Ragazzi Harraga: Ending our journey by celebrating community

10 June 2019Migration, News

The third and final cycle of the project Ragazzi Harraga is coming to an end, after a long journey of more than two years.

From February to may 2019, forty young people, coming from various countries of the world, including Gambia, Italy, Senegal and Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, France, Spain, all of them habitants of Palermo, participated in the three workshops of Interculturality, Rights and Citizenship and Dance, bringing their own beauty into this space and making it available to others in a collective moment of growth.

In the intercultural workshop, topics such as identity and culture, admonishing participants to reflect on what it means “to meet others”, on how our identities slowly change while making different experiences and getting to know new things and people and on how this awareness does not have to make us afraid to lose our cultural references, but instead to open us to the abundance that everybody can add to our lives.

Definition of what social exclusion means, role models and discovering the city in a “Treasure Hunt” are among the other activities of this year’s workshop. Once again, the young people participated in the interreligious dialogue , visiting both a mosque and a church confronting themselves with a catholic nun as well as an imam, in order to get to know the religion of “the other” better. Concerning this experience, participants write:

It is important to listen to each other with respect, tolerance and love, because despite the differences we are all god’s children. The purpose of our life is to help others and live in peace.

During all these activities, the group has become a safe space for sharing. Bea, a Spanish volunteer who participated in this workshop, says:

In the moments of sharing everyone has told very personal stories, this is like making a small gift to the group and this favour I wanted to return.

During rights and citizenship workshop, a big focus has been on the connection between immigration and the mafias that exploit migrants both in the urban context of micro-criminality and as labourers in the countryside. Thus, participants have been made aware of the connected risks. In this context, participants saw and discussed the film “Green Blood” and two Mexican ex-mafia traffickers, who were on a world tour in order to give testimony and tell their story, came to visit the group. They have been in the first row during the Memory and Commitment Day remembering the innocent victims of the mafias. In the end, they elaborated a significant contribution concerning the concept of shared mobility aiming at promoting social inclusion through mobility, which they then presented in front of representatives of the Municipality of Palermo at an event of the University of Palermo.

Participants in the dance workshop worked on awareness of their bodies through movement and rhythm, relating to others and creating new movement, the “movements of cultural and experiential contamination”. In addition, participants discovered their own internal and external space, using different methods, such as drawing of their own silhouette and finally, they created a video, in which the protagonist is the rhythm that will be presented at the final event. Together with the participants of the rights and citizenship workshop, they participated in a football match with a group of young people from the United States visiting in order to get to know our project and went around Ballarò taking pictures of places and things that, according to them, either represent the realization of a right or a lack of such, before discussing the results with the whole group.

The workshops of Ragazzi Harraga live from the willingness of the participants to share and find relations between the differences. Regarding this, Costanza says:

I enrolled in the Ragazzi Harraga workshop of rights and citizenship, because I realized that I did not completely understand all that Palermo has to offer. Our Palermo is changing and I want to be in direct contact with the people who come here.

Even if “Ragazzi Harraga” ends this summer, we will return soon with new laboratories in the frame of the new SAAMA project. The term SAAMA in Mandinka means “Tomorrow” and all of us together will cultivate the presence to create the best possible tomorrow for everybody.

To greet us and share this extraordinary journey, we invite you to participate in our colourful final event that will take place on June 13, 2019 from 17.30 to 20.30 at Cre.Zi.Plus inside the Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, where all the participants will tell us about the different experiences they have had during the course of their workshops, using videos, music and dance, small stories and sketches.

There will also be an intercultural aperitif for all of our guests!

Ragazzi Harraga

Final event

13 June 2019 | h. 17.30

Cre.Zi.Plus – Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, Via Paolo Gili, 4, 90138 Palermo


The project activities are managed by the following partners:

For further information

Read more about Ragazzi Harraga.

Visit non6solo.it.

For further information concerning the scope of Ragazzi Harraga project, please contact Alessandra Sciurbaalessandra.sciurba@ciai.it – tel. 0917846554.

For further information concerning the workshops, please contact Roberta Lo Bianco, roberta.lobianco@cesie.org.

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