July 25, 2023

Cooperation and Migration Studies: the final event of the MIGRANTS Project organized by UNIPA in Palermo


Great participation for the final stage of “MIGRANTS“, an Erasmus + Capacity Building for Higher Education project funded by the European Commission that sees the University of Palermo as lead applicant.

The initiative in Palermo included two sessions: the Final Dissemination Event entitled “(Dis)closing the MIGRANTS Project” which was held on July 10 in the Botanical Garden and the Summer School “After the Last Frontiers” on the 11 and 12 July, same venue.

“The Migrants project is the first Erasmus+ KA2 Capacity Building for Higher Education project led by the University of Palermo and has achieved excellent results over the last three years with hundreds of applications received and 25 students enrolled every year to the Master in Migration Studies. The project is a great success for all partners, especially for Tunisians, a huge potential on which to direct our attention”, stated professor Serena Marcenò, Scientific Coordinator of the project.

The first day had as main objective the presentation of the project’s results to the academic communities at the presence of the rectors Massimo Midiri (University of Palermo)Moez Chafra (Université de Tunis El Manar)Jouhaina Ghérib (Université de La Manouba) and Professor Amel Guizani, representing the Université de Tunis.

Speakers of international importance took part in the Summer School “After the Last Frontiers”, declining the issue of migration according to their expertise, through the lens of their field of study and research.

“Migration makes us realize today that we are facing a great contradiction: migrants go in search of a better life in the West and the more this happens, the more we become aware that our lifestyle is no longer sustainable. Many humans are looking for higher and higher standards of living, this is not wrong in itself but together we must find other definitions of what is a “good life” without destroying the environment,” said Dipesh Chakrabarty, world-renowned historian and professor of history at the University of Chicago.

In addition, other keynote speakers of international importance took part in the Summer School, such as Sandro Mezzadra, Martina Tazzioli and Shahram Khosravi.

The last Summer School of the Migrants Project which still includes a week dedicated to Job Shadowing activities coordinated by CLEDU – Clinical Legal for Rights Human – during which a wide range of teachers and researchers from the partner universities had the opportunity to get to know closely the realities working in the field of migration in Palermo.

The event was organized by CLEDU in cooperation with the Università degli Studi di Palermo and many local and international NGOs. During the first day of Job Shadowing activities the participants were engaged in morning and afternoon sessions together with local associations working with migrants at various levels. In the morning, participants met in plenary Watch The Med – Alarmphone and “Mem.med”, two organizations dealing with rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea.

In the afternoon, participants were divided into groups and met the associations Arci Porco RossoInternational Rescue CommitteeMaldusa and “S.C.S. Sviluppo solidale” to take part in the activities and open a discussion with organisations’ staff.

On the second day, during the morning session participants met the associations Centro Astalli Palermo and Cresm – Centro ricerche economiche e sociali per il Meridione, working in the reception sistem of migrants and refugees. They were guided by the lawyer Laura Bondì from CLEDU and they discussed about the right to access the reception system.

During the afternoon, they visited and worked with the associations “ Opera Don Calabria”, “International Rescue Committee”, “Caritas Diocesana di Palermo” and “ARCI Porco Rosso”.

On the last day, participants spoke about social and health services available for migrants in Palermo, together with the Medici Senza Frontiere – Gruppo di Palermo and Centro Penc associations. They discussed about the delicate issue of mental health, especially of people who have lived traumatic experiences. In the afternoon, participants carried out activities in the offices of the associations CESIEArci Porco RossoCaritas Diocesana di PalermoCentro TAU and “S.C.S. Sviluppo Solidale”.

The MIGRANTS project is led by the University of Palermo and counts as partners: the Tunisian universities of El Manar, Manouba and Tunis, the Universities of Granada and Westminster and the non-academic partners COSPE, CLEDU and UNIMED.

The photogallery of the event is available here.