GIOVENTU » Welcome to Italy - the new Italians

Welcome to Italy - the new Italians

"Welcome to Italy", the new Italian web series on You-tube tells the story of the new Italians. In the last year immigration has been a top issue in Europe and especially in Italy.

 

The series tries to answer the question of how it feels to be a foreigner coming from a poorer country to Italy.

The series is made up of eight short episodes (10 minutes each) which lead the public to empathise with what it means to be immigrants in Italy.

 

The protagonists are 6 immigrants working in a radio station on the verge of closing because a parking lot will be built in that area. The radio is a point of reference for the migrants through which they share points of view and experiences. It turns out to be not only a place for foreigners but for all Italian citizens. The challenge is to make the audience aware of the situation of the radio station through a petition which will be singed also by many Italians.

 

Irony and empathy are the keys to engross the viewer in the events happening at Radio BaoBab where a group of people face everyday problems and express the need of feeling part of a community. 

 

The defence strategies adopted by the protagonists of the radio become a reflection on identity and on how to avoid hating who's different, as it happens in everyday episodes of intolerance. There is also an Italian boy in the group, Giorgio, sentenced to social work for having thrown stones at the radio station windows. Ironical and funny episodes help the public to understand how it feels to be different and how to deal with difficult social and political issues.

The idea is to see things from another point of view talking not only of immigrants' problems but also of Italian young people with the same sort of difficulties. The Director, Terry Paternoster, said that the series is dedicated to whoever feels alone in our country. Therefore this doesn't mean that people in difficulty are only immigrants but also Italians of every age group. The web series is in this way the story of a multi-ethnic Italy where what is perceived as different can become an enrichment for everyone.

All videos are followed by practical information in different languages (Chinese, Bengali, Ukrainian, Spanish, Tigris, Philippine, Arab), and Italian. The themes are permit of stay, council services, national health services and many other important aspects of the immigrants' life. 

 

The series was entirely filmed at the multicultural centre Baobab and was made within the project “Infofilieraroma.it” funded by the Home Office through the EIF (European Fund for the Integration of Citizens of Third Countries).

"Welcome to Italy", available through You Tube and Facebook,  has already registered a small success, with more than a million views. It's an experiment which aims to undermine the usual stereotypes on immigration and could be the first of many other series of this type.

Giulia Lombardo

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