Friday 21 October – The reverse of wealth and a new concept for citizenship

During the morning of October 21st we started the day with a session called “The reverse of Wealth – or what’s our responsibility for the migration of others?”. We had to form small groups and got a usb with a movie and information on a certain topic, all related to causes of migration, such as climate change, exploitation of resources in non-western countries, unfair labour conditions, child slavery etc. With the provided information we had to think of a campaign in order to fight these problems or raise awareness on these topics and, if possible, provide solutions or alternatives to take responsibility over these issues as privileged citizens or consumers. It brought an interesting focus to a deeper reflection on how we as individuals are involved in and responsible for what is happening in the world and how we can be part of change. After the research phase all groups presented their work, with very interesting ideas and campaigns. For example one of the groups made a poster with a picture of a coat with the title: “Real human skin coat, $0,99! Do you know the real price? Someone is working to death for your coat!”

In the afternoon the training consisted of two type of exercises, connected however by a red line, that of defining, expanding and questioning the term and concept of citizenship.

We initially started taking apart the notion through role playing and debating as part of a fishbowl discussion. This works by forming several groups of three people, in our case, five, and assigning each group a role (a journalist siding with the freedom of movement, the president of the European Commission, two extremist, right wing and xenophobic people and a mother, who came as a refugee but is now fighting for the right of her son, born in The Netherlands, in order for him to obtain Dutch citizenship).

The topic – European citizenship – who is entitled to have/obtain it?

After half an hour for preparing the discourse and arguments, the discussion  started with one representative of each group sitting in a chair, in a circle, simulating a talk-show. As the debate progressed others could intervene and step in for their group by replacing the one sitting in the chair already, with one tap on the shoulder. This added great value to the discussion as all participants had a chance to present their arguments without interference and as part of a team. One the one hand, the exercise contributed to stepping in someone else’s shoes and understanding strategies, if not even discourse and arguments.

We then moved on to watch a video – Don’t Ask Where I’m From, Ask Where I’m a Local | Taiye Selasi | TED Talks

This occasioned us to question and take apart the question of citizenship, of identity and where identity lies and where it forms and how it can be represented and presented to others.

We formed groups and tried to come up with a new concept for identity and belonging – a more evolved, inclusive, emancipated one and this is what came out of the exercise (the most popular was the second one):

Proposal interim project – Recipe cooking book “Cooking Without Borders”.

Team – Sammi, Simina, Elise, Valeria, Antonis, Pascalis, Diana (not 100%sure)

(topic and content/ pedagogical goals)

The idea of this project is to create a compilation of cooking recipes that are proposed and prepared by migrants and refugees from different points of the world and eventually comprise them into a book alongside with the personal stories of the people involved. The main goal of the project is the empowerment of migrants and their self-esteem and the re-humanization of their image in society. Being involved in an activity where one can create something and share his/hers story and skills can efficiently break the frustrating and demotivating idleness of refugee camps in which thousands of people are desperately stuck. The conditions in these camps, and particularly the one at the Greek-Macedonian border, Idomeni, do not allow any fun, educational or entertaining activities and most of its habitants have their days spent in a monotone, boring and emotionally and psychologically exhausting ways. And it is in this idle and miserable situation that the main stream media and press tend to portrait the refugees – a herd of people who do nothing and want to take everything. The cooking book could alleviate both of these symptoms – it will involve people from Idomeni camp, giving them a channel to share their culinary skills and to tell the stories associated with the recipes as well as anything else they would like to share. Hopefully this will have a positive impact on their self-esteem and their general well-being. There is even the possibility of eventually selling the book and thus having some financial revenue which will go back to the people in the camp.  On the other hand the book, once completed, shared and spread through Europe will point to the obvious to its readers – that the people on the other side of the fence are exactly that – people, who cook with love for their families and themselves and people, who have knowledge and skill to share with the rest of us. The goal is to reinforce a positive and a re-humanizing image of refugees.

Alongside refugees from Idomeni, the project will involve refugees and migrants from communities in Italy and Romania and? The main scope is to integrate the migrant community in the local society and to make migrants visible so that tolerance is replaced with inclusion and  opportunities for integration.  The project will also help relatively isolated migrants become involved in a project that values their culture and experience. Making the book, collecting the recipes will also include events where local folks are also invited (e.g. cooking lessons).

The project will also produce video material, that will be used to announce the book or just to contribute to reaching the goals of fostering inclusion and understanding for migrants and refugees.

(pedagogical method)

The method will be direct contact in a horizontal structure which will involve skill sharing in a non-formal way. The method also includes storytelling and personal stories as a way to help people relate and value the experience of migrants and refugees and their culture.

(target groups)

There are two target groups in this project. The first one are the refugees who will collaborate for the creation of the book and the second one are the people who will read the book and participate in the activities


The project will be carried out on ground at the Greek-Macedonian border in Idomeni with people who are stuck in the local refugee camp and, in migrants and refugee communities in Romania and Italy They will be approached and asked if they would like to collaborate. The process of preparing the meals will be documented with both video and pictures. Once enough material has been collected the digital design of the book can begin and then the eventual print can follow.

(agreements with local and international partners)

The project will be made in collaboration with different activist groups from Europe who have direct contact with migrants and refugees that would like collaborate and to share their stories and recipes, so the material in the book will be collected from different places which will give an even stronger international touch to the project.

(timetable and milestones)

The project will begin in the first week of June 2016 and can be divided in a few milestone points:

1 – Finding the people who would like to participate in it – June – August

2 – Documenting and organizing all the material – September – Octomber

3 – Designing and releasing the actual book – Octomber- November

Ideally, these can be completed as planned, although there are many variable factors in game.