The project’s aims are: fostering the artistic discourse on European identity in a post-colonial perspective, promoting the EU’s broad linguistic diversity and intercultural awareness
With the team of partners whose cultural and artistic organisations are based in France, Germany, Italy, Senegal and Spain, the project La langue des Oiseaux has the opportunity to gain insights from creative work with people from migratory background
The project’s aims are: fostering the artistic discourse on European identity in a post-colonial perspective, promoting the EU’s broad linguistic diversity and intercultural awareness; strengthening through the live arts the social inclusion of and soft skills available to immigrants and refugees, manifesting their value as artistic, creative and co-operative community members.
With the team of partners whose cultural and artistic organisations are based in France, Germany, Italy, Senegal and Spain, the project La langue des Oiseaux has the opportunity to gain insights from creative work with people from migratory background. In all the countries involved, migration and flight have led to major social changes, especially since 2015. The partner countries have had similar, but in part also different experiences with integration. For geographical reasons, many thousands of migrants, especially from Africa, land in Italy. Many of them try to reach France from there, and Germany is also a place of longing. Most refugees arrive in Germany via the Balkan route, coming from Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. From Germany, some also continue on to France. Spain has always been the destination of refugees from South America. Many people come from Senegal hoping for a better life in Europe, but many of them also return – like Patricia Gomis, who created the amazing Association Djarama, in Ndayan, Senegal, to build, through education and culture, a youth conscious of its values and respectful of the environment.
Since 2015, since the “summer of migration”, great “refugee-projects” have emerged in European countries, but many of the initiatives have been short-lived and their results have not had a lasting impact on cultural education. The multitude of participatory projects, especially in Germany, suggested diversity in practise. Diversity was often celebrated, but the refugees themselves did not always really benefit sustainably. Not just a colourful repertoire, but a colourful society in which everyone can find their place is the vision of La langue des Oiseaux, that aims to understand more about the people coming to Europe through joint networking and to provide concrete ideas for theatres, cultural institutes, schools and other institutions through the artistic results of creative work. The meetings bring the teams up to date with the latest developments and findings from the respective countries. Overall, there is a growing awareness in European societies of the colonial past. The innovative creative approach to migrants in the project La Langue des Oiseaux should grow into a Think Tank that tries to mediate. European venues should grow to include e.g. African, Persian, Arab perspectives and poets. Schools should include cultural workshops in their curriculum. With the migration e.g. from Somalia, Eritrea, or from Syria, or Gaza, or Ukraine wars and traumas also come across the borders. The poetic reference to personal and political issues is an opportunity. La langue des Oiseaux seeks ways to perceive “the other”. It attempts to shift the Eurocentric gaze. Instead of othering, we should realise that there is no other. There is only us, all of us. And inclusion does not remain an empty shell, but a promise for the future.