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the process of institutional change required by the city’s rapidly shifting demographic is inevitably less nimble. For all the differences, the question of re-thinking our histories is at the heart of the project for all three organisations. We realised that all three of us had quite similar standpoints, and that our voices came very specifically from the cultural sector. As we started to plan a funding bid for an Erasmus + Strategic Partnership, we began to consider the need for culture to resonate with and impact upon other sectors, the necessity of a networked approach not only to cultural, but to wider social and political initiatives. As a result, we approached Efe Efeoglu at Turkey’s Adana Science & Technology University, and Nicola Scicluna at i2u Consulting in France, both of whom could add new, broader perspectives to the work we were planning. Efe’s work is around Business Studies – and his institution sits in a city close to Turkey’s Syrian border, that has been transformed by the influx of new citizens since the civil war. Nicola, based in Toulouse, offers training approaches to teams in the workplace (for example at Airbus) as well as facilitating relevant policy conferences like the April 2019 Eurocities meeting. Our sense was that the addition of their organisations would give the Strategic Partnership a clear shape – starting from the educational and social initiatives which refugees and migrants may encounter on their first arrival in Europe, and proceeding through processes of cross-cultural encounter, dialogue and creativity towards a dynamic integration into a culturally open workspace. Such, at least, seemed to be our ideal model. This e-book charts the journey we have gone on together over the two years of the project, the learning that each partner has offered to the others, the approaches we have found to be most powerful and effective, and the policy recommendations we wish to offer in response. The project developed through five “Training Weeks”, one hosted by each partner, starting in Turkey, and moving through Italy, the UK, Germany and finally France. In each country, we were able to explore the asylum system and its political context, the work of NGOs, educational and cultural institutions, and the processes through which migrants were able to enter the workforce (or not). We explored the processes and methodologies through which the different partners, operating in distinct but complementary sectors, were engaging in dialogues with new citizens – methodologies which are recorded and evaluated in this e-book. We attempted to frame the social, political and cultural changes we were witnessing within our established academic and vocational approaches – and constantly found them to be inadequate to the task. We found that the shifting populations of the new Europe demanded a total re-invention of our governing paradigms. It is perhaps this that is the real “crisis” with which we are faced. This crisis of cultural adjustment was particularly manifest in two strands of our partnership’s work: pedagogy and cultural activism. Very early in the project, it became apparent that the accepted modalities of “training”, in which an existing knowledge, “owned” by a partner organisation or an expert individual, is imparted to others, was inadequate for the project’s needs. The cultural diversity within the participants themselves, and the cross-sectoral make-up of the partnership, meant that any methodology or theoretical framework required questioning, reflection and adaptation in order to be applied to the fluid and volatile current situation around migration. As a result, our training weeks, while continuing to offer examples of good practice and sharing our own approaches, increasingly became spaces of reflection and development, where the combined intelligence of participants was brought to bear on the cultural and educational practices placed before us. In preparing the week in London, I found myself deliberately !12

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THE PROMISED LAND: Intercultural Learning with Refugees and Migrants  

Project e-book for THE PROMISED LAND - a cross-sectoral project funded by the Erasmus + programme of the European Union. The book explores...

THE PROMISED LAND: Intercultural Learning with Refugees and Migrants  

Project e-book for THE PROMISED LAND - a cross-sectoral project funded by the Erasmus + programme of the European Union. The book explores...

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