The ciities of the Migrantour network offer intercultural urban walks designed and led by citizens of migrant origin. A zero-mile responsible tourism experience to better understand the role of migration in the transformation of European societies. An invitation to travel, meet and reflect on the value of diversity and dialogue.
The Migrantour project has now a history of more than 12 years and during this long time we have never stopped reflecting on the assumptions, objectives and methods of our commitment. In the autumn of 2021, the enrichment of the network with the engagement of many new partners in different European countries gave us the opportunity to harvest what we have learned and experienced in these years. We met all together online to discuss the shared meaning that Migrantour has for intercultural companions and project staff members in all the cities involved.
We are glad and proud to present here the result of our reflection: the “MIGRANTOUR MANIFESTO” expresses the ethical, poetic and political horizon within which the intercultural walks have been framed since 2009 as a concrete practice of intercultural encounter. We therefore invite you to take a little journey through our MANIFESTO, pausing for a few minutes to reflect on the keywords that inspire our initiative: equality, solidarity, dialogue, memory, discovery, change, diversity, inclusiveness, future…
Intercultural companions: the faces of our cities
My name is Anna, I am Russian and Italy is my love at first sight. I came here to study languages and create my new identities.
I chose to become a Migrantour intercultural companion so that I can tell my story and hear from others, to keep the ties with my homeland alive but at the same time feel part of Italy.
I do the walks in Turin in Porta Palazzo with its flavors and colors, in San Salvario with the golden light of icons and the charm of Islamic arabesques, and in Barriera di Milano with many personal memories. Barriera di Milano was the first neighborhood to welcome me: I was sharing a house with an Italian-Mozambican girl with whom we used to organize international dinners for our Italian friends. The dinner was a pretext to tell people about life in the neighborhood, and now when I accompany people on a walk I unveil an eclectic-style Catholic church, stimulate them to enter the hammam, look for Millo’s murals scattered on apartment buildings, and many other things.
I was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador. As soon as I arrived in Italy, I immediately thought of all the things I was leaving behind from my country that I certainly did not think I would find in Italy. As time went on, and also thanks to my experiences with Migrantour Naples walks, I realized that reconnecting with my lands was also possible by staying here. That a piece of what I had left behind also lives in Naples and Italy. I found many commonalities with my country. From a religious point of view, for example, one of the stops on Migrantour Naples is the Piazza del Carmine, the backdrop of one of the most beautiful and majestic basilicas in Naples: the Basilica sanctuary of Santa Maria del Carmine. The Neapolitan people use the exclamation “Mamma d’o Carmene” precisely to indicate the close connection with Our Lady of the Church, an exclamation that, despite the years, I still cannot pronounce well. And it is at the sight of this Church and the sound of its name that, each time, I am reminded of the costumed dances that accompany the Virgin del Carmen or Mamacha Carmen, our beloved virgin, during the procession through the main squares and streets of the city.
Hi everyone!!! I am Mariela, and I am Ecuadorian. I have lived in Milan for 12 years, this beautiful city has given me many opportunities, including being an intercultural escort since 2014 and recently also a local coordinator.
Accompanying people to learn about our multicultural tours is an opportunity for mutual enrichment and integration. I feel I can share what I am and what I know about this city from my migrant perspective, but it is also an opportunity to learn from each of our visitors. The route I accompany is that of Porta Venezia, a route rich in history, blended with the encounter of different traditions, interesting literature and current events. All this cannot be missed by the gastronomic variety that can be found in this area, and of all that variety… I personally am enraptured by the delicious zighinì and the crispy samosas.
I am Italian-Peruvian: with a Calabrian Dad and a Peruvian Mum. Since I’ve been able to remember, thanks to my parents’ work, I have been surrounded by different cultures and languages. Africa and Latin America were key places of influence, even though my emotionally formative memories are of South Italy and Peru. Peru is especially important as, for study reasons, my trips to that part of the world are ever more frequent. For several years now, I have been involved in archaeological research projects in various areas of Peru. I love living in Turin, the city where I was born, even if I would happily split my time between Italy and Peru: 6 months here; 6 months there. I’ve seen Turin change over time and become a meeting place for many cultures. There was a time when I would go to the fresh produce stalls to find Peruvian products, then the Asian markets stalls of Porta Palazzo opened up and were genuine treasure troves of goods from across the world. Now in San Salvario and across various parts of Turin I can find a corner of Peru: if I feel like chicha morada, cebiche or picarones, I can easily find them.
My name is Semhar; I was born and raised in Asmara, Eritrea.
I came to Italy for study and have been living in Bologna for 15 years. I am an intercultural mediator, a job I chose to do because I am very interested in migration issues but especially in interculturality.
I feel like an adopted daughter of Bologna, a city I love almost as much as my hometown, and Migrantour allows me to get to know my city better and make it known from different points of view, creating meeting points between various cultures and religions.
I am Haswell Beni from Malawi. Malawi means sparks of campfire. I am a missionary teacher. I’m married to one-wife and I have two children.
Italy is where my wife comes from therefore I love Italy. I love Florence because it is my home away from home. I am proud to be a guide in Mygrantour project of Florence because it is giving me and other immigrants a vision and power to be protagonists in our intercultural society. Mygrantour has an intelligent way of integrating immigrants who love where they live. I am happy to show and share with others the present intercultural beauty of Florence.
My name is Malgorzata, or Marta. I was born in Poland back in 1964 and I’ve been living in Italy for a good 28 years. I graduated at the Institute of Modern Languages and Literatures in Milan in 1995.
I live with my family in a small town outside Rome. I have two children that are still in education. In the last ten years, I have worked as a cultural mediator for different public and private bodies in the Lazio Region.
I am curious about many things such as natural medicine and the use of spices in cooking, but also modern and contemporary art.
Nourished by the rich Maghrebi culture, I was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco. I arrived in Italy with a cardboard suitcase more than 30 years ago and entered the world of cultural mediation, working in public and private facilities. Self-taught and an intercultural companion with a Mediterranean narrative, I love Sicily but have never forgotten the places of memories. I speak 3 languages and I chose to work in this project because I love working in social work. I think a brilliant and interesting aspect of the project is the city (Catania) told from my point of view with connections to memories, places and characters from my home country.
The places in the itinerary that I love the most are the market, that is, the fair in Piazza Carlo Alberto; Palazzo De Gaetani, home of Trame di Quartiere, where the closing of the itinerary takes place; and the Mosque of Misericordia, an evocative and relaxing place that the Catanese also like so much.
My name is Hassan and I was born in Damascus, Syria. In my country I was a tour guide. In 2014, because of the war that devastated my country, I fled to Italy. It is difficult to talk about one’s migration experience, especially if it is the so-called “Forced Migration,” not voluntary and unplanned. A year after my arrival, I managed to reunite with my wife and children, but in Turin they call us “refugees.” No one gives you refuge unless they know you well, they are afraid of us. I met Migrantour and understood what sustainable and responsible tourism is. Thanks to Migrantour I met people from all corners of the world and we became real friends. Migrantour is confrontation between cultures, teaching interaction with society and sharing human values.
Hello, my name is Blerta I am from Albania. For study reasons I came to Bologna 17 years ago, after I finished my studies I decided to build my life here because I feel good. In Bologna I feel at home for me there is no big difference with Tirana. It is a city at a walking pace, ancient and contemporary, where every day I can discover something new: art, culture, food but above all meet people from all over the world.
Being a Migrantour escort for me means seeing a bridge between cultures in discovering the beauty of the city from a multicultural point of view.
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