Translating a complex project like WE-Hope into a learning resource is no easy matter. The main challenge we set ourselves was to highlight the testimonies collected and combine them with the Cantastorie concept. Our aim is to offer glimpses of lives, through a path that accompanies the user in discovering what it means to emigrate from one's own country and seek refuge in Europe.
In order to give an idea of this complexity, we have decided to write a behind the scenes of the design of a learning resource. Our intention is not to offer a compendium of migrations in Europe, but rather a collection of suggestions drawn from people's lives, which can be used by students to become storytellers themselves, transmitting and passing on, reinventing and elaborating new ways of telling about migrations and their complexity.
At the heart of the LR are the testimonies. The personal stories of the many people who told us their experiences gave us plenty of ideas for teaching and developing creative actions. However, the great breadth of topics that could be addressed forced us to make a selection of content. So how to select from the multitude of testimonies? What topics should be emphasised when developing content for students? Starting from these questions, we were guided by Laura Morelli through a volcanic brainstorming session - on which you can read a little more here - that produced an avalanche of keywords, which we tried to cluster as best we could into macro-categories, not without some difficulties.
These thematic areas have been transformed, thanks to a suggestion by Heather Hughes, into a narrative path that takes the form of a journey. We begin with the causes that lead people to abandon their home, family and affections to embark on a risky and potentially deadly journey; we delve into the path that such people take, following their steps, staying in touch with their fears, and measuring ourselves against the weight of brutal hardships. We then dwell on borders, both real and perceived; we deal with cultural shock, life in the refugee camps and reception centres, the impact of bureaucracy to apply for asylum. We do not neglect the will and the desire, expressed by our testimonies, to get involved, participate, rebuild and perhaps reinvent themselves, with all the efforts this requires. Nor do we leave behind the imagery of Europe, both before and after the migration journey, pinpointed by the refugees, the workers and the activists on the critical issue of the 'reception system' in Europe. Last but not least, of course, we linger on the hope for the future, which is the main message of this project.
Within this pathway, we have therefore identified and transcribed many interview clips lasting a few minutes, which offer ideas for many didactic activities, for discussion and, above all, creative reworking. Each section, in fact, is accompanied by ideas for the didactic and creative use of the testimonies, so as to support teachers, educators and facilitators in the concrete use of these contents. There are activities for debate and collective discussion, but also activities of engaging, empathisation, textual, artistic and musical elaboration and also hints for concrete support actions.
From the point of view of Lapsus, in addition to the selection of content so dense with stimuli, one of the greatest difficulties was finding a balance between a literal transcription of the interviews, which allows one to remain faithful to the word as it was expressed, and the necessary simplification that a LR requires. In fact, there are expressions that 'work' well in the spoken language but are difficult to read in the written form; or small linguistic faults, perhaps due to a lack of knowledge of the language of adoption, which give us a much more complex picture of the expressive difficulty of the people we are talking to, but which in the written text do not facilitate comprehension of the content. For this reason, each transcript will be accompanied by a reference to the original clip, as we did for the LR "Why do they bomb us? / Perché do they bomb us?", so that you can listen directly to the testimonies even in a longer version.
We are now in the final stages of finalising this LR, which will soon be available freely for everyone!