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Coming up next: First EUSTORY academy 2011

Photo: BELvue

More than 180 ethnic minorities are living in Brussels, the capital of Belgium and of the European Union. They come from all over the world, bringing their cultural backgrounds with them. Some families have been living here for generations, other individuals have just arrived. Young people from 13 European countries will meet in Brussels from 28 August to 3 September in order to explore different dimensions of migration and to see how – or whether – integration works. They will bring along research material about the situation for minorities in their own countries; they will draw comparisons and explore the mosaic of diversity in Europe. Participants will meet with people from European, African or Asian countries, and listen to their stories: When and why did they come to Brussels? How do they feel here and what kind of traditions do they preserve? In smaller groups, the students will conduct interviews; they will get to see how various minority groups live and how they are treated by the dominant society in Brussels. Out of these interviews the students will prepare short video documentations. On a field trip, students will visit the memorial “Bois de Caziers,” a former coalmine outside Brussels where 262 miners died in a horrible fire in 1956. Most of the victims were Italian migrants, leaving behind many widows and orphans. As one of the consequences, Italian migration to Belgium stopped. Another result was that Belgian authorities improved the working and living conditions of migrants. Participants will see biographies of many migrant mine workers from different countries. Exercises and role-playing about identity, minorities and discrimination will enable participants to examine the topic from different perspectives; experts will provide theoretical and historical background. Follow the seminar here on the blog…