Food From Home
When it comes to displaced people, Italy in an interesting position—both geographically and socially. In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have landed on the shores of the islands around southern Italy in search of a better life. Because of the EU Dublin Regulation, those seeking refuge must stay in the country of arrival until all their paperwork is processed and approved. This has left Italy overwhelmed and in a situation where those tasked with helping people are feeling like their hands are tied.
With the help of local community organizers, we were able to connect with a safe house (CAS); these are centers that are set up by the local authorities, often in a convent or abbey, to handle the spillover from the existing reception facilities. In these homes, migrants and asylum seekers wait for their papers to be processed and then to be transferred to a second reception facility. Ideally, this process should take a limited amount of time, but in practice it usually takes years and can leave the people housed in the CAS feeling isolated, forgotten and with pretty low spirits. Imagine risking everything to come and then finding yourself in a limbo without end.
With all of this in mind, we developed a workshop series intending to build a sense of community within the CAS, while developing marketable digital skills for the participants. Together, we told stories through a common language of comfort food. We made digital recipes of the favorite dishes from the participants’ home countries of Morocco, Tibet, Georgia and Somalia.