TALKING ABOUT PEACE
The attraction and possibilities of an alternative language
The commitment for a hospitable, forward-thinking city
5th Peace Education Campus
16-22 February 2020
An opposing language and an emotional narrative channel able to bring the right words out of the closed sections, the pathetic cafés of the dying Left and open the hearts of the forgotten suburbs must urgently be found.
(Paolo Rumiz, Il filo infinito)
In recent months in Italy and other European countries, we’ve seen an unexpected return of extremisms and nationalisms kindled and supported by small-minded and short-sighted politics. Today, the current structure of Europe and the dream of the founding fathers, who presented it as the dwelling place of peace and rights, mean that, more than ever before, it’s at risk of disintegration and ‘Balkanisation’, violently attacked on all sides.
The strict closure of borders and the wrecking of every political and economic prospect of hospitality offend the dignity of men, women and children seeking a better future. However, the integration of the new European citizens and second generations is especially at risk. They’re commonly perceived as a problem, not a resource; sooner or later, the impoverishment of their rights and their difficult social emancipation is matched by the same widespread violation also of the weakest strata of our society. There’s a war in progress between poor people unable to understand basic social problems and unable to create alliances for common rights and development. There’s a plethora of social and psychological analyses.
But how has the language of hate and violence gained such a following? Where do the fears that generate defence at all costs come from? Why have so many, too many, of our fellow citizens, even those who should remember the wars in Europe, the walls between the West and East, and internal migration, become trapped in the meshes of anger against those who are different? And why is the language of violence and fear and opposition more attractive than that of good and peace, hospitality and the future? We want to imagine an alternative narration of reality, a study of human and social behaviour that can become the stimulus for a new social and political system. The Peace Campus, now at its 5th edition, is for teenagers of 15-18 from Milan and other Italian and European towns and cities. We’ll try to reflect and make choices that go against the flow through happy times, sport, meetings with celebrities, focus groups and citizenship actions to redraw a new model of citizenship and promote a more integrated, fairer society.
The following already support the initiative:
- Municipality of Milan, Ufficio Vicesindaca e Servizio Giovani (Deputy Mayor’s Office and Youth Services)
- Centro Sportivo Italiano (Italian Sports Centre), Milan and province section
- Centro Culturale Asteria (Asteria Cultural Centre)
- The organising committee of some High Schools in Milan
- Centro Ambrosiano Documentazioni Religiose dell’Arcidiocesi di Milano (Ambrosian Religious Documentation Centre of Milan Arch-diocese)
- Giovani Musulmani Italiani (Young Italian Moslems)
- Comunità Bahà’i (Bahà’i Community), Gratosoglio
For further information, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.