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This project has been co-financed by the European Commission under its DAPHNE III Programme, which supports actions to combat all types of violence against children, young people and women in Europe and all aspects of this phenomenon (violence in the family, violence in schools and other establishments, violence at work, commercial sexual exploitation, genital mutation, health repercussions, trafficking in human beings, rehabilitation of perpetrators etc.).

For more information on this programme, kindly visit: http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/index.htm

This catalog has been produced with the co-financing assistance of the European Commission. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the project beneficiary and its partners, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

Conception Lola Mac Dougall and Nikhil Padgaonkar Design Satya Brata Rai Copy editing Loulou Stirrup Printing Naveen Printers

Thanks to Frank Kalero and Peter Bas for their advice, to the photographers, and to all persons who agreed to participate in this project. 漏 2011 Asociaci贸n Limonkraft www.limonkraft.org

letters from EUROPE


letters from EUROPE

This project has been co-financed by the European Commission under its DAPHNE III Programme, which supports actions to combat all types of violence against children, young people and women in Europe and all aspects of this phenomenon (violence in the family, violence in schools and other establishments, violence at work, commercial sexual exploitation, genital mutation, health repercussions, trafficking in human beings, rehabilitation of perpetrators etc.).

For more information on this programme, kindly visit: http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/index.htm

This catalog has been produced with the co-financing assistance of the European Commission. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the project beneficiary and its partners, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

Conception Lola Mac Dougall and Nikhil Padgaonkar Design Satya Brata Rai Copy editing Loulou Stirrup Printing Naveen Printers

Thanks to Frank Kalero and Peter Bas for their advice, to the photographers, and to all persons who agreed to participate in this project. 漏 2011 Asociaci贸n Limonkraft www.limonkraft.org

letters from EUROPE


letters from EUROPE

This project has been co-financed by the European Commission under its DAPHNE III Programme, which supports actions to combat all types of violence against children, young people and women in Europe and all aspects of this phenomenon (violence in the family, violence in schools and other establishments, violence at work, commercial sexual exploitation, genital mutation, health repercussions, trafficking in human beings, rehabilitation of perpetrators etc.).

For more information on this programme, kindly visit: http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/index.htm

This catalog has been produced with the co-financing assistance of the European Commission. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the project beneficiary and its partners, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

Conception Lola Mac Dougall and Nikhil Padgaonkar Design Satya Brata Rai Copy editing Loulou Stirrup Printing Naveen Printers

Thanks to Frank Kalero and Peter Bas for their advice, to the photographers, and to all persons who agreed to participate in this project. 漏 2011 Asociaci贸n Limonkraft www.limonkraft.org

letters from EUROPE


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letters from EUROPE 3


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concerns and their shared cultural references (particularly language) proved critical in gaining access to the young women portrayed in these photographs. It may also be noted that the photographers are themselves young, ensuring that a generational gap would not pose an additional hurdle to this endeavour.

PREFACE T

he photographs presented in this catalogue were first exhibited in the Koldo Mitxelena, the cultural centre of the city of Donostia/San Sebastian from September 23rd till October 9th, 2011, as part of the Neskak Gora project on second-generation migrant adolescent girls and young women in Europe. This project was co-financed by the European Commission through its Daphne programme. Our brief was seemingly simple: to visually portray the lives of migrant girls and young women from North Africa and South Asia across six European countries -Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands and the UK. Yet this assignment proved to be a considerable challenge in the face of the sheer cultural and economic diversity within this target group, not to mention the very different legal and social conditions offered to them by the six EU member-states. An additional difficulty soon emerged: many of the girls come from cultures where privacy is closely guarded, and depictions of personal life and spaces are controlled, not just by the subjects themselves but also by their families. Adolescence is also time of acute self-consciousness, and many become particularly hesitant to participate as protagonists of a photo-project for fear of appearing awkward.

In every case, it nevertheless took time and effort to first identify and then develop a relationship with them, and to subsequently agree on how they would be represented. In this sense, the photographs are a joint collaboration between the photographers and those photographed. They depict not only the diversity of the lives and personal circumstances of their subjects, but also of the photographers' own styles and individual approaches. We see this reflected in the use of various colour schemes, from black and white (Carsten Snejberg) to pastel tones (Nicolo de Giorgis) to very bright hues (Peter Dench, Johann Rousselot and Boudewijn Bollman), and from disinterested -almost hidden-camera like- perspective to ones which distinctly convey the presence of the photographer, as is the case of Marta Soul's stylised portraits, where one senses her complicity with her subjects. One is also struck by the importance the photographers give to local geography -the streets, the ports, the gardens and the row houses are all shown as integral to the identity of second-generation migrant girls. They are not just settings in which their -and our- lives unfold: they are constitutive of life itself, and we are invited to contemplate their significance through photographs that depict these locations empty, utterly devoid of people. Is geography then destiny? For children of migrants, this is no trivial question, but the riddle of a lifetime. Nikhil Padgaonkar and Lola Mac Dougall work for the Asociaci贸n Limonkraft and are the curators of the exhibition.

For these reasons, we decided to work with six photographers, each from one of the countries under consideration. All of them have a background in social photography and reportage, and already had vast experience in documenting issues of migration, integration and minority life. Their familiarity with local immigrant 5


INTRODUCTION

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he percentage of non-EU immigration into Europe has risen considerably in recent decades. A substantial portion of immigrants consist of families from North Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia) and South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). Despite the significant cultural differences between these two regions, and the varying reasons for which people choose to leave them, Islam remains an important reference in both, and has regulated social codes and shaped customs. Many families have chosen to settle in Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and subsequently have had and raised children in these countries. These second-generation immigrants have thus, since a very early age, been exposed to European habits and customs. In many cases, however, their irregular legal status means that immigrant families remain without protection and full rights afforded by law, and this has particularly grave consequences for vulnerable segments of the immigrant population, including adolescents and young women. To fully grasp the vulnerability of these segments, it must be borne in mind that in North Africa as well as in South Asia, there exist highly patriarchal cultures that, sometimes, in combination with certain interpretations of Islam, fuse to generate specific practices and dimensions of gender subordiscrimination1. This is not to say that these practices are new to Europe, for patriarchy is a universal form of domination, which informs not only Islam but also the other monotheistic religions prevalent in Europe. This remains true even if today, as the result of the secularisation of European societies and the influence of feminism, its most pernicious practices appear outdated. In many cases, “family honour� serves as the main justification of gender subordiscrimination amongst immigrants, and entails the control of the bodies and

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of the sexuality of young women in ways that effectively prevent them from making their own choices and adopting lifestyles that are common in Europe. Forced arranged marriages, compulsory wearing of the veil, restrictions on participating in sporting events or going to the swimming pool, and prohibitions on attending classes on human reproduction are some of the expressions of subordiscrimination. However, it would be a mistake to trace the roots of the vulnerability of secondgeneration migrant young women solely to their family life. Above all, it would be unfair to identify or characterise them only in terms of their vulnerabilities, and not in terms of their independence or their ability to break from stereotypes. That the family environment is not the only vulnerable space for these young women can be confirmed by the response of EU member states to the phenomenon of nonEU immigration. Despite the fact that migration has contributed to their economic development, the member states, and the EU as a whole, have not responded through any form of legislation that recognises the legal status and culture of immigrants. It may also be recalled that neither the EU, nor any of its member states have yet ratified the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, approved by the United Nations in 1990 and which entered into force in 2003. In order to fully assess the role played by the states and other supra-national bodies in the production and reproduction of subordiscrimination of second-generation migrant adolescent girls and young women, we must examine how different systems of power intersect. For this, we need look no further than at the consequences for immigrant women of the denial of citizenship or a secure legal status. When the relevant judicial and political bodies do not recognise their status, these women face vulnerabilities that affect neither immigrant boys (who are not as disadvantaged by patriarchal family norms) nor “native� European girls (who, as citizens, enjoy full rights and to whom the legally-recognised principles of gender equality apply). With regard to the need to not identify second-generation immigrant adolescents and young women only in terms of their vulnerabilities, it should be recalled that the image of young migrants as victims (of their families, of their cultures, of religion) only serves to perpetuate their subordination. As anthropologists have noted, 7


representation nourishes practice, just as practice nourishes representation. We risk emphasising stereotypes very much to the detriment of young women wanting to break away from them, who aspire to lead their lives in ways that do not conform to pre-established norms. The educational context plays a crucial role in enabling girls and young women to gain autonomy. Indeed, schools, universities and other educational environments are also the setting for the deployment and interaction of various systems of power (which operate along lines of class, nationality, gender, ethnicity etc.). These interactions are complex and create specific situations of subordiscrimination, some of which are still not fully identified or understood. We cannot be satisfied here by merely imagining their lives -we need to observe, study, enquire and narrate how these lives are shaped by their educational environments which, in turn, offer new possibilities and aspirations. And, for this to happen, we must use every available means of communication and documentation. Maria-Angeles (Maggy) Barrère Unzueta is the Coordinator of the Neskak Gora project and is Professor of Philosophy of Law, Faculty of Jurisprudence, University of the Basque Country in Donostia, Spain.

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The use of the term “ subordiscrimination” is intended to highlight those situations in which the principle of equality is breached (that is, when discrimination occurs) by systems of power that create subordination. The purpose is to avoid conflating such situations with other breaches of the principle of equal treatment, also deemed discriminatory, but which do not create subordination.


Photo Marta Soul

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THE SOCIAL PERSPECTIVES

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eing “caught between two worlds”; this is often the image that the children of immigrant parents –the so-called second-generation– use to describe their condition and their feelings. Second-generation immigrants have, over the past two decades, come to constitute an important social segment in most EU countries, including in those that have become a destination for migrants comparatively recently. Despite the differences in each context, what seems to characterise the condition of the children of immigrant families in Europe is a sense of displacement and timelessness: they are neither here, nor there. They inherit the past of their families – their culture, their languages, their problems as well as their dreams – but find it difficult to fully embrace their own future in the new society. They often experience the condition of being ‘f illes and garcons sans histoire’ to paraphrase the title of the novel by the French-Algerian writer Tassadit Imache. Each European country regulates the ways in which non-nationals come to acquire citizenship, an almost necessary precondition for immigrant individuals to become integral members of the political, social and economic fabric of the host country. The most important concern for many immigrant children relates to the legal ambiguities and difficulties they face in acquiring citizenship. This is a hurdle even for those who were born or raised entirely in Europe. However, there are other, more specifically social and broadly-speaking cultural problems that they face, and it is particularly at this point that gender biases are more visible. Despite sharing common problematics, girls and boys from immigrant families have different experiences of discrimination and violence as well as of integration.

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The family is the first place where divergent experiences based on gender can occur. In the domestic context, gender roles are often hierarchically conceived; thus young women are subjected to rules and prejudices that confine them to subordinated positions and that limit their freedom of choice. Forced marriages and honourrelated crimes are only the most visible and dramatic examples of the violence and discrimination that young women from North Africa and South Asia can experience. Other and more subtle forms of violence and subordination can take place, including greater domestic work, and prohibitions to participate in social activities etc. This is not to suggest that domestic violence and discrimination constitute a specific feature of immigrant families, for many studies have demonstrated that the family in general, regardless of class, religion or national origin of their members, is the setting in which women are subjected to the most severe forms of violence. However, the vulnerability which characterises all young women in the domestic context is accentuated in the case of young women of North African and South Asian origin. This is due to the fact that they are the representative traits which are at the frontline of social conflict: femaleness and youth, poverty, religion and nationality. Young women of North African and South Asian origin thus encounter specific forms of discrimination, as they find themselves at the crossroad of converging axes of subordination and exclusion. Particularly in the context of education and in the moment of transition from school to work, young women of immigrant origin undergo what Kimberlé Crenshaw described as “intersectional subordination”, namely the situation for which one burden of discrimination “intersects with preexisting vulnerabilities to create yet another dimension of disempowerment.” At school, girls with non-EU parents can be penalised for their lack of cultural and economical resources which prove to be crucial to academic achievement, as Bourdieu had already highlighted a long time ago with reference to the difficulties of working class children. Moreover, girls from an immigrant background are particularly vulnerable to forms of stereotyping that target women generally. Stereotypes and prejudices include all those images and representations which reinforce structural and institutional discrimination, but which are also detectable at a more personal level. In other words, they can be present even in situations in which there is no institutional/legal discrimination (for example, Moroccan young girls in Italy may feel compelled to dress in a particular way in school because of intense peer pressure and fear of stereotyping).

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Young women from immigrant backgrounds feel especially vulnerable to certain assumptions regarding the role of women in society and their physical appearance as passive and extremely sexualised objects. Young girls of Moroccan or Indian origin, for instance, in Italy, France and the UK often feel “positively” discriminated by their male peers in comparison with migrant boys. Their “exotic” appearance often makes them the object of male attention. However, they soon realise that the countless compliments they receive are shaped by the orientalist fantasy of the sensuous body of the colonised woman. These messages prove to be crucial to the ways young generations experience inter-cultural encounters and build their identity. Nonetheless, despite the fact that the children of immigrants do not perform as well academically as their peers and encounter more problems subsequently in the labour market – as many studies have demonstrated– young women of North African and South Asian origin appear to be slowly overturning this trend. When they are given the opportunity to attend school and to obtain a job which values their skills, they are excellent students and professionals. They show that conditions of marginalisation and vulnerability can make way for self-empowerment. Sara Rita Farris is the Sociological Research Coordinator of the Neskak Gora project and is a research assistant at the NGO Aletta in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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the NETHERLANDS

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Boudewijn Bollmann (1983) is currently living in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He started as a streetphotographer in 2006, and runs his own free photo-zine named Twisted Streets. Each issue consists of 250 hand-made copies, with black and white photographs, mostly shot during his nightly adventures on the streets of Holland. Besides his own work, Boudewijn shoots stories for publications such as Vice and the news magazine Vrij Nederland. www.twistedstreets.nl

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“Native (Dutch) students continue studying for years, often changing track half way through their university studies. Migrant students study far less long, usually four years, because they know they have to start working and do not have time to waste.�

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Fatima (twenty years old) “My father came to the Netherlands in the 1960s as a guest worker. Initially, he had to leave my mother behind in Morocco. After a few years, she was able to join him in the Netherlands and my parents built their lives together here. For my parents, it is important that I complete my studies so that I can be self-reliant. They were able to support me in my studies even though they themselves never studied. I am very proud of my roots. I love returning to Morocco every summer. The weather, the good food, the worry-free life, the loved ones around me ... Morocco always brings out my fun side, which is hidden when I’m back in the Netherlands. I live by myself and do things that I would never dare to do in the Netherlands.�

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Amira (seventeen years old) “After graduating as a teaching assistant, I will start my practical training, and then start working with children, probably in a nursery or a school. My parents agree with my choices, and support me in my studies. They are very hopeful that I will get a good job.�

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First-generation Moroccans often have parents who have studied very little, some of them are even illiterate. In consequence, they motivate their children to do well in an environment, which is very different from the one their parents grew up in.

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Parents of second-generation Moroccan students are playing an increasingly important role in the higher education of their children. Their children’s schooling is a matter of pride. next page Uasima (twenty-three years old) “In Morocco, few women work in the technical sector. The male environment scares them. In Islamic countries, male and female occupations are clearly separated. The Masters degree in Construction Management and Engineering, which I am now following at university, will allow me to become a project manager. I believe managing construction projects would be a real challenge. I have to challenge myself to finish the degree, but from the very beginning my parents have supported me. My grandmother has been the most supportive of them all.�

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FRANCE

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Johann Rousselot was born in 1971 in Brussels, Belgium, where he studied photography at ESI – Superior School of Images – from 1992 to 1995. He became an associated member of Oeil Public Agency in 2001 till its end in 2010. Currently, he is represented by Signatures in France, Luz in Italy, and Laif in Germany. His photography stands at the crossroads of photojournalism and artistic photography, and highlights the importance of both aesthetics and a journalistic point of view. www.johann-rousselot.com

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mmigrants from South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh) comprise some of the least-known elements of French society. Because they come from countries that have had no significant colonial links to France, many first-generation migrants face considerable difficulty adapting to the French language. On the other hand, this has helped them to avoid the negative stereotyping that affects other migrant communities. The photographs of Johann Rousselot relate to one such community: the Sikhs. Originally from Northwest India, Sikh men are easily recognised by their distinctive turbans. The Sikhs have migrated all over the world, and are present in large numbers in the UK and North America. Their settlement in France is a relatively recent phenomenon (that can be traced to the early 1980s) and often remains precarious due to their irregular legal status. Many Sikhs work in the construction sector, or in the restaurant business, principally in the Parisian region. Close community ties are part of a survival strategy for these immigrants, some of whom do not speak French, have few educational qualifications, and know little of their host country. Women occupy a secondary role in the migration process, and usually come to France to rejoin their husbands or fathers. We now see the emergence of a secondgeneration of Sikhs who were born and raised in France. Their families often expect the girls to succeed academically while nevertheless imbibing traditional community values, and arranged marriages continue to be practiced. This stands in conflict with the values of the host society, which favours integration, if not outright assimilation. These photographs illustrate the often contradictory expectations placed on young Sikh girls in France, and the strategies which they, in turn, develop to manage them.

Text by Christine Moliner

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Rajneet is seventeen years old, and is Lovepreet’s younger sister. She was eleven years old when she came to France, and would like to be an engineer. “The only discrimination I have encountered is the prohibition on wearing the turban in school. The authorities believe that it is like the burqa, but it is not. We do not hide our faces. To me, it is a matter of my identity rather than a religious obligation”.

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Rajneet and a classmate in the school canteen.

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Eighteen year-old Sharanjit at the Gurudwara in Bobigny. She is wearing a turban usually worn by men. This is a recent practice that was invented by the Sikh community in London. In India, only those women who have reached the stage of Amrit Dhari -a ceremonial initiation into the Sikh religion- wear the turban.

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“It is not difficult to integrate into French society,” say the sisters. “The schools here are better than those in India, and there are more resources to succeed.”

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This old man is the great-grand uncle of Lovepreet and Rajneet, and is 95 years old. He does not speak French. It is not uncommon in India to have several generations of a family all living together, and the Sikh diaspora attempts, whenever possible, to preserve the joint family structure.

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The home of the aunt of Lovepreet and Rajneet in Bobigny, on the outskirts of Paris. She arrived in France in 1984. next page Sharanjit as a trainee in an accountant’s firm in Paris.

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ITALY

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Nicolò Degiorgis was born in 1985 in Bolzano Bozen, a small town at the foot of the Italian Alps. He interned at Magnum Photos in Paris for six months, was awarded a 2008/09 Fabrica fellowship at Benetton’s communication research centre, and in 2010, an artist residency at the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation in Venice. Alongside pursuing a long-term project on the situation of the Muslim community in Italy, he is also employed by the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Trieste to research immigration in Italy. www.nicolodegiorgis.com

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The “Casbah� of Mazara del Vallo is home to the Tunisian community. In the 1960s, the demographic pressure in Tunisia and the decline in the numbers of Italian fishermen led to an influx of Tunisian migrants.

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M

azara del Vallo is a town located in the province of Trapani, in southwest Sicily. It is widely considered to be the most important fishing centre of the country and its port hosts one of the largest fishing fleets in the Mediterranean. In the 1960s, the demographic pressure in Tunisia and the decline in the numbers of Italian fishermen led to an influx of Tunisian migrants. Many expected to reap quick financial rewards and make an early return to Tunisia, but the familiar pattern of labour migration to northern Europe repeated itself. The migrants stayed on and in the 1980s their numbers swelled thanks to family reunification policies. Today, they comprise 10% of the town’s population (the official figure for the percentage of immigrants in all of Italy is 1.8 %). The immigrant population is very homogeneous, since they mainly come from two towns on the coast of Tunisia: Mahdia -a former capital of Tunisia- and La Chabba, which has a long seafaring tradition. The reasons for this concentration of Tunisian immigrants in the city of Mazara are not hard to find. The first is economic. The town’s main activity, fishing, would be impossible without immigrants. Nonetheless, their work remains precarious as they lack technical and linguistic skills, and in consequence, they are the most vulnerable to the vagaries of the labour market. Around 50% of those manning the fishing boats are Tunisians. The second reason for the appeal of Mazara to Tunisian immigrants is historical. Both geographically and culturally, Mazara is the closest city to the Tunisian coast. Throughout history it has been marked by a Muslim-Arab presence. The Tunisian community tends to live principally around the old Arab city centre, the Casbah, which was abandoned by the local population after the earthquake of 1981. In addition to the trend for immigrants to settle together in close-knit communities in the host country, there also exists in Mazara an educational institution which effectively impairs the social integration of immigrants and their children. The Tunisian School was founded in 1981 at the request of the Tunisian Ministry of Education. It is attended by children born in Mazara to Tunisian parents, as well as by children who rejoined their parents from Tunisia. The pupils attend a six-year course of study, on the successful completion of which the school issues a certificate enabling students to continue their studies in Tunisia. Unfortunately, this certificate is not recognised by the Italian school system. Thus, even when their parents want them to continue their education in Italian schools, the children find it difficult to adapt since their instruction has taken place in Tunisian Arabic in accordance with a

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curriculum determined by the Tunisian authorities. In consequence, some children are sent back to Tunisia to complete their studies. Others stay on in Mazara and attend the secondary school (scuola media) with disastrous results. They find it extremely difficult to settle into school life, and many end up dropping out of school even before finishing middle school. The second generation of Tunisians living in Mazara del Vallo has some peculiarities depending on the particular form of this migration. The geographical proximity between Tunisia and Sicily has permitted many migrants to travel back and forth between Sicily and their homeland, and maintain the hope of returning to Tunisia definitively some day. Many view their settlement in Mazara del Vallo as temporary and this has shaped important decisions, such as sending their children to study in Tunisia or in the Tunisian school of Mazara del Vallo. Additionally, because many Tunisian teenagers missed the important opportunity of sharing primary school with native Italian children, the social gap in the relationship between the two ethnic groups continues to grow even after forty years of Tunisian presence in Sicily. Many young Tunisians speak Italian very poorly, and the mono-ethnic composition of their social network is an overriding feature of what can be considered a “missed second generation”. Once I decided to cover this story, I started to contact schools and institutions in order to arrange meetings. I travelled to Sicily in mid-December 2010, shortly before Christmas. At this time, most Tunisian men were still out at sea leaving the children back home with their wives. During my interviews with schoolteachers, cultural mediators and other people dealing with immigration, I was told how problematic their situation is. Many children end up dropping out of middle school. Therefore I concentrated my essay on literacy courses and evening classes held by the Catholic institutions of Mazara del Vallo in support of second-generation migrants, especially girls. Text by Nicolò Degiorgis


Inside the middle school “Paolo Borsellino�. Many second-generation migrants find it extremely difficult to settle into school life and end up dropping out of middle school altogether.

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Mazara del Vallo is widely considered to be the most important fishing centre of Italy and its port hosts one of the largest fishing fleets in the Mediterranean.

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A view of the old harbour of Mazara del Vallo.

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Rama Noueni is eleven years old and completed her studies at the Tunisian elementary school of Mazara del Vallo last year. She does not speak Italian and is now repeating the last year of school in the Italian elementary school in order to attend middle school. facing page Silvia Hasani (fifteen years old) and Osama Amara (fourteen years old) attend a literacy course in the evenings. They were both born in Mazara del Vallo to Tunisian parents.

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A student at the evening school “Casa della comunità speranza”.

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DENMARK

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Carsten Snejbjerg became interested in photography during a 3,400 km bike trip through China and Vietnam in 1997. In 2000, he entered the Danish School of Journalism. He presently works freelance for various magazines and newspapers. His images have been published in Vanity Fair, Newsweek, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Stern, GQ, La Repubblica Delle Donne, Smithsonian magazine, Euroman etc. www.carstensnejbjerg.com

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Madeeha in the family kitchen.

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M

adeeha Memood is eighteen years old and lives in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she was born. She wants to study psychology, and is preparing to gain entry into university. She also works part-time. Her parents have allowed her to move away from home to pursue her studies, despite the fact that most young Pakistani women stay with their parents until marriage. Madeeha’s father is from the city of Rawalpindi in Pakistan. Her mother also has Pakistani roots, but was raised in England. Their marriage was arranged. When Madeeha’s father was unable to obtain a visa for Britain, her parents decided to move to Denmark. Madeeha herself has never been to Pakistan. She speaks Danish and English fluently, and understands Urdu, Punjabi and Potwari.

She said she has over four thousand songs in her MP3 player, most of which are rock songs. She also enjoys spending time at cafés, especially those where it is possible to smoke the hookah. She celebrated her 18th birthday at an Irish pub in the centre of Copenhagen. Her friends from high school in Copenhagen were scared to come to Noerrebro, so the party was thrown at a bar near the City Hall. With a smile, Madeeha says that she drank eighteen shots to celebrate her birthday, and cannot recall the rest of the evening.

Madeeha’s mother used to work at a hospital in Copenhagen as well as at the British Embassy, but had to stop working because of health problems. She is currently on dialysis due to kidney-failure. Her father is a taxi driver. Madeeha has two younger sisters, Duwa, 14, and Neelum, 16. Her parents are now separated, and she lives at home with her mother and sisters in Noerrebro, an ethnically diverse neighbourhood of Copenhagen.

On the question of her own identity, she says: “Danish. I just feel Danish. Maybe a little bit British, because I’m in Britain so frequently. I even speak English with my mother…So many people come to a new place, but they really hold on to where they are from, so they never really get to adapt to the new place they are living in now. I think it’s very important that one does that. And I think it makes it a lot easier in terms of work, school and friends.”

Her father and youngest sister are Muslim, but Madeeha herself and her sixteenyear-old sister are both atheist, she claims. The family celebrates both Christian holidays such as Christmas, and Muslim holidays such as Eid. Her father and sister also observe Ramadan, and Christmas is celebrated the British way, on the 25th of December, and not on the 24th of December, as Danes do. Madeeha’s best friend, Samana, is also Muslim, but is Shiite, and not Sunni, as are Madeeha’s family members.

Asked whether she had ever felt excluded or been subject to racism, she says, “I think the times I have felt it the most has been when I have been collecting donations. I go door to door with my sisters sometimes to collect money, for instance after the tsunami and for Pakistan. Sometimes, when we knock on doors, people look at us and ask, ‘Is it a Muslim country you’re collecting donations for?’ and when we say ‘yes’, they just slam the door in our faces.”

Despite having been born and raised in Denmark, Madeeha has British citizenship. Obtaining her driver’s license and state funding for school were difficult because of her citizenship, but she recently acquired her driver’s license, and will be receiving funding to continue her studies in Denmark. Her plan is to study at the University of Aalborg, which is in Northern Jutland, 305 kilometers (190 miles) northwest of Copenhagen.

On the other hand, she also claims to have been excluded by the Pakistani community: “It has probably been worse. People couldn’t accept that I haven’t been as Pakistani as them, or as Muslim as them. There are a lot of girls I don’t speak to anymore because I know that they tell themselves that I have become horrible, that I wear revealing clothes and show my arms and legs. I’ve become too Danish in their eyes.”

When the time came to choose a high school, Madeeha opted for one outside of Copenhagen because she did not want to go to high school with people from her own neighborhood.

“But my parents trust me,” she adds, “My father says, ‘I’m happy that you can choose your own path. I am just a taxi driver, and never graduated from high school.’

”I love to listen to music, and I go to many concerts. I spend my entire salary on concerts. I love rock music. Nobody in my family can stand it. Maybe my sister likes it 44

a little bit. But neither my friends nor my family can stand that I like it. And my best friend can’t understand that I can listen to it, because to her it’s just noise,” she says. “My favorite band is the All American Rejects.”

Text by Carsten Snejberg


Mjolner Parken where Madeeha lives with her family.

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Madeeha meeting friends for coffee. facing page Late at night with her family, Madeeha completes her homework in front of the television.

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Late in the afternoon, Madeeha returns to Copenhagen from her birthday brunch.

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Madeeha on her way to lunch at a nearby snack-bar.

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Madeeha is getting the last driving lesson before the test. She has been paying for the lessons without any assistance from her family. A driver’s license can cost up to 1.500 Euros in Denmark.

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SPAIN

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Marta Soul (Madrid 1973) lives and works in Madrid, Spain. Her work deals with visual expressions of identity. She has participated in several individual and group exhibitions and received numerous awards and fellowships, both in her country and abroad. She is represented by SpaiVisor in Spain, and the Kopeikin Gallery in the US. www.martasoul.nophoto.org

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Amina is twenty-one years old and lives in the heart of Madrid. She would travel to Spain as a child, whilst she was still living in Morocco. At the age of five, her parents decided to move to Spain permanently. She is currently completing her studies in Arab philology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and would like to start a doctorate in Arab language and culture. She is completely immersed in her studies and says that she prefers reading books to facing cameras. Therefore, we chose a small library in her university as the best location for the shoot. She loves being surrounded by books, where she can talk freely on Al Andalus and the rest of the Arab world, its traditions, its myths and its realities. She feels that the youth in the Arab world is on the cusp of political and cultural change, and she feels that she too belongs to this moment.

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Sakina is eighteen years old and lives in Getafe in Madrid. Her parents came from Morocco to Spain when she was two years old. She is studying Arab philology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, but she also works as a shop assistant at Primark. She used to help her brother in his dry fruits shop. This is a special place for Sakina who enjoys being surrounded by greenery, and feels at ease in the midst of gardens. She relishes spending time with her five girl-friends, whom she has come to know only very recently, although it seems she has known them all her life. She is very pleased to be studying Arab philology and would like to teach Arabic to other Moroccans in Spain, but also to teach Spanish in the Arab world. Unlike many of her friends, Sakina does not wear the hijab, but does not entirely dismiss the idea of wearing one some day. In other words, she sees herself as both a Spanish and Moroccan girl.

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Maya is twenty-one years old and lives in Villalba, near Madrid. She recently completed her studies in English philology and will soon start a Master’s degree in translation and interpretation at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. The university campus in Cantoblanco is one of the most important places for her. For this reason, I chose to portray her in front of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters. She would like to preserve her links to Germany, a country she is particularly fond of and which she first discovered thanks to the Erasmus programme. In moments of fantasy, she dreams of being an actress –not just any actress- but one like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. That is how she wants to be seen, donning long black gloves, with her hair tied back elegantly and letting a cigarette holder casually hang from in between her fingers. Maya seems unconcerned by her Indian origins. She is very much a girl from Madrid, who may have an uncertain future, but whose present is replete with dreams.

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UK

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Peter Dench is based in London. He travels worldwide to complete projects and assignments, and is a keen and astute observer, particularly of human nature and some of the more quirky aspects of life. His strong style, predominantly in colour, has garnered him over a decade of work from respected international clients. www.peterdench.com http://peterdench.blogspot.com

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Laiba Abassi studying for her exams in the living room of her family home.

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S

outhall is a suburban district of West London, England. The town has one of the largest concentrations of South Asians outside of the Indian sub-continent. Sometimes known as “Little India,” over 55% of Southall’s population of 70,000 is of Indian and Pakistani origin, with less than 10% being White British. At the heart of the town is Villiers High School. The school has a very wide ethnic diversity, with twenty-five groups represented, Indian, Pakistani and Somali being the largest of the three. Forty-five different first spoken languages are listed among the 1208 pupils on the school roll. All of the major religions are practiced by at least one pupil. Villiers is pro-active at endorsing extra-curricular events and urges parents to encourage their children into joining at least one club from an extensive list that includes Street Dance, Netball, Theatre and Girls’ Football. According to the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), Villiers is performing at a satisfactory standard. An outstanding feature is the care that is provided for students with particular needs, such as those who may otherwise become disengaged from learning or who are new to the UK or from areas of conflict. Robyn Kullar (15) a Sikh and Laiba Abbassi (15) a Muslim are eleventh-grade pupils at Villiers High School. They describe their friendship as very close. Both are 2nd-generation migrant girls whose families live in Southall. Robyn and Laiba both performed in the school production of William Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors for the tenth anniversary Shakespeare School Festival, the UK’s largest youth drama festival with over 650 schools performing in theatres around the country in 2010. Laiba played Adriana and Robyn her sister, Luciana, on stage at The Beck Theatre. The two were determined to do well in their mock GCSE exams and were studying hard between rehearsals. Laiba Abbassi was born in the UK on 28/02/1995. Her mother, Safia (40), arrived in 1972 from the Pakistani capital Islamabad aged three and her father, Khalid (43), in 1995. He currently works for the postal service FedEx. She has three younger sisters, Maira (14), Ahareem (10), and Fatimah (3). They live in a three-bedroom terraced house off the main Broadway in Southall. Laiba and her parents have their own bedroom whilst her siblings all share one big bed (they were too scared to sleep in bunks). The best thing about school for Laiba is hanging out with her

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friends. A keen netball player, most club activities have temporarily been put on hold while she studies hard for her exams. Laiba, whose name means ‘Angel’, is passionate about acting but will probably study for a profession connected to science or medicine. In her spare time she enjoys watching films featuring Leonardo Di Caprio, Shutter Island is a particular favourite, and she will occasionally join friends in watching a Bollywood film. Her essential TV viewing includes Eastenders, Gossip Girl and The Simpsons. She says there are no realistic Asian families represented on mainstream channels. Her favourite novel is To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee. Laiba’s mother married within the family, which is acceptable for Muslims. Laiba thinks it’s rather dirty to marry a cousin and would not do so. Her family wouldn’t force her to marry someone but would expect her to marry a Muslim. They holiday abroad as a family when they can afford to. Destinations are usually Muslim countries, because the choice of food is a concern; Egypt and Turkey were recent trips. Laiba attends lessons outside school to learn the Qu’ran. She takes her religion seriously but it does not overwhelm her life. Laiba and her mother are happy with the standard of education at Villiers High School. Laiba thinks pupils from Afghanistan and Somalia are looked down on by their peers and have the most difficult time integrating. Robyn was born in the UK on 07/01/1995. Her mother, Sarbjeet, was born in the UK but her father arrived in the late 1980s. Her parents are now divorced, and Robyn does not have contact with her father or know where he is. She lives with her mother, grandmother, Kuldeep (59), and sister Alisha (13). Robyn has her own bedroom as does her grandmother, her younger sister shares with her mother. Although she is from a Sikh family, Robyn admits to being an atheist. She enjoys the cultural aspects of Sikhism and will occasionally wear traditional Sikh dresses, attend the local Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Europe’s largest Sikh temple, and celebrate various festivals including Diwali and Nagar Kirtan. In her spare time, Robyn uses the social networking site Facebook, plays netball, and sings in the school Glee Club. Her preferred musicians include Rhianna and the TV show Bad Karma is popular. The last book she read was The Green Mile by Stephen King. After leaving school Robyn wants to go on to college to study photography. She often visits her uncle Blaise on set whilst he directs music videos. Text by Peter Dench


Laiba (2nd left) in a maths lesson at Villiers High School. She is studying hard in class for her mock GCSE exams.

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Close friends Robyn Kullar (left) and Laiba Abassi hang out in the playground, which for the two of them is the best thing about going to school.

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Laiba and Robyn on the bus on their way to The Beck Theatre.

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A pupil at Villiers High School passes under one of many warning posters that pepper the walls. Students are encouraged to actively take part in positive integration and behaviour.

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Robyn enjoying a playful moment with Omar Austin during her lunchtime break at Villiers High School.

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Robyn under a portrait of Sri Guru Govind Singh at her home in Southall. She enjoys the cultural aspects of Sikhism and will celebrate various festivals, including Diwali.

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Laiba on stage at The Beck Theatre during a rehearsal for Shakespeare’s ‘Comedy of Errors’ in which she was playing Adriana. The play was part of the tenth anniversary Shakespeare School Festival, the UK’s largest youth drama festival with over 650 schools involved, including Villiers High School where Laiba is a pupil.

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letters from EUROPE

This project has been co-financed by the European Commission under its DAPHNE III Programme, which supports actions to combat all types of violence against children, young people and women in Europe and all aspects of this phenomenon (violence in the family, violence in schools and other establishments, violence at work, commercial sexual exploitation, genital mutation, health repercussions, trafficking in human beings, rehabilitation of perpetrators etc.).

For more information on this programme, kindly visit: http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/index.htm

This catalog has been produced with the co-financing assistance of the European Commission. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the project beneficiary and its partners, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

Conception Lola Mac Dougall and Nikhil Padgaonkar Design Satya Brata Rai Copy editing Loulou Stirrup Printing Naveen Printers

Thanks to Frank Kalero and Peter Bas for their advice, to the photographers, and to all persons who agreed to participate in this project. 漏 2011 Asociaci贸n Limonkraft www.limonkraft.org

letters from EUROPE


letters from EUROPE

This project has been co-financed by the European Commission under its DAPHNE III Programme, which supports actions to combat all types of violence against children, young people and women in Europe and all aspects of this phenomenon (violence in the family, violence in schools and other establishments, violence at work, commercial sexual exploitation, genital mutation, health repercussions, trafficking in human beings, rehabilitation of perpetrators etc.).

For more information on this programme, kindly visit: http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/index.htm

This catalog has been produced with the co-financing assistance of the European Commission. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the project beneficiary and its partners, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

Conception Lola Mac Dougall and Nikhil Padgaonkar Design Satya Brata Rai Copy editing Loulou Stirrup Printing Naveen Printers

Thanks to Frank Kalero and Peter Bas for their advice, to the photographers, and to all persons who agreed to participate in this project. 漏 2011 Asociaci贸n Limonkraft www.limonkraft.org

letters from EUROPE


letters from EUROPE

This project has been co-financed by the European Commission under its DAPHNE III Programme, which supports actions to combat all types of violence against children, young people and women in Europe and all aspects of this phenomenon (violence in the family, violence in schools and other establishments, violence at work, commercial sexual exploitation, genital mutation, health repercussions, trafficking in human beings, rehabilitation of perpetrators etc.).

For more information on this programme, kindly visit: http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/index.htm

This catalog has been produced with the co-financing assistance of the European Commission. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the project beneficiary and its partners, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

Conception Lola Mac Dougall and Nikhil Padgaonkar Design Satya Brata Rai Copy editing Loulou Stirrup Printing Naveen Printers

Thanks to Frank Kalero and Peter Bas for their advice, to the photographers, and to all persons who agreed to participate in this project. 漏 2011 Asociaci贸n Limonkraft www.limonkraft.org

letters from EUROPE


Letters from Europe