Bridging languages and memories to foster multiple identities: "Never leave your backpack behind!"

About the project

BACKPACK ID is an innovative intervention for promoting the inclusion of refugee children at school in 4 European countries (Greece and Italy, Germany and Sweden), which are met with acute and very diverse challenges by the ongoing refugee crisis. Informed by these differences, the present approach on social inclusion advances a common account of social inclusion challenges; it sees the social inclusion of refugee children as a function of addressing the needs and perspectives of those children and their families, and local communities and stakeholders, while affirming common European values.

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Backpack ID using a bottom-up participatory method produced the following outputs in order to address social inclusion interpersonal and intergroup understanding in the school environment.

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Who we are

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When I was a child I didn’t listen to music that much, except from some ‘90’s hip-hop bands which my father used to listen to. My father liked 2pac, The notorius B.I.G. and 50 cent. Two years later, I moved from Fornovo to Collecchio and I became interested in Dub Step e Drop Low.

My parents realized I was really interested in music, so they bought me a beat maker and I started to follow lessons for two years. Now I produce musical bases of every type. My musical repertoire is much bigger than it used to be. I listen to T-rap music, italian and american. The song which marked me more is:

QUELLO CHE VOGLIO (What I want) by LAIOUNG. The text represents me and my family.

Laioung says he comes from poverty and that he didn’t know his parents because they died during a war.

My parents were poor, my father used to live in a small house with his sisters and brothers, and every month he had to go to Greece to work and earn money to buy meds for my grandfather who was ill, in fact he (my grandfather) died after a while. My mother used to wake up every morning very early with her brothers in order to pick grapes and tangerines in the fields.

The text of the song says:

We used to work thinking of the future,
I was not listening to their words Because
who hates will never get better, Because
who hates will never wake up.

My father arrived in Italy in the early ‘90s, as an illegal migrant. He risked his life many times during his journey to Italy. When he arrived in Lecce he went to work as a bricklayer and in Naples, later, as a farmer. After two years he went to the North of Italy and started working in a factory in Sala Baganza (near Parma), then he moved to Lemignano (Collecchio) with his brothers. After a while my father and his brothers were known as excellent workers and therefore decided to open their own factory in Parma. My mother arrived in Italy when she was 18, and worked in many different places as a cleaning lady or as a dishwasher. She had problems with the Italian language but in the end she learned it and became a professional beautician. Now she works in Collecchio. After seven years she opened her own shop. Our family’s history was so famous that two local newspapers interviewed my uncles and my father. My father decided to keep the pages of the interview.

For me music describes how we are, in and out, it describes the most beautiful moments and the most important of my life but it also describes sad moments, when we suffer for the lack of something or someone we love. Music is a fundamental piece of our journey, it helps us believing in ourselves and doing things we didn’t know before. I think music is very important in my life.