Claiming Space in Milan’s Refugee Urban Housing.
Milan is a central point of reference for refugees across Italy. The non-profit organisations that manage their refugee housing and integration system have not interpreted their work narrowly. They hope to foster peaceful coexistence between residents of different cultural backgrounds, encouraging the social and economic emancipation of refugees and asylum seekers in Milan. Thus, housing is crucial in determining these individuals’ ability to claim their rights and live full lives.
Yet, because structures are often located at the city’s margins, and the slow bureaucratic processes of asylum, refugees and asylum seekers are left in protracted uncertainty and isolation, usually deemed merely passive recipients of aid. Contrarily, this project places their lived experience of Milan and its reception system at the centre of its approach to demonstrate how refugees and asylum seekers are invaluable agents of change, continuously re-negotiating and re-signifying the urban space they inhabit, building their life while contributing to Milan’s urban peace.
A film to visibilise, spark conversation and inform.
Through participatory documentary methodology, this documentary will demonstrate how the embodied experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in Milan should inform the city’s social integration programmes for refugees.
The aim of this project is not only to be a platform for the voices of refugees and asylum seekers in Milan to be heard. The documentary also wants to open a debate between them and the operators of the centres that host them. In this way, the documentary will encourage a broader discussion on Milan’s reception system, its conditions and definitions of ’integration’ and the ways in which its beneficiaries can be recognised as real actors of change. Finally, it hopes to better inform the public about the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in Milan, countering the common xenophobic rhetoric surrounding this issue.
Your support will help make this project a reality.
The documentary will be structured around the experience and stories of three refugees, as well as the testimonies of several reception centre operators. It will also document the moments of discussion and workshops between the two parties. The funds raised will be used to produce this documentary.
It will be produced by a team of students from the «Luchino Visconti» Civic School of Cinema in Milan. These students will gain work experience in their field while engaging with an aspect of the city they barely interact with. The film production company Eccetera, based in Milan, will supervise the students, and direct the production of the documentary.
This project will involve some of the non-profit organizations involved in the management of the different reception centres in Milan, as well as the Municipality of Milan. The experience and network of these entities are invaluable in carrying out this project.
By supporting this project, you will be supporting a group of ambitious young professionals looking to better inform integration projects and the public in Milan and beyond. The funds will also be used for the rental of film production equipment. Following the completion of the project, the goal is to submit the documentary to film festivals, such as the Geneva International Oriental Film Festival, the Global Migration Film Festival, and the Milan International Documentary Festival. In so doing, we hope to continue informing and visibilising this issue.
This project is near and dear to us, and we hope to have the opportunity to share these stories and lessons learned from this experience with you.