Event 2: Reggio Emilia, Italy

Our collective poem

La poesia collettiva a Reggio Emilia

We start by talking about how we were given our first names and what they mean. We smile, laugh and commiserate with one another . . .

Sitting in the courtyard in bright sunshine, under a clear blue sky, with the strains of orchestral music drifting from the open windows of the nearby conservatory of music, we reflect upon the stories and messages we have shared during the two days we have been together. The words and phrases begin on individual buttons and pieces of card.

“My history is in you, your history is in me…”

“Your determination and bravery are inspiring for me…”

“I wish more people would come forward to raise their voices against genocide…”

“I want to go about my day finding a connection with the person in front of me…”

Collective poem written in Reggio Emilia, Italy

What are the things that help us to remember?

We all come from different parts of the world but have similar stories.

My history is in you, and your history is in me. The words are different but the pain is the same.

He, she, you, me – we are all stardust.

I want you to remember we all have similar stories.

Il diritto alla propria diversità senza negare la diversità dell’altro e senza che questa diversità si usata come pretesto propprimere altre persone e altre visioni del mondo.

We have a right to our own diversity, without denying the diversity of another person

We should not let this diversity be a pretext to oppress other people and other visions of the world

Io sono arrivato in Italia per aiutare la mia famiglia, arrivato da tanti problemi. In questo mondo la guerra viene combattuta con la guerra, e questo è il problema più grande.

I have come to Italy to help my family, I have escaped many problems.

In this world conflict and greed are manifested through war, this is the biggest problem of all.

La guerra è il nome dato dalle persone per dimostrare il loro potere al mondo, utilizzando come armi i civili, persone innocenti. La guerra dei poteri può essere sconfitta soltanto con la solidarietà tra noi.

War is the tool leaders use to show their power to the world, exploiting civilians, using innocent people as weapons.

This war between powers can only be defeated through solidarity between us.

Your determination and courage are inspiring for me.

I am humbled by your bravery and passion, putting yourselves in danger in order to preserve your story and identity.

I wish more people would come forward to raise their voices against genocide, atrocities and injustices

To preserve and protect identity, rights and roots.

I want to have power to change the circumstances that make you feel like a refugee in your own country.

It cannot be right that the poorest of you have no voice to affect change.

I want to hear you tell a different story to that of the media.

Injustice can be fought through a person’s desire to communicate.

Since ‘there is more to unite us, than there is to divide us’, I want to go about my day finding a connection with the person in front of me rather than underlining a difference between us.

Vivons ensemble, sans distinctions, pour construir une monde en paix. Vive la paix.

Let us live together, without distinctions, to build a world in peace. Long live peace.

Guilia, Boubaca, Imran, Nando, Dzvina, Joanne, Parveen, Damiano, Chris, Sinthu, Thenusha,

Mandeep, Kim