An Università Cattolica project

Review the Webinars of Migrations|Mediations. Promoting Intercultural Dialogue through Media, Visual and Performing Arts

Webinar 3. We tell a different story – the role of documentary film, alternative and community media in reporting migration
Webinar 2. Beyond the emergency. Media representations, social encounters and transculturality.
Webinar 1.
From integration to inclusion:
why culture matters and how to build
a positive narrative

Migration and the Circuits of Film Culture:
A Southern Perspective

Call for Papers: Migrations | Mediations. Promoting Transcultural Dialogue through Media, Arts and Culture

Call for papers
“Comunicazioni Sociali. Journal of Media, Performing Arts and Cultural Studies”
Special Issue
Migrations / Mediations. Promoting Transcultural Dialogue through Media, Arts and Culture
edited by Pierluigi Musarò, Nikos Papastergiadis, Laura Peja
(n. 1/2022, due in April 2022)

Migration has been a phenomenon throughout human history. However, as a result of economic hardship, conflict and globalization, the number of people now living outside their country of birth is higher than ever. It has also become a key focul point for the media. Even though irregular immigration constitutes only a minor part of the total immigrant population in the EU, it is the one most spectacularized by the media. This over-mediatization of the phenomenon leads to a consistent discrepancy between the perception and the reality of the issue, and this distance has favored the shift of migration issues from ‘low politics’ to ‘high politics’, fueling an emergency management and a securitarian approach.

We live in a deeply mediatized world. Media have an important role in influencing political attitudes and in framing public debates towards migration and asylum. In the last decade, the representation strategies and discursive practices enacted by a wide range of state and non-state actors have been presenting irregular migrants crossing borders as an ‘emergency’ to be managed in terms of a wider social, cultural and political ‘crisis’. These media representations have outstripped the reality of the crisis. As a consequence, the public anxiety about migration and asylum-seeking in Europe, is increasingly shaped by the political rhetoric of Europe as being besieged by people fleeing conflict or seeking a better life. Institutional and political actors have stoked public anxieties and security concerns, endorsing emergency narratives, aggressive policing and militarized border control, which in turn has generated a fertile breeding ground for xenophobic, populist reactions.

On the other side, it is now widely recognized that culture, media and the arts have been transformed by migration and mobility. These recent cultural and aesthetic transformations have offered another way of seeing identity, politics and society. The EU Member States and the EU itself, have been summoned to meet these challenges. There has been growing recognition of the ways in which media, the arts and performative practices are able to facilitate intercultural dialogue among migrant and host communities – thereby empowering their participation in social life –, and to promote an understanding of the affirmative role of cultural diversity (different ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds and heritage) within European societies, and also of the need to question the boundedness of identities and cultures. These critical processes lead us to address the possibilities of a transcultural dialogue – one that opens up the ideas of belonging and sets up new positions for speaking that do not intersect with ethnic and national identities.

Media, performing arts and culture can foster innovative practical actions, and also alternative imaginaries on social phenomenon and spaces of collective participation. Indeed, different “liberal” and “applied” arts (film, theatre & performance, photography, crafts, architecture, design, etc.) as well as emerging cross-media forms (interactive and social media, games, street art, circus and performative practices, etc.), have a pivotal role to play in this direction.

Despite this high potential for opening up new perspectives the policies in the EU are caught in old traps: national cultural policies affect cultural productions by institutionalizing the process of othering through rhetorical discourses and hegemonic representations; the projects and practices in this field are often vital but fragmented and contained within specific areas and territories; the skills and professional figures associated with these processes are poorly defined and have no particular training centres; and finally, the evaluation methods of the initiatives are variable and lack consistent protocols. The combination of all these factors produces a fundamental weakness in a sector that in any case, remains extremely lively and promising.

On this basis, this special issue of Comunicazioni Sociali intends to invite international scholars, artists and practitioners to discuss through interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives 1) the role of media, arts and culture in the management of policies and practices devoted to migration phenomena; 2) the ways and the degrees in which media, arts and culture have been considered as critical tools for transcultural dialogue; 3) the ways in which media, arts and culture have been used in processes of artistic creation within the framework of the “aesthetic cosmopolitanism”; 4) ways through which models of action in territories oriented toward bringing host populations into contact with migrants and refugees can be developed; 5) the specific set of tools and methodology that have been developed to assess social, cultural and economic impact of multi-, inter- and transcultural dialogue activities through arts, media and culture.

We invite abstracts on any of the following topics, but not exclusively*:

  • Practices of empowerment of multi-, inter- and transcultural dialogue through media, arts and performative activities.
  • Practices of media and performing arts as challenging spaces of dialogue, resistance and activism.
  • The role of immigrant/diaspora/minority media.
  • Participatory media and arts projects devoted to working directly with refugee and migrant groups in socially engaged practice.
  • Audience development strategies aiming at promoting cultural diversity.
  • Employment opportunities for migrants in cultural and creative industries.
  • Comparisons between the approaches of public and private media.
  • Practices and experiences in assessing projects in the field of multi- inter- and transcultural dialogue

* Please note this is not an exhaustive list of topics, and we will review any abstracts related to the media and migration/immigration/transculturalism and associated topics. Especially welcome are submissions rooted in media studies, visual, performance and cultural studies, critical data studies, postcolonial studies and from scholars who build bridges between academia, arts, policy, media system, public debate, and stakeholders’ networks.

Submission details

Proposals in English (between 300 and 400 words of length, excluding bibliography) are required to illustrate the objectives of the paper, the research question and the methodology adopted. They have to be sent, with a short biographical note, to;, by June 1st, 2021 —.

Authors will be notified of proposal acceptance by June 15th, 2021.

If the proposal is accepted, the author(s) will be asked to submit the full article, in English, by October 1st, 2021.

Submission of a paper will be taken to imply that it is unpublished and is not being considered for publication elsewhere.

The articles must not exceed 5,000/6,000-words.

Contributions will be submitted to double blind peer reviews.

The issue number 1/22 of Comunicazioni Sociali will be open access, and will be published in April 2022.

“Comunicazioni Sociali” is indexed in Scopus and it is an A-class rated journal by ANVUR in: Cinema, photography and television (L-ART/06), Performing arts (L-ART/05), and Sociology of culture and communication (SPS/08)

Webinar 2 Beyond the Emergency. Media Representations, Social Encounters and Transculturality

Second Webinar of Migrations | Mediations. Promoting Intercultural Dialogue through Media, Visual and Performing Arts

Seminar 2

Monday April, 26 – 6 p.m CET
StreamYard Platform and Facebook live streaming

Beyond the Emergency. Media Representations, Social Encounters and Transculturality


– Pierluigi Musarò (Alma Mater Università degli studi di Bologna – Atlas of Transitions)
– Guglielmo Schininà (IOM – UN migration)

– Laura Peja (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

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Arts and Communication as Resources for Intercultural Dialogue for #CattolicaThinks

The podcast #CattolicaThinks is the voice of Professors and Researchers of Università Cattolica, who wish to illustrate their studies and surveys to all the Academic Community.

The 17th episode focuses on the “University Interest Project” Migrations | Mediations. Arts and Communication As Resources for Intercultural Dialogue.

Listen to the voice of Laura Peja, Professor of Theatre and Performing Arts, and read the article written by Ruggero Eugeni, Full professor in Media Semiotics, for #CattolicaNews.

Webinar 1 Migrations | Mediations. Promoting Intercultural Dialogue through Media, Visual and Performing Arts

Series of Online Seminars April-May 2021

This series of Webinars intends to start a reflection with academic and independent researchers, artists, cultural providers, public and private funders, and policymakers about the role of media, visual and performing arts in the promotion of intercultural dialogue.

The first Webinar will focus on the one hand on the importance of culture in the process that leads from integration to inclusion and in the building of a positive narrative; on the other hand, it will concentrate on migration and the circuits of film culture.

Seminar 1

Thursday April, 15 – 6 p.m CET
StreamYard Platform and Facebook live streaming

– Angelique Petrits (European Commission, Unit C.2 – Legal Pathways and Integration) From integration to inclusion: why culture matters and how to build a positive narrative

– Giuseppe Fidotta (Concordia University Canada): Migration and the Circuits of Film Culture: A Southern Perspective

– Ruggero Eugeni (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

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From Damascus to Berlin, NEW NEIGHBOURS documents an extraordinary friendship

The New Neighbours journey takes us from the ghost town of Sutera, Sicily, to the metropolis of Berlin and its new Syrian residents. “Across the Road – Worlds Apart” by EBU-DW pays tribute to the unforgettable life of Eva Sternheim-Peters and documents her friendship with Syrian refugee Amer Kassab. 

Eva Sternheim-Peters and Amer Kassab. 

At the age of ten Mrs Sternheim-Peters joined the league of German Girls, the girl’s wing of the Nazi party’s youth movement. She afterwards recognised the horror of the movement and spent her life welcoming people from all around the world in her apartment. Her last “roommate” was Syrian refugee Amer Kassab. The film follows Amer as he visits a German pub frequented by local regulars opposing Muslim newcomers. Will the encounter with Amer shift their views?

Dasa Raimanova, film director, recounts a memorable moment of the shooting:

During a severe heat wave in Berlin, together with our protagonists, Eva (94) and Amer (27), we visited the concentration camp Sachsenhausen. It was a harrowing experience, difficult to describe in words. While we were mostly worried about Eva managing in the heat, quite the opposite happened: Amer and the crew were melting while Eva kept going without complaining even once about the heat.

“Across the Road – Worlds Apart” had its premiere at the Centre for Fine Arts Bozar in Brussels on the occasion of the World TV day in November 2019. It is one of nine documentary films exploring real stories of daily life in an intercultural European Union, co-produced by the EBU Intercultural and Diversity Group within the project New Neighbours

Eva Sternheim-Peters died in 2020 as one of the victims of the corona virus pandemic in Germany. The co-production team of the New Neighbours series is proud and grateful to have managed to capture part of Eva’s life on camera.

You can watch “Across the Road – Worlds Apart” subtitled in English here. All nine films are being made available one after another via

New Neighbours is collecting good practice and success stories on how to provide factual information on migration, as well as promoting direct participation of migrants and refugees in media production. Led by the European Broadcasting Union, the 24-month project runs until the end of 2020, involving 9 European Public Service Broadcasters from Croatia, Germany, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Italy, Slovenia, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. Alongside the PSM film productions, which build the heart of the New Neighbours project, a series of complementary productions, trainings and research activities are taking place, under the responsibility of the project partners CMFE – Community Media Forum EuropeCOMMITCOSPE Onlus and MDI – Media Diversity Institute.

New Neighbours is funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and by the U.S. Agency for Global Media.

You can follow the project via Twitter @newneighbours1 and

About the EBU

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is the world’s foremost alliance of public service media (PSM). Our mission is to make PSM indispensable. We have 116 member organizations in 56 countries and have an additional 34 Associates in Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas. Our Members operate nearly 2,000 television, radio and online channels and services, and offer a wealth of content across other platforms. Together they reach an audience of more than one billion people around the world, broadcasting in more than 160 languages. We operate Eurovision and Euroradio services. 

Discover more about the EBU on

About CMFE

Founded in 2004, Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE) represents networks, national federations and organisations active within the Third Media Sector at the European level. CMFE supports community media in maintaining a clearly distinct identity alongside the national public service and private commercial media, raising awareness of their contributions to pluralism, democratic participation and media literacy. 

See also


COMMIT was founded in 2010 and works to extend and improve further training for community media practitioners in Austria and in Europe. COMMIT organises trainings and develops concepts for further education in the field of community media and adult learning. COMMIT works towards professionalisation and formal recognition of community media training and of the acquired skills. 

See also


COSPE, established in 1983, is a registered non-profit association recognised since 1984 as Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by the European Union. Cospe implements projects in about 27 extra-EU Countries, in Europe and in Italy promoting fair and sustainable development, global citizenship, intercultural dialogue and human rights.

See also

Suspension of “Migrations/Mediations. Promoting intercultural dialogue through media, arts and culture” International Conference

Dear colleagues and attendants to the Migrations/Mediations International Conference,

In compliance with the current developments of the emergency related to the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19, with regret we have to inform you that the “Migrations/Mediations. Promoting intercultural dialogue through media, arts and culture” International Conference scheduled for April, 6-7, 2020 is suspended.

The Conference will be rescheduled for next Autumn, probably in the second half of September. We will let you know the new dates as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this postponement may cause, but your safety and serenity are our main concern.
Hopefully everyone will have the opportunity to attend the Conference in Autumn as well.

We are grateful for your understanding and we remain at your disposal for any further information.

Best regards

The Migrations/Mediations Conference Committee

NEW OPEN CALL: Atlas of Transitions Biennial | WE THE PEOPLE in Bologna

We share the new open call of “Atlas of Transitions Biennial | WE THE PEOPLE in Bologna, organised by ERT – Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, Cantieri Meticci and University of Bologna”

“Imagine a giant urban chorus. Imagine the energy of a common vibration generated by the city’s multitude of voices. Imagine being part of a temporary community aimed at the creation of an extraordinary public event. You would like to participate in the third edition of Atlas of Transitions Biennial | WE THE PEOPLE in Bologna, organised by ERT – Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, Cantieri Meticci and University of Bologna in June 2020 Here’s an opportunity for you! 
We are looking for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds, with or without singing skills,  music enthusiasts, vocal groups, singers, adventure spirits for Collettivo Amigdala’s new project: MAGNITUDO, a collective act of voicing. A musical score has been composed for the occasion by Meike Clarelli e Davide Fasulo both musiciansfrom Collettivo Amigdala. Thanks to the collaboration with the AfroWomenPoetry project, the score has been created on the words of the Ugandan Poet Carolyne Afroetry, expressly written for the singular and plural voices of Magnitudo.
HOW IT WORKS: Starting from April 2020, every week and in distinct areas of the city, three workshop groups will rehearse for the two final performances of the 13th and 14th June 2020, when the groups will join together to create a powerful and subversive collective ritual by occupying public space in Bologna, respectively in the center and in the suburbs.