The workshops with migrants in Palermo
The workshops in Palermo started at the end of March.
The workshop session were conducted by Dario Ferrante and Lorella Libeccio, who both attended the workshop in Glasgow.
12 migrants and 2 tutors from the asylum seekers centres participated in the pilot workshop sessions. 12, all male migrants from Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Bangladesh
The participants came from three refugee centres in Palermo. 8 workshop sessions lasting 2,5-3 hours each were organized on a weekly basis.
The first session started with the projection of the video showing how to create your own puppet.
After watching the video, all participants sat in a circle surrounding collection of different materials previously arranged by the trainers. These were for instance: a roll of brown paper and a single sheet crumpled up, a few pairs of
scissors, a few spools of string (different colors), some
old newspapers, colored crepe paper. The two facilitators asked the participants to comment on the objects laying on the floor: papers, pencils, hemp strings, other objects, scissors. Participants answered in many ways, so they started getting familiar with the group and the activities.
After this first round of comments, participants created their own puppets in 2,5 hours. The work was intense and all participants created a puppet. One critical point was given by the fact that the Bangla participants immediately gave a religious meaning to the creation of puppets, as in their culture creating puppets is expression of worship and pray. So one participant commented: The other puppets are Christian as ours are not…also for some religions in Bangladesh you create a puppet to worship it but after using it for religious purposes you throw it away, so we found out that puppetry is not a valid method for the social inclusion of migrants from Bangladesh as they see the activity as connected with their religious beliefs and after creating the puppet they left it on a side.
When everyone was finished with his puppet, all participants gathered in a circle and the facilitators asked the participants the name and identity of their puppets. Participants answered in many different ways: some said that the puppet was their girlfriend, some others said the puppet was their Italian teacher or the social worker supporting them in the refugee centre.
Here some pictures from the first pilot session.