It took place in Modena, from 20th to 22nd of October 2017, the second edition of the event “Festival della migrazione”(Migration Festival) with a leading theme called Leaving, arriving, staying.
This event, promoted by Migrantes Foundation, with the cooperation of others institutions, was organized by CRID – Centro di Ricerca Interdipartimentale su Discriminazioni e vulnerabilità of University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, managed by me, and it was dedicated to a theme that nowadays is crucial both for public and scientific research, and it has an intense social impact.
The migrant lives a very difficult condition, not only from his existential point of view, but also from the anthropological one: his experience brings him to show himself as a “vulnerable being”, inside a specific context, that raises questions even in those who are not migrants.
The human condition actually is a condition of vulnerability, as brilliantly showed by Martha Nussbaum, or more recently by Martha Finemani.
Such a shared fate, even potential, makes us closest to each other (except when we want to dispel it, as it often occurs): it should lead to new forms of empathy, to actions focused on dialogue, developed according to shared regulations. In this way, it can be a fundamental occasion for exchange, as it occurred during the Festival. Sharing regulations, simultaneously, creating, and learning together how to develop them, deserves to be a crucial theme in our considerations, also from the institutional point of view.
Furthermore, the migration phenomena of the last few years raised new problems towards national organizations: the Europe case is emblematic, but we should not ignore what happens in other countries – as we often see inside media environments.
Protecting migrants is not simple, of course: legal language can be often neutral or too general, and just for this reason it is not adequate enough when there is necessity to protect specific vulnerable groups as migrants. The case of migrant women is an example, or the case of foreign minors as well, or also the refugees one – issue deeply developed during the Festival.
An efficient strategy can be carried out through listening: it is the best device not only to learn the difficult conditions of the vulnerable subjects, but also for developing regulations in order to support these specific groups and people living tragic situations. These conditions are often made so difficult because of complicated procedures coming from an inadequate legislative framework. In this context, research can offer a fundamental contribution, but can also raise awareness in the European institutions. This concerns especially the review of Dublin Regulation, approved recently by European Parliament.
In conclusion, the theme of travelling, of beginning a “path”, has been always crucial in the anthropological research. A recently published tome (R. Spataro, Pellegrini e migranti nel mondo antico, LAS, 2017) highlighted how being “in migratione” (in the phase of migration) can be considered an engagement not only for ourselves, but also for the neighbor, in order to reach – after a path, a journey – that “tranquillitas” (tranquility) that ancients defined as a specific quality of life.
Through his own vulnerability, the migrant, as the pilgrim or the traveler, has the opportunity to find how important relating to others can be and that vulnerability is just intrinsic in the human nature. In this way his perspective is universal.