Workshops in SPRAR Centres, Italy
The project in Summary
Partnering with the Italian government agency SPRAR, System of Protection for Asylum Seekers and Refugees, music-centred workshops were provided to residents of Rome, Civitavecchia, Sora, Bologna, and Torino. The project aimed at reducing the traumatic impacts of the displacement experience by creating pleasurable opportunities for self-expression, with the goals of helping the beneficiaries re-discover self-worth, strengthen resilience, and connect with other beneficiaries and the communities in which they reside .
A total of 141 participants attended: 47 women, 91 men, and 3 infants. In Civitavecchia and Rome, families attended, some with young children, and other with teenagers between 13 to 17 years old. Adults were generally 40 to 50 years old. In Sora, Bologna, and Torino we worked exclusively with men and boys aged between 20 and 35.
Traditional songs in different languages from diverse cultures would be taught to sing together. Rhythm games would be played, variously involving body percussion, movement, and clapping. There would be opportunities for individual as well as group expression.
Beneficiaries became comfortable interacting with others outside their ethnic and national identities. Smiles and laughter abounded as the participants sang and moved together. One mother said, “This is the first time my daughter smiled in six months.”