Migrants and Cities

March 5, 2010 at 3:24 pm 7 comments

Migrant, Shopping Mall, Roquetas de Mar, Almer...
Image by Dr John2005 via Flickr

So this morning I attended one of the Sessions on Migrants and Cities. This was supposed to evolve around places that connections and dialogue could occur, both online and offline.

Now I am not claiming to be an expert on this stuff in anyway, but I was sort of disappointed in the session. There was lots of talk of Art, Culture and Academia, all of which will make a difference, but not one that will make a difference between migrant and host country citizen.

A big problem with espousing the beliefs of Anna Lindh Foundation has been that it sounds too academic. Today, it was proved that we are at time too academic.

What we need is ideas, programmes, recommendations, that will bring migrant and host country citizen together in a shared space. This should not be forced, but encouraged. Let them explore and get to know each other. This is when inter-cultural dialogue happens. Not in the ivory towers.

How will we get to this, I don’t know. But hopefully, tomorrow it will change.

Oh and don’t worry, I didn’t keep this to myself, I said it at the session.


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Principles for reconciliation Tolerance

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. foxdenuk  |  March 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    I agree that the morning sessions tended to sound academic and now I am in the afternoon Medina sessions which are much more positive and inspriring. But I have the feeling that we are seeing a 1000 happy stories from which we need to draw the over-arching best practices. This is where the academic rigour is needed. So I think we need both the academic and the concrete. Without the academic, your suggestions are merely opinion, even though I intuitively agree with you.

    • 2. Stephen Spillane  |  March 5, 2010 at 5:34 pm

      I think its because I am not coming gtom an NGO/Academic background and want things to work. Maybe I need to be more patient and possibly suggestions will come tomorrow. Because none came today and we have to come up with them.

  • 3. Cynthia Tomasuolo  |  March 5, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    I agree that we need ideas, programmes and recommendations that bring the migrant and the host country citizen together in a shared space. The migrants can in fact be a key actor in a society but it is also important to address the locals. It would be important to instill respect for the different cultures by raising awareness of the right of each person to equal treatment, and by highlighting the harmful effects of discrimination and / or stereotyping not only for the individual but for our society as a whole.

    • 4. Stephen Spillane  |  March 6, 2010 at 12:37 am

      I agree with you Cynthia. I hope tomorrow at the Agora people realise this.

  • 5. bahz  |  March 6, 2010 at 11:10 am

    i would say i do agree with you stephan .. but remember that The Anna Lindh Foundation needs these academic parts to, list down strategies that can be presented to the decision makers … i think that this forum beside it is a way for us to meet and exchange ideas and projects .. it is a way for anna lindh Foundation to set its strategies for the next coming years

  • 6. midhal  |  March 9, 2010 at 12:21 am

    I think they need to inform each other – activist and practitioners need to tell academics what happening on the ground, which they need to use to turn in to the strategies and academic thinking to inform the grassroots practice.

  • 7. Anna Lindh Forum: What I made of it | Stephen Spillane  |  March 16, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    […] did have some criticisms about how the forum operated. Especially in the Agora sessions, but I was delighted in the closing […]


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Pictures from the Anna Lindh Forum

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