EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY AND MEDITERRANEAN FESTIVAL - VENTOTENE, ITALY
From Thursday the 25th to Sunday the 28th of April 2019 Ventotene hosted the third edition of the Festival for an Inclusive Europe and the Mediterranean, Festival designed by Abdullahi Ahmed, president of the Association GenerAzione Ponte.
A collective narrative of successful practices to overcome racism and discrimination with the main goal of promoting a European culture based on the values of peace, welcoming reception, human dignity, freedom and equality.
This year, the Festival, that has reached its third edition and was held in Ventotene during the week of the 25th of April, aims to become a regular appointment for the following years.
The Mediterranean has always been a crossroads of cultures that, through intersections, have managed to originate the most important innovations known by the humankind. Our sea, besides uniting, represents the stage of a great humanitarian tragedy: thousands of people who lack the right of free movement and the right of undertaking a safe trip towards the European continent, daily put their lives at risk in a long and uncertain journey.
Altiero Spinelli and Sofia Corradi, who despite the difficulties have promoted the Union of the Peoples of Europe, encouraged us to believe that the new Italian and European citizens, saved and welcomed refugees, jointly with the citizens who are lumped together by values of welcoming reception, can be the true protagonists of a collective narrative of successful practices to overcome racism and discrimination with the main goal of promoting a European culture based on the values of peace, welcoming reception, human dignity, freedom and equality.
Besides enhancing the role this generation plays as a bridge - meaning youth belonging to diaspora and young Europeans - by supporting their protagonism, one of the goals of the Festival is to gather on the island European students and refugees who reached Europe in recent years, to introduce them to the importance of the island itself and of the Ventotene Manifesto: the dream envisaged by the Manifesto could represent the forthcoming dream to be accomplished in those countries presently involved in conflicts and fratricidal wars.
“The road ahead is neither smooth nor certain. But we must follow it and so we shall!”
the Ventotene Manifesto
The common thread of the third edition is the “pursuit of happiness” narrated through different means (conferences, debates, cinema, street art, workshops), and through the possibility of meeting in first person people with successful stories who contributed to promoting a better mutual comprehension and a greater integration among the different cultures that compose the richness of the global landscape.
THE PREVIOUS EDITIONS
The first edition of the Festival for an Inclusive Europe and the Mediterranean was launched in 2017 in Settimo Torinese, on the occasion of the International day against racism held the 21st of March 2017 and the celebration of the Treaties of Rome held the 25th of March, according to an idea of Abdullahi Ahmed.
The second edition of the Festival was held in Ventotene, during the celebrations occurring the 25th of April. The choice of the venue was not casual: it represents a symbolic setting for the European dream.
Since 2018 it has involved almost 1000 people among EU native youth, students, migrants, refugees, journalists, politicians and international figures and acknowledged experts with regard to the topics covered, who were invited to participate to the meetings and the debates. Some of these guests, who reached the venue from both Italy and other European countries, hold positions of responsibility in European Institutions and United Nations.
THE FESTIVAL: Implemented by the Association GenerAzione Ponte with the support of Compagnia di San Paolo.
PARTNERS: EquiLibri d’Oriente, ACMOS under the patronage of UNHCR and the Municipality of Ventotene.