I figli della guerra

Ho iniziato ad incontrarli

ed hanno visi cicatrizzati da rovi

che nel cammino non sono riusciti

a fermare la loro fuga


Non hanno più di dieci anni

alcuni sono forse segnati a vita

poche parole escono dalle loro bocche

occhi che nelle foreste non riescono più a chiudersi come vorrebbero


Di padri con cui non riescono più a giocare

le mine hanno segnato le loro gambe

dolori e stampelle all’ordine del giorno

solo discorsi senza sosta ad allontanarli dai ricordi


Qualcuno sdrammatizza

si parla di sciabole minacce e ricatti

i più grandi quasi sorridono

ai ricordi di quelle torture


Mi giro
un bambino di otto anni carica un pennarello
su un fucile di rami
impaurito, quasi abituato, prende la mira




White flakes

Of Nightingale, mentoring for a newcomer, volunteering in Greece and other stuff

Long time since I wrote and it is surely time to keep track of routines and busy lives here in Malmö.

Let’s start saying that Malmö is a crazy city if you are interested in seeing how a society with different cultures is developing and may develop in the future. If you are an international student and living in a monocultural society may sometimes give you some anxiety, then Malmö is surely the place to be, where a bit more than in other places – at least from my point of view – people learn to see inside a person and not only stopping from their look. Of course, I am talking about a slighty difference and especially within the international students environment. Still, being in the middle of the change make you think of how little actions can make a difference and you are eager to influence things on a bigger scale. Together with being a bit less of an original Swedish society than other Swedish cities may be, it comes along that organization at vary levels is not as good as other places.

As coming back from Italy in January, I started the seconde module of the bachelor’s programme, as well as a distance course based at Malmö University, given in Swedish and called “Bilingualism and Identity” in which I totally dive in during my hours sitting at this lovely university library. First university course in Swedish and I totally recommend this one to everyone!

I then continued to meet my mentor child once a week within the Nightingale mentoring program, and things seemed to be better already from the first time we met after the long time of Christmas holidays.

As mentioned before, Malmö is a place full of integration related organizations, volunteering structures and, last but not least, start ups. Surely this makes you tjink a lot about what you could do to actually help people and not just send some likes or interests on Facebook.

Therefore, always in January, I decided to finally take action after I thought it through for quite a long time, and contacted Malmö municipality’s social work organization to apply as a mentor for a new comer to the city. Those whom I actually contacted are the “Sociala Resursförvaltningen, Ensamkommande barn. Familjehemsvården (Social Resource Management, Unaccompanied children, Foster home care), the links are two. “I Malmö möts vi” (in Malmö we meet) is an organization/activity where one can get involved voluntarily to help people who just arrived to Sweden/Malmö through telling them about the culture, or simply talking to/spending time with them as someone they can trust. The mentor is supposed to have lived in Sweden a while and know the basics of the structure, culture and language of the country/place. Unfortunately, in January they told me they were not in need of any mentor for the moment, but just yesterday I received an email asking me if it was ok for me to have my application forwarded to “I Malmö möts vi”. So I am simply waiting for further responses.

It is maturing in me the idea of going to volunteer helping refugees in Greece, through a Swedish NGO I was suggested about during the week. Let’s see how things develop, including the 8 hours online course for humanitarian action/emergencies that needs to be undertaken in order to apply.

I was at a meeting at university with other students with the idea of starting an “Anti-Trump” student movement of protest. Many ideas and interest came up and it feels that if we are going to put motivation, organization skills and tenacity into this we could create something really interesting, including film nights, discussion events, demonstration and more events. The more the merrier. And by the way, what had started as an anti-trump movement seems likely to become more of a “disappointment-for-politics-state-of-mind” movement.

My Swedish is surprisingly getting better after a struggle faced when moving to Skåne because of the dialect…less surprisingly and a bit sad, my English is not really developing in parallel, indeed it feels like I am getting only worse.

For two days ago it started to snow. An incredible amount of snow flakes (to be in Malmö!) finally landed on the city…it had happened earlier in the last months to see some snow flakes, and even a snow storm covered the calm and windy city of Malmö, but flakes never actually landed on the ground. We definitely experience a special snow effect, since it rather goes back to the sky as it is uses to be quite windy! So goodbye to my bike for the moment, as I am sure that if I ride it again I would slip as nothing as ice is covering much of the streets now.  But at least, taking the bus I can joke a bit on the traditional way Swedes have while waiting for the bus…staying in queue! I just saw a meme about it, but it actually happens! See some funny ones below!

I will leave the library now and start to go home, see you soon!

Risultati immagini per swedes waiting for the bus20170208_075131

Come bambini – parte terza ed ultima

…una ragazza scrive a due posti di distanza. Ho come l’impressione che prenotare un posto di domenica sera sull’Øresundståg (treno della regione Øresund, intesa come l’insieme astratto tra Danimarca e una parte dello Skåne) porti a grandi conoscenze, o almeno a più socialità degli altri. Viaggi lunghi, posti a sedere da scegliere a piacere, tante città universitarie che vengono viste di sfuggita durante il tragitto. Io con sole tre pagine bianche che seguono il libro che cerco di finire da mesi, in italiano.

Giochi di sguardi, sorrisi, risate ad ascoltare una bimba seduta dietro gridare “Pippiiii”.

Le ferrovie qui in Svezia non sono illuminate, ció rende i viaggi in treno ancora più mistici. Ritrovo ispirazione dopo settimane di semi-scrittura, infinite bozze, pensieri disordinati e frasi che si annodano tra di loro. Forse è lo scrivere in italiano, forse il viaggio.

Il ragazzo cerca comunicazione, accettazione, diversità, qualcosa che lo distragga dal gruppo di amici che molto probabilmente è andato a trovare nel weekend, provenienti dallo stesso paese, molti con le stesse memorie. “Lentamente muore, chi diventa schiavo dell’abitudine” scriveva Pablo Neruda. Mi fa notare che il mio cellulare non si sta caricando, poi mi indica una fessura dove infilare la mia bottiglia in modo che non rotoli ad ogni curva. Scherzo sul fatto di aver sparso troppe cose sul tavolino pieghevole del treno. Non ricevo risposte, solo un sorriso, approvazione, cosa che a me è ormai fin troppo familiare quando mi muovo ed interagisco in una lingua straniera, e so che gli altri ci si abituano presto.

Il misto di svedese ed inglese mi ricorda i miei primi passi nel farmi capire in una nuova lingua, le mie rinunce nello spiegare per la quarta volta qualcosa, accettandone invece una falsa interpretazione. Mi accorgo dei suoi sforzi ma qualcosa mi blocca nel cambiare lingua da svedese ad inglese. L’impegno di farlo sentire accettato, di fargli capire che lui non è da meno, che in fondo la lingua la sa e che tutti lo capiscono? Di mostare qualcosa, la lingua svedese e la cultura di questo paese, di cui mai più potrò privarmi? O forse il desiderio di fargli capire che gli svedesi sono aperti, amichevoli, e non silenziosi e riservati come spesso si immagina?

Non è il primo richiedente asilo che incontro in modo “ravvicinato”, ricordo a maggio una ragazza incontrata in stazione aspettando di salire su un secondo treno. Aspettava la sua interprete, appena tornata dal visitare una sorella a Stoccolma. Abbiamo scambiato qualche parola, lei aveva braccia, gambe e viso ustionati.

Alla sua fermata si alza, dopo che il signore seduto accanto a me gli aveva generosamente fatto notare il nome della fermata. Il ragazzo, tutto felice, si alza dicendo “hej då!”

As we were children – part one

On the train waiting for departure. Karlstad Göteborg – stop – train to Malmö.

Looking for the wagon, unnumbered seats, or is, for once I am not trapped in a mechanism, that of having numbered seats, decided and without a chance to be changed, which I see as an extreme and useless attempt to avoid what is new, the different and the unknown, to control things. And here the train fills up.

Someone with a musical instrument, in a case, too big for me to recognize what it actually is. Everyone is staring at their phone, differently from what happened on the first train I took today, made of wood, creaking compartments, with no wi-fi on board and a toilette never opened by those travelers of the wagon in which I was. Red green black.

Colors of a scarf hanging from someone’s neck, someone about whose country of origin I had made in my head an idea about, and that maybe confirms it. A few minutes later, some passengers and I were going to see him taking out of the jacket a document issued by migrationsverket. The train conductor would ask for his ticket, explaining to him a way to fold it so that he would not need to take it out of the transparent case every time he was traveling. Because without a ticket one cannot travel, and the Swedish rules, especially for a time advantage, need to be observed.

Come bambini – parte seconda

…qualcuno seduto accanto, in uno svedese troppo dialettale per me da comprendere, dice al ragazzo “Beh, quando non si ha la mamma dietro si deve imparare a fare certe cose da soli!”. Cerco di fare il possibile per convincermi che il signore non abbia visto il permesso di soggiorno dell’ufficio immigrazione, che gli siano sfuggiti i colori della sciarpa, l’insicurezza con cui il ragazzo si spostava nel vagone prima di sedersi ad un posto davanti al quale era passato più volte, lo scarso svedese. Spero nel frattempo che il ragazzo abbia capito molte parole meno di me della frase dell’uomo.

Tre ragazzi minorenni richiedenti asilo in Svezia e tutti provenienti dall’Afghanistan, si sono tolti la vita durante questo autunno (Aftonbladet, 2016), dopo che per la seconda volta gli era stato rifiutato il permesso di soggiorno, o meglio la protezione per asilo – che ora, dopo la nuova legge di immigrazione molto discussa in Svezia dello scorso luglio, equivale ad una durata di tre anni, e non ad un permesso permanente come si era fatto con migliaia di rifugiati.

Ignoriamo le notizie, basta spegnere il televisore, parlare sopra l’audio. Ma incontrando gli occhi a meno di un metro di qualcuno che ha vissuto tutto quello che per noi sembra così lontano, ci fa perdere tutte le nostre sicurezze, entrare in un mondo fatto di tristezza, senzi di colpa, voglia di aiutare.

Al giorno d’oggi, Siriani ed Afghani costituiscono il numero più grande di rifugiati che arrivano in Svezia. Anche se in svedese, questo articolo contiene un grafico sugli arrivi più che soddisfacente ed interessante sulle nazionalità di chi arriva in Svezia. Tra le cifre si vede come gli afgani sono sicuramente i più esposti ad atti di suicidio, dal momento che quasi il 40% non riceve permesso di soggiorno, ed il 37% avrà il diritto di chiedere asilo in un altro paese EU – ad esempio il primo che hanno raggiunto durante il loro lungo viaggio…

Come bambini – parte prima

Seduta sul treno aspettando la partenza. Karlstad Göteborg – pausa – treno per Malmö. Cerco il vagone , posti non numerati, o meglio, per una volta non mi sento intrappolata in un meccanismo, quello di aver i posti numerati, decisi e senza possibilità di essere cambiati, che vedo come un tentativo estremo ed inutile per evitare il nuovo, il diverso e lo sconosciuto, di controllare le cose. Ed ecco che il treno si riempie.

Qualcuno con uno strumento in una custodia, troppo lungo e difficile da riconoscere. Tutti fissano cellulari, a differenza del primo treno sul quale sono salita oggi, di legno, con gli scomparti scricchiolanti, senza wifi a bordo ed un bagno mai aperto dai viaggiatori del vagone dove mi trovavo. Rosso verde nero.

Colori di una sciarpa appesa a qualcuno sul quale mi ero fatta un’idea del paese di provenienza, e che forse la conferma. Qualche minuto dopo lo vedrò, insieme ad altri passeggeri, tirare fuori il documento di richiedente asilo emanato dal migrationsverket. Il controllore del treno chiedergli il biglietto, spiegando un modo di piegarlo che gli permetterà così di non dover tirare fuori dalla custodia trasparente il pezzo di carta ogni volta che sarà in viaggio. Perché senza biglietto non si viaggia, e le regole svedesi, soprattutto per una convenienza di tempo, vanno rispettate.

Part one. Reality matters – Of refugees routes and Sicily

Italian navy rescue asylum seekers

June 7, 2014 – Mediterranean Sea / Italy (Massimo Sestini)

I like music, therefore rythm, structure and contrast. Thoughts and questions, ideas. Emotions are neverto be taken apart. I do keep my playlist of romantic music and passion for romantic comedy movies, but deep emotions which are difficult to go through are important as well. I will talk about films, something which in the last months I have been particularly being passionate about. Be it to get to know Sweden a bit more, or to higher skills in a language which I will probably never speak as good as I would like to, to compare places, people, or just because in that strange feeling of feeling moved more and more, I feel comfortable.

I was going through one of the first week of “settling down” in this new city. Time was never enough and everything felt as I was floating on a cloud metres from the ground. I tried to follow every event or social activity hoping I would soon find my favorite places, weekly appointments I would not have missed in the following months. I missed Karlstad a lot, especially the choir and my really good Swedish friend. First from my father and later in a course at university, I got to know about the Italian film named “Lampedusa“. I was late to see it and the last cinema where they were screening it was indeed a very particular one, called Panora. It is a folketsbio – the translation to English is not that difficult as it becomes “cinema of the people/folk” – which (should) mean that the prices are not that high and the films screened are on a different level than than those advised with the only commercial aim. I love this type of cinemas and I have my favourite one in Rome, called Eden, another reason for which I was desperately trying to find something similar here in Malmö. So the first film was a very emotional Italian film, with such a strong Sicilian dialect it was even easier for me to read the Swedish subtitles.

As many of you may know, Lampedusa is a small island in the South of Italy, in the region of Sicily. Way less than 200 km from the Tunisian coast, it has been in the past few years end of one of the roots mostly used by Africans looking for refuge as a way to easily – difficult to write these words, but peculiar criterias are used in order to determine whether one’s choice to cross tens of countries is “easier” than the other one – reach a European country. It starts to be replaced by other routes such as the Balcan route but unfortunately still many are crossing the Mediterranean sea. Lampedusa is known for the hospitality of its inhabitants, not even comparable to the levels of racism that Italians would otherwise reach in other spaces, influenced by different political views, other historical backgrounds, those behaviours that “sea people” (Gente di mare) would not even think about. But it is also famous as a land of first steps into a bureocratic system and carelessness which has been raising deep questions about laws regarding refugees status. The film shows the calm of a Sicilian – let’s say traditional – household, contrasting the struggle of hundreds of people dying and seeing other disappearing in the depth of a water, a nightmare for all of them. the contrast of people playing footballn the same who some nights Before where risking their lives for toxic inhalations, cold or drowning. Racism does not find place in this movie, at least not in a direct way. But if you watch it you will inevitably feel guilty of something you did not directly chose to be, to do. You will realize how our extremely political and economical conception of borders is destroying the world, not talking about the extreme and sometimes useles importance we give to racial and ethnical division . Inevitably, maybe unwilling, but we do. Éuropean Union defines everyone not belonging to that as a not ever “second country Citizen” but a “third country Citizen”. You may not only miss a document, you miss a document from a “civilized country”, and then you miss European citizenship. The more the borders the more the distinction, the more importance is given to difference the less we pay attention to similarities among us.

I admit I liked how the film director mainly focused on the emotional and tragic obstacles faced by these refugees – Italians like highly emotional things, which makes the first point in this post even more valid- even because focusing too much on the concept of racism often makes it loosing its meaning and importance or even developing the fear for it, causing racist behaviors to occur even more. Although, showing how good at the end the emergency is being faced does not lead to a realistic screening of reality. Dublin Convention requires every migrant arriving without documents to have their fingerprints collected by the entrance of an EU country. Scenes in the film where this is done are showed, inevitably convincing those watching that these rules are indeed being followed, that the refugee “crisis” is exclusively originating from the outside, and that a political European catastrophe is not implied in neither the cause of nor the solution process for it.

But everything has pros and cons, good and bad sides, and I do recommend to watch this film.



Can we do something?

There are a very few and basic things to be familiar with in order to start to defeat terrorism and racism in a realistic way. We should understand…

-that terrorists are not among the new immigrants coming to Europe. They would not risk their lives before having followed their plans, and most of them have European passports as facts showed.

-that the immigrants arriving to Europe come with the desire of getting back to their lands as soon as war will be over

-and on the other hand, that it is so easy and normal for human race to charge someone else for things going badly, but facts show that the more we are the stroger we get. Refugees are a source of strength for us.

-that rejected people are most likely to be enrolled with ISIS

-and that terrorism is having possibility to develop thanks to rasism

-that as long as a part of the people who really look forward to move to Mars will not leave the Earth (and I look forward to that day!), we will have to share space and save each other because nobody else will do it for us.

-that war never solved anything neither saved someone.

-that countries, especially Italy, should stop selling arms to ISIS at least before taking part to military attacks against them (otherwise it would sound pretty controversial would not it?)

-terrorists want us to hate each other. Hate confuses individuals, divides people, groups and nations.

-…and they also understood that religion is something useful to create hate on. So they pretend to do it in the name of Islam.

-that prejudices are stupid and dangerous, and that new ones can even be started by just one person. So, think twice before shouting your mean opinion!

-that getting to know the outer layer of culture such as its music, traditions, beliefs, food and so on, as well as giving foreigners the right and chance to show them to others, are the best actual ways to fight racism

-that a person cannot totally and efficiently integrate in a new culture by his/herself: he/she needs help from those hosting him/her!

-that if you cannot read beyond a person’s skin color, then you are probably not as sensitive as you think you are

And remember…show and spread love. Help, talk to, hug and kiss people smile emoticon

This is what the Swedish prince and princess wrote today on a blackboard of Karlstad University, where students can write what they think to be the most important thing:
“That all the kids regardless from their background, should grow up into safe and strong individuals with a positive thought to future”