Integration through culture: migrants as consumers and producers of cultural goods

Migrant integration has a lot to do with culture, in many senses. Just think of how deep are the cultural implications of some important sub-fields of integration policy, from language training to skills development.

Consumption of cultural goods and participation in cultural activities by migrants and persons with a migration background is an area where the integration-culture nexus is particularly evident, and yet particularly neglected.

Understanding how the consumption of cultural good contributes to (and is shaped by) migrant integration is one the key objectives of FIERI participation in IMISCOE’s Standing Committee DIVCULT (Superdiversity, Migration and Cultural Change), the overarching goal of which is to better understand the relevance of arts and culture in the theoretical and policy debates about immigrant incorporation and diversity in Europe and beyond.

Consumption of Cultural Goods as Driver of Migrant Integration (COCUMINT) is also the topic of a series of lectures organised by Professor Alessandra Venturini (FIERI and University of Torino). All past lectures are available HERE

But besides consuming cultural goods, migrants and persons with a migration background do also produce them, and often in ground-breaking forms. Among FIERI’s initiatives in this very dynamic area, we highlight the recent photographic contest for young photographers of foreign or second generation origins. “Sguardi Plurali” (Plural Looks).The authors come from all over Italy, some of them are asylum seekers or political refugees, others are Italian citizens, some others are waiting to become Italian citizens. The exhibition of awarded works is now touring Italy.

Another initiative promoted by FIERI in the field of visual cultures is “Crocevia di Sguardi” (Crossroads of looks). The initiative, in its eighteenth edition in 2022, presents the best documentaries in the world on mobilitity and migration issues. Many of the documentaries selected, screened and discussed each year, were made by directors with migratory backgrounds.

Related events organized in this framework:

Il ruolo dei consumi e delle pratiche culturali degli immigrati nei processi di integrazione. Torino, 8 novembre ore 14.

Cultural Consumption as a Driver of Migrant Integration (COCUMINT)”. Online, 7 April – 6 May 2022

Series of lectures “Drivers of EU Family Reunification-DREUFARE”. Online, 9 March – 1 April 2022

Cultural Consumption as a Driver of Migrant Integration (COCUMINT). Online, 8-29 April, 2021