical one. But the question is whether this is really changing something, because newcomer still bears a meaning of being an outsider or the “other”.

The small groups came up with very interesting and sometimes shocking newspaper articles, advertisements or children’s books. For example an English advertisement of Paddy Power, on a truck in Calais stating: “Immigrants, jump in the back! (But only if you’re good at sport)”

It was an inspiring session and everyone came up with new things for everyone to learn.

 

Interim project Astrid – Brasov Multicultural Day (4th edition)

„Brașov Multicultural Day” (4th edition) is dedicated to the Romanian community and the migrants living in the city of Brașov, Romania. The purposes of this event are:

– To educate people about immigration and the difference between refugees and other migrants; to educate people about the advantages of having a multicultural society;

– To contribute to the social and cultural integration of migrants in Romania;

– The promotion of a positive multicultural environment for both migrants and the local community;

– Advocate for diversity, tolerance, mutual understanding, cultural exchange, and humanitarian aid.

– Strengthening the cooperation with the local institutions with attributions in managing migration;

– Strengthening the cooperation with local companies and entrepreneurs for a better economic integration of migrants in the city of Brasov, Romania.

The target groups of our event are:

  • Refugees and other migrants (third country nationals) living in Romania;
  • The local Romanian community;
  • The entire Romanian society;
  • The local government and local leaders;
  • Entrepreneurs, companies, organizations, etc. with a potential to offer work for refugees and other migrants.
  • Embassies;

The event will be structured in three moments:

  1. Artistic program produced by the foreigners in Brașov (the program will contain traditional dances, poetry, presentations, traditional music, traditional costumes parade etc.)
  2. Cultural exhibitions. The cultural exhibitions will be hosted by countries such as: Nigeria, Philippines, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Japan, Dominican Republic, Korea, Republic of Moldova, China, Albania, Belarus, Ukraine, Brazil, Chile/South America, Benin, Tunisia, Algeria, USA, Canada, Iran, Palestine, Jordan, Australia, Cuba, Germany, Romania etc.
  3. Refugee section. In this section there will be:

– A photo exhibition about the refugees’ “trip” from Lesbos to Austria (a photo exhibition done by three Romanian photographers who have followed and photographed a group of refugees in October 2015 from lesbos in Greece to Austria);

– A fashion corner explaining Arabic traditional clothes;

– A relaxation corner where people can see a traditional Syrian room;

– other small activities that draw attention to the today’s refugee plight.

The evaluation will be done before and after the event with the help of local and national media.