Starting date
February 21, 2019
Duration (months)
Cultures and Civilizations
Managers or local contacts
Paini Anna Maria

Ethnographic research carried out in refugees hosting centres have highlighted their experiences of "spatial confinement and social segregation" (Szczepanikova, 2012:1). Sadly, the unfamiliarity with the “other” has triggered a return of "human races" discourse, mostly promoted by xenophobic and populist political parties. Attention paid by anthropologists, as Riccio emphasizes, to the emic points of view regarding the "current perceptions of both daily practices of migrants and institutions which they interact with" (2014: 20) has not been sufficient to convey the complexity of the dynamics involving asylum seekers. The long time spent in the hosting Centre waiting for the outcome after the asylum seeker application, represents an ethnographic research dimension that requires a new focus on the issue moving towards new contexts to explore possible encounters among asylum seekers and the local population. According to UNHCR, we are facing a challenge that requires a radical change of perspective aimed at promoting strategies of "creativity and self-reliance": at stake is the cultural appreciation of what might be built and shared together. 'MENDING DISTANCES AND RECONNECTING PLACES: sharing daily life' (RICU) fits into this scenario by combining an ethnographic methodology with an artistic one in a research that makes use of art as a connecting vehicle in this creative and interdisciplinary approach. The project, combined with a GANTT Chart, concerns the realization of blankets, artifacts symbolically thick, which will reflect new meanings of shared daily life. Cultural mediation practices will be constantly triggered, as the protagonists (a group of asylum seeker tailors/an artist as well) will for the first time realize together with the research group and partners having different skills (artistic, tailoring, photographic) artifacts. These will be brought together in a narrative exhibition to promote interculturality among social workers and institutions with didactic proposals addressed to schools.


Funds: assigned and managed by the department

Project participants

Research areas involved in the project
Storia e Antropologia
Cultural heritage, cultural identities and memories


Research facilities