Italian campaign challenges prejudices on migrants through satire

Italian campaign challenges prejudices on migrants through satire Olu Gi New Neighbours

Have you ever heard or read one the following statements? 

They steal our jobs

They are invading us

It will cost us a lot of money

They have more rights than me

They are all terrorists

This is a selection of the commonplaces built around migrants and the general migration topics. They are widely unmotivated, undocumented phrases but they still find place in our conversations. And who’s to blame: the word of mouth? the distorted communication of mass media? the popular culture? 

Satire to Campaign Against Prejudices on Migrants

Dario Campagna doesn’t try to point fingers. Instead, he is exposing the public attitude towards migrants and racial minorities in Italy through satire. He recently signed “Olu Gi”, a series of eight illustrated plates that dig and target stereotypes linked to the perception of diversity.

​Dario Campagna was born in the ’80s in Southern Italy city of Palermo. He is an illustrator and a journalist. He has produced comic strips, illustrations, stories and graphic reportages for international organisations such as Greenpeace, WWF, as well as Italian publishing houses Mondadori and BeccoGiallo, and news outlets.

“​I’ve been asked to dedicate myself to a current topic that is very relevant to us,” Campagna says. 

He added: “In my comics, we aim to go beyond the stereotype that pigeonholes migrants with no way out. 

It’s important to stress that they are people before labels.” 


Italian campaign challenges prejudices on migrants through satire Olu Gi New Neighbours

“Olu Gi” Gives Voice to Migrants to Challenge Stereotypes

“Olu Gi” means “your voice” in Igbo, one of the most widespread languages ​​in Africa. “Olu Gi” is also the name of the campaign created by HRYO (Human Rights Youth Organization), a Palermo-based organisation that promotes and defends human rights at a local and international level. 

The campaign is part of the larger New Neighbors project, founded by the European Commission to promote intercultural media spaces. In this light, “Olu Gi” addresses the common narratives relative to the image of migrants through the provocative signature of the cartoonist Dario Campagna.

Eight prickly, grotesque, often caustic caricatures plates were published weekly to target stereotypes. These are nor supposed or heard from but are the direct narrations of migrants. As part of the campaign several migrants were interviewed. 

Something that emerged, especially during the pandemic, is stereotyping connected with narratives of pity and ‘dependency culture’. Organisations (composed of Italians) which offer support and assistance to migrants rarely give free reign to community work initiatives by organisations run by migrants. This strengthens the way in which foreigners are perceived by Italians, that is: “they believe that we depend on their aid and that we are unable to organise ourselves”. 

Migrants were invited to share their stories for the campaign. It is from these stories that many prejudices originate and are nurtured from a stereotyped idea of ​​the concepts of care, assistance and dependence.

Through the tool of satire, the “Olu Gi” campaign opens a space for reflection and dialogue around the existing models of integration of migrants into society, leading the public in a journey through truthful and unsettling cartoons, trusting in the strength of laughter to bury any prejudice. The campaign is supported by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union. 

To watch the eight plates click here

People Between the Lines – A Handbook on Migration for (Future) Journalists

People between the lines new neighbours

People Between the Lines – A Handbook on Migration for (Future) Journalists focuses on developing a critical approach in handling topics connected to migration, migrants, and the coexistence of majorities and the so-called new minorities in media.

It offers a fresh perspective on the traditional journalistic concepts of agenda setting, discourse, framing, gatekeeping, and ethics, putting them in the context of migration, with special focus on the specific situations in the EU and in Czechia, Estonia and Slovakia.

The handbook sets the basic terminology connected to migration and presents the major findings of migration studies, all in context of journalistic practice. Building on the E-R-R method (Evocation – Realization of Meaning – Reflection), it guides the readers to understand their own positions and limitations in their work as journalists. It also offers practical tips for conducting interviews and working with sources.

The handbook is primarily aimed at students of journalism and junior journalists, but it could serve as valuable inspiration even for experienced journalists.

It was prepared by People in Need (PIN) Czech Republic, together with People in Need Slovakia and MONDO Estonia.

To read the handbook, click here


A new interactive tool online for migration

The REMINDER project has recently announced Understanding Migration and Free Movement in the European Union, an interactive online tool based on their research findings.

The project is a large-scale attempt to address the full spectrum of social and economic consequences of migration within the European Union, outlining how this phenomenon is reflected in media, policy and public opinion around Europe. To investigate migration the project is divided into five major themes:

  • Numbers, What do we know about patterns of EU migration? Who is moving where, when, and why?
  • Impacts, What are the major impacts of intra-EU mobility? This section will present our research on the labour market and public service impacts.
  • Media, How has intra-EU mobility been covered by media outlets in Europe? What accounts for the different ways in which the topic is treated?
  • Attitudes, What do people in the EU think about free movement? What factors influence people’s views about this topic?
  • Governance, What are the major laws and regulations governing free movement in Europe? Are they adequate and how could they be improved so that free movement works for everyone?

The tool based on an interactive approach provides short summaries of some of their key findings, showing how different, seemingly unrelated factors within migration debates may affect each other. Choosing their own adventure way in discovering data on migration, users will thus be able to take their journey navigating the platform’s content in the order they prefer to.

Take your journey on the platform here.

Migrations / Mediations: arts and communication as resources for intercultural dialogue

The Migrations | Mediations project tackles the different uses of media, theatre and performance, art and culture in the management of migratory phenomena and the promotion of intercultural dialogue. Specific attention is given to the practices implemented in Milan and Lombardy. Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore funds the project as a “University Interest Project” for the years 2016-2019. It mainly involves scholars and researchers from the Department of Communication and Performing Arts but also collects the contributions of scholars from other departments.

The project has a twofold nature. On the one hand, it is a research project, and therefore intends to map forms of representation produced by old and new media; policies expressed and enacted by institutions; concrete initiatives and practices coming from associations, cooperatives, cultural groups, etc., in relation to the use of media, theatre and art in intercultural dialogue. As a research project, Mediations | Migrations organises workshops and conferences collecting scholars from various disciplinary fields; constructs and implements research tools such as archives and databases; produces some volumes, special issues of journals, individual contributions by researchers. On the other hand, Mediations | Migrations is a project of intervention, aimed to promote cross-collaboration between institutions, producers and artists; to disseminate good practices and to encourage their replicability; to support and implement a professional awareness of the operators in the field. As such, Migrations | Mediations promotes meetings between producers, operators and policymakers; makes its databases available to them; it is linked to similar initiatives at national and European level; produces a “White Paper of the operators of intercultural dialogue”.

Silence Hate: Young journalists published creative and innovative stories on migration

The #SilenceHate project kicked-off more than a year and a half ago, in April 2018, with a five-day ‘Media Camp’ in London.

Thirteen young journalists were trained in the intricacies of how hate speech is used to target migrants, and what journalists can do to counter it. They went back to their home countries (Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Poland and United Kingdom) with the objective to report and produced the stories that they pitched.

Here are the journalists’ productions offering different formats such as photography, podcasts, videos, features, long form, and having a creative and innovative perspective of the migration topic.

Silence Hate is a EU-funded project aiming to combat and prevent online hate speech against migrants and refugees by developing new and creative counter-narratives, led by COSPE, in partnership with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Media Diversity Institute (MDI), Amnesty International Italy, Amnesty International Poland, KARPOS, Zaffiria, and Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC).

Welcome to Europe: 10 Years on the Way …

The transnational network Welcome to Europe celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The independent, donation-funded initiative was launched in late summer 2009 by noborder activists on the Greek island of Lesbos. The idea was born in order to support refugees and migrants on their difficult journey to and through Europe with useful information and counselling in transit.

As a result, the volunteers began to create multilingual flyers that should provide guidance and overview, e.g. on the Dublin system, asylum procedures, detention and deportation, medical care, access to the labour market, family reunification or legal aid centers in different cities.

The collected materials became the basis for the four-language website , which was set up in 2010 and meanwhile contains a wealth of information in English, French, Arabic and Farsi. Now the webguide has contact points, practical tips and reports for most European countries and North Africa. Many country sections are fed with various thematical chapters about the factual rights and situations in each place.

In addition to the information work, volunteers of Welcome to Europe also participate in numerous other projects and networks dedicated to the protection of refugees and migrants and the right to freedom of movement.

The brochure 10 Years Network Welcome to Europe (PDF in English) offers an informative review on the past decade, highlighting some of the initiative’s milestones and struggles.

Migration reporting toolkit for journalists launches on World Refugee Day

The Ethical Journalism Network has worked with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) to develop an online resource for journalists reporting on migration.

The online e-Media toolkit, designed by journalists for journalists, is now available . It provides first-hand assistance to media professionals with learning resources, training courses and opportunities to share and interact.

Drawing on input from leading media outlets like Agence France-Presse, Le MondeThe GuardianRadio France International,France TV, the BBC, and the Financial Times, the toolkit offers wide-ranging guidance on covering migration from different types of media.

The toolkit can be accessed here.

Migration Matters

Migration Matters is a non-profit organization that was founded in January 2016 by Julia Karmo, Sophia Burton, Kelly Miller, and Elina Ribakova in response to media coverage about the so-called refugee crisis.

The mission is to empower the public to have more nuanced and evidence-based conversations about migration. They produce bite-sized video courses that complicate commonly held preconceptions with original ideas, research, and solutions-oriented perspectives from leading thinkers in the field: researchers, practitioners, as well as migrants and refugees themselves.”

“ Help us change the debate around migration by informing your family and friends about Migration Matters, sharing our videos, and contributing your questions and ideas for future course topics to Let’s #rethinkmigration together.”