The program of the fourth day of the Summer School included seminars on the theme “migrants in urban context. The urban space of Milan and minority groups: on politics and policies from inclusion to discrimination.”
While in the first three days presentations and discussions focussed largely on the national policy level, the fourth was dedicated to the local urban level and the relevance of everyday practices both from a theoretical and methodological point of view.
Presenters highlighted provided examples of how the issue of tolerance can be analysed by looking at forms of multicultural associasionism, multicultural interaction in social mix contexts but also between young people and the so-called “second generation”. In particular Ylenia Camozzi, of the University of Milan-Bicocca, presented a paper on “migrants and political mobilisation in Milan: an overview” to sketch out the changing forms and goals of migrants associations over the last two centuries, while stressing the in spite of their on-going fragmentation they are often multicultural in character. They have not necessarily evolved along ethnic lines. This is all the more true for “non conventional” forms of mobilisation that have emerged around “common struggles”, such as the “tower protest” in Via Imbonati, in 2010, which involved migrants of different origins – as well as Italian third sector organisations – around thorny issues connected to the renewal of permits to stay.
Sebastiano Citroni, Roberta Marzorati and Michela Semprebon, fellow researchers of the University of Milan-Bicocca, gave a presentation on “loving diversity, controlling diversity: the role of third sector organisations in and across Via Padova”. They presented their research on third sector organisations in Via Padova that carry out activities aimed at fostering social cohesion. They stressed the necessity to study everyday practices by means of an ethnographic approach capable of reaching beyond projects and activities aims, as stated on projects’papers, while focusing on interaction at the micro level, at practice and the “negotiation of diversity”. The morning session was concluded by Prof Enzo Colombo, of the University of Milan, with a presentation on “Children of immigrants in globalised world: managing ambivalence as a generational skill”. His main argument evolved around the need to study “diversity” in multicultural everyday practices and in the ways individuals negotiate it in specific situations. In order to ground his argument he drew from his on-going research on the experience of the so-called “second generations” and the way they are developing specific skills to cope with the ambivalence of their transnational migratory path, with experience of both their country of origin and the country of destination.
Following the morning session, a visit to Expo 2015 was organised for all the participations of the Summer School.