Newsletter N° 22 - June 2012

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Can cities learn to perceive cultural diversity not as a threat but as an opportunity? How can they make diversity work to their advantage? Can the city become the focus of collective identity bridging ethnic and religious identities? In the context of the Intercultural Cities programme several pilot cities will review their policies through the "intercultural lens" and develop intercultural strategies in order to meet the challenges of a world in motion.

The Getxo (Spain) intercultural awareness programme


"We must acknowledge the positive aspects of migration" said Ms Elena Coria, the Head of the Getxo municipal immigration department, on 21 March 2012 during the commemoration of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. "The town of Getxo is therefore establishing areas where the local population can express their views and meet one another and where cultural diversity can be fostered".


Getxo is a town in the province of Biscaye, a few kilometres from Bilbao, in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, Spain. The town of Getxo comprises three distinct centres with over 80 000 inhabitants, 10% of whom are foreigners born of 81 different nationalities. The largest minority groups in the town are made up of nationals from Latin America (Bolivia, Columbia, Paraguay and Ecuador) and Romania. Most of the migrants are women. (more...)

ICC Tools

Teach Diversity to Me!

In April 2012 the Canadian Media Awareness Network (MNet) launched That’s Not Me – an online tutorial to help educators and community leaders approach diversity issues through key concepts of media literacy. The tutorial examines how entertainment and news media, including the Internet, depict diversity, i.e. ethnic and visible minorities, such as religious and ingenious people, LGBT or persons with disabilities. It further studies the negative impact these media portrayals can have on the young people’s perception of diverse populations, such as stereotyping or othering. The tutorial also explores changes in the media industry conditioned by social developments and provides strategies for challenging negative representations and engaging young people in advocating for more realistic and positive media portrayals. (more...)

Satellite dishes become colourful dots on grey façades in Sweden


Satellitstaden is a public arts project that relies on community participation to make an artistic installation using satellite dishes in Fittja, a public housing estate located in Botkyrka municipality 30 kilometers south of Stockholm. It is a research-driven artistic project undertaken during one year and aims to study the importance of satellite media in the lives of immigrants and issues in cultural integration. The main part of the project consists of colouring several satellite dishes in the area in close collaboration with local residents. It is led by Swedish-Brazilian artist Isabel Löfgren, in collaboration with Swedish artist Erik Krikortz, and in partnership with several local organisations, including Residence Botkyrka, an artist residency located in the area. (more...)

HOTEL Gelem: an artistic intervention with Roma families and visitors against racism and exclusion


While the majority of people are looking for adventurous and exotic travel during their holidays, the permanent obligation to remain mobile and to improvise is a harsh reality for people living in precarious conditions. HOTEL Gelem invites you to participate in such real-life situations, inventing new forms of exchange, illustration and reflection on a phenomenon which should have ended with the Second World War. HOTEL Gelem shows you places where romantic transfiguration coïncides with racial persecution, overcoming walls in the middle of Europe which dramatically divide our society. (more...)

What shows that I am interculturally competent?


Being interculturally competent has widely been recognised for decades as essential for peaceful coexistence in a diverse world. Numerous recent policy papers and recommendations of international organisations, such as The White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue (Council of Europe, 2008) have also expressed this need very clearly. Intercultural competence is a key competence that every individual should work on for the development and maintenance of sustainable democratic societies. The present tool wishes to support you on the way to a fuller understanding of yourself in the context of diversity.

An ethos of hospitality: the Belfast friendship club

How can Belfast—or any modern city for that matter—best manage its growing cultural diversity? One small, but important, answer to that question comes in the shape of the Belfast Friendship Club. This remarkable initiative, which provides a warm welcome to newcomers to a city still wrestling with a history of intolerance, is a model of good practice worthy of international replication. This report shows how, rooted in universal values, the friendship club offers fresh solutions to the challenges of a more cosmopolitan urban environment.

Reviving a declining Norwegian community by attracting migrants

Herøy is a small Norwegian community of about 1700 inhabitants of 25 different nationalities spread over 2,000 islands. The community was affected by a significant brain-drain among young and highly-qualified people between the 1960’s and 2009 and severe budget cuts between 2008 and 2010. As a result, Herøy had to cope with high and increasingly growing rates of unemployment and disability, evolving reliance on public assistance and child welfare costs, a low rate of university graduates and a bad reputation. These negative developments prompted the community to launch a project named "Increased Settlement" in 2010. The project aims to contribute to population growth by increasing welfare, work opportunities and living offers by 2014. The following subsidiary objectives were set forth to attain these goals: strategic good reputation building, availability of varied workplaces, attractive living and recreational activities, successful integration of newcomers and project sustainability. (more...)

ICC: Facebook and Twitter

The ICC programme is proud to note that its Facebook "friends" have increased to 230 and its Twitter followers have increased to 325. They are kept informed regularly on ICC progress. Please remember to check out the Facebook page and Twitter.

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