How New Arrivals - "Approdi" came into being
The project stems from the idea of using cartoons drawn by African artists as a means to explore the complex reality
of immigration in Europe, in the light of the enlargement of the EU to 27 member states. In this context, the
countries involved in the project are Italy and Spain, which represent the two traditional places of arrival, and the
new European frontiers Malta and Cyprus. These are at the centre of the many challenges that accompany the process of
integration, to which they will have to provide an effective response.
The New Arrivals project is financed by the European Commission, Directorate General for Enlargement as part of the APESC programme.
This project is mainly targeted at young people in the four partner states and wishes to raise awareness about immigration amongst the new generations so that, having put aside fears and common perceptions, they can confront it and thus build a future where integration, interaction and communication are not only a necessity but also an opportunity for all.
The phases of the project
RESEARCH: The four counterparts involved in the project have appointed a Scientific Committee, comprised of experts on immigration, European legislation and communication, whose role is to identify some of the most common fears, insecurities and stereotypes.
IMPLEMENTATION: In order to create the short cartoons published in a small paperback book, the involvement and cooperation of writers and African artist was crucial: together they dramatised the key themes that were selected by the scientific committee in an accessible, appealing and realistic way.
CONTENTS: The comic strips present six possible stories of immigration, which take place in various contexts and countries, and are as different from each other as the origins and the cultural baggage that the main characters carry with them. All the stories explore an enlarged and multicultural Europe, where the themes of work, freedom of expression, and fulfilling one's dreams, are interwoven with the problem of identity for immigrants who are facing the difficulties of their new life.
DISTRIBUTION: In order to reach out to as wide an audience as possible various approaches have been adopted:
- Comic Strip Book: in pocket-size format, available in four languages (Italian, English, Spanish and Greek), aimed at young people of around 11-18.
- The Journal: number 54 of Africa e Mediterraneo contains a special report that highlights this initiative for those who work in the field, and its more mature readership.
- The Website: a crucial part of the project as it provides free access to the stories, in four languages (Italian, English, Spanish and Greek) and provides further information on the main themes addressed, especially on immigration and the 2004 European enlargement.
- Educational activities: educational activities for schools are currently being planned. The starting point for these will be the stories of New Arrivals - "Approdi", which will lead to an in-depth exploration of the issues and ideas related to intercultural dialogue.
- Exhibitions: various exhibitions of the cartoons have been planned.