Arte Migrante comes on the scene in 2012 as a result of Tommaso Carturan’s wish to connect with immigrants in his city through music and art in general in order for people to learn from one another. I don’t have the pleasure to know this anthropology student at the University of Bologna, but I witnessed one of the events organized by his organization in Italy. What I saw there made me realize that Carturan’s mission to foster communication in a diverse and heterogeneous society through art is more necessary than ever.
In certain things, Italy and Spain are as close as they are apart. Arte Migrante is a direct response to the fear and uncertainty of the unknown and dreams with achieving peace by proposing to spend time to get to know “the other.” Carturan’s initiative spread through all of Italy—through Trent, Turin, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Padua—and reached Zaragoza, Spain, last year. As I understand it, Arte Migrante depends on volunteers as well as on the generosity of its members, and it trusts that embracing cultural diversity through art can lead to social change.
This week, when I read an article about the challenges that second-generation Latin American women face in Spain in the newspaper El País, I thought about how far we are from overcoming immigration stereotypes even though we ourselves, Galician men and women, suffered them as we rode multiple immigration waves through America and Europe.
What would we have to do to change these stereotypes? Small actions are incredibly important. For example, we could make an effort to know “the other” in one’s neighborhood and in one’s classroom…we could walk a little in the shoes of immigrants and consider how we would like if stereotypes defined and limited us in such a way. In fact, we could try to be “the other” and reflect.