Is it possible to prevent radicalization and promote social inclusion among young people through art?
On November 8th the final ceremony of the creative contest “Paint the world with diversity” was held in Palermo, at classical highschool “Vittorio Emanuele II”, as a part of the project “Start the Change! – Embracing Differences through Intercultural Education and Volunteering”.
The final event was organized by the Center for Creative Development “Danilo Dolci”. Many students and teachers coming from different schools of Palermo took part in the event, including the classical high school “Vittorio Emanuele II”, and two schools from Partinico (a town close to Palermo): the institute I.C. “Cassarà-Guida” and I.S. “O.M. Corbino”. Also, the scientific high school “Ernesto Basile”, Classical high school “S. Cannizzaro” and secondary school C.S. “Mattarella-Bonagia” took part in the contest but unfortunately could not be present during the ceremony.
START THE CHANGE is project financed by the Erasmus + Key Action 3 program and aims to ensure that marginalized young people can feel that they are being heard. It tries to solve the problem of radicalization through international cooperation among diversified social groups, addressing the issues of tolerance, nonviolence, peaceful conflict resolution, peace building, diversity and human rights.
One way of achieving this goal is through art. For this reason, the students participating in the “Paint the world with diversity” contest showed their creative talent and created wonderful art pieces. The result is a collection of very different approaches to the theme of social inclusion.
After the presentation of the project’s results and the screening of parts of the documentary, the students had the opportunity to present their work, the techniques used and the message they wanted to communicate. A very special presentation was given by Marsilio, who presented his rap song in a live version during the presentations.
The presentations were followed by the official award ceremony in which the prices were given to the winners of the contest: Martina won the third place with the video “Beyond the wall”, in which she urges everyone not to stop at the way things look on the surface in order to be able to overcome the barriers of prejudices. Oluwaobi and Federica, who won the second place, have created together a comic strip entitled “Don’t do it”, with the goal of making readers aware of inclusion, support and acceptance. Marsilio won the first place with the rap song he wrote: “A lot of pages”. The aim of the song – Marsilio explains – is to communicate a message of positivity and equality between social classes and people from different countries and cities (…) the lyrics say “we all work together like in an anthill” to improve our world that nowadays looks down on diversity”. Finally, Noemi received an honorable mention for her drawing named “Different but equal”, reminding that even if each of us is unique and diverse, at the end of the day we are all equal as we all belong to the human race.
The event showed the desire and participation of young people and teachers to tackle such complex and current issues, and the desire to fight against all forms of discrimination and violence, in favor of a more creative and diversified world.
START THE CHANGE is funded under the Erasmus+ Key Action 3: Support for Policy Reform and aims to fight the radicalization among young people, a process that starts as soon as in the primary and secondary schools. In order to deal with this issue, START THE CHANGE organized a large-scale coordinated action with the participation of 40 schools, 110 teachers, and 2000 youngsters across 4 European countries. The project will finish the 31st of December 2018.
The project partnership consists of four organizations around Europe:
- FFE – Forum for Freedom in Education(Coordinator, Croatia);
- Development Education Association(UK);
- Youth Centre Dravinje(Slovenia);
- Centro Per Lo Sviluppo Creativo Danilo Dolci (Italy).