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#4 Bologna: sitting around the fire

After exploring the ‘Right to the City’, Atlas of Transitions Biennial returns to Bologna and invites international artists and foreign communities to exchange their knowledge during a 10-days festival. Looking back at past identities, switching perspectives, the challenges that lie ahead of finding a place called home. Spyros Andreopoulos leads the reader across performances and workshops held in a city which faces disputes while looking for alternative spaces of co-existence.
Find more about the role of art in creating social change through interviews with Dorothée Munyaneza, Nadia Beugré, Meike Clarelli, Kristina Norman, Farah Saleh, Nanda Mohammad.

The festival held from 1 to 10th March, was promoted and organized by Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione in collaboration with Cantieri Meticci and the Department of Sociology and Business Law of the University of Bologna.

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Times in Italy are tough, there is an apparent rise of the extreme right, yet people here seem concerned. I witness that every evening during the School of Integration lessons, a section of the festival where various foreign communities of Bologna, come to meet the audience, their co-cizitens. What is really striking is that these exchanges do not take place under a veil of mere exoticism and, even though each community is sharing their particular cultural idioms, the prevailing feeling is the one of contiguity.
And here comes the paradox, the controversy of our times, there’s people who have the choice of leaving their home and travel the world to satisfy whatever needs they have and at the same time there’s the people that need to leave their home, not by choice but by force and they are not allowed to travel.
Next morning, I find myself too, having to fight my own clichés, as. I am walking down the street a bit lost in my thoughts, when suddenly a young man asks something in Italian. I turn to him and since I haven’t understood his request, for a split second I am trying to process the situation based on whatever facts are there, to comprehend and respond...