Associazione Antigone - Osservatorio sulla ndrangheta
Take a country where the mafias are from, and another where they are now at home. Take debates on home & migration, labour exploitation & EU citizenship. Take NGOs fighting the mafias and researching on human trafficking. Take a top chef threatened by the Mafia. Sit down together and eat: JUST Food.
Berlin, Germany, Reggio Calabria, Italy
Europe has to find new ways of addressing problems which are deep-seated, urgent and big. Often these projects are 'glocal': confusingly big and complex, yet present locally. Our project aims to do just that: addressing a very topical issue in an unexpected way, bridging these big divides. The project makes it possible to approach a complex set of interlocking problems. We are proposing a positive form of convivial communication in a restaurant, without, however, therefore dropping standards of research, or falling back on easy surface communication. Our hope is to show how restaurants as public places can be politicised in a participatory way as they are a crossroads of experiences and themes. This could be replicated elsewhere, possibly also widening the set of treated themes treated.
We aim to deepen understanding amongst restaurant owners, journalists, politicians and NGOs about the links between migration, human rights and threats posed by the mafias. In a hospitable and democratic space we create an open debate about problems, and solidarity with people whose human rights are not respected. Successful outcomes will be stronger communication between NGOs, media and politics, as well as the implementation of ethical policies in the restaurant and food trade. These may include anti-racketeering work, mafia-free food supplies, guidelines against the exploitation of workers, and new ways of supporting illegalised persons in Europe with no legal way of earning a living. The project underlines that Europe needs to rethink its policies in the Mediterranean and on migration.
The project is based on a longstanding co-operation between the Berlin-based Echolot e.V. and the Reggio Calabria-based Associazione Antigone – Osservatorio sulla ndrangheta. Together with partner organisations we will organise dinners in Italian restaurants. We believe our initiative can reach its goals by combining the in-depth knowledge of the partner organisations with the spontaneous energy of Filippo in the context of delicious dinners, promoting interactions and cultural mix. A particular focus will be placed on giving space to the voices of victims of organised crime such as human trafficking. Each dinner will be hosted for a carefully selected group of guests, where presentations of partner organisations will combine with question and answer sessions between speakers and guests.
We are interested in getting a general feedback, in particular based on the first reaction of the community: how does this project sound to you? Would you take part in or organise one of the dinner-events? Would you be inspired by the mix of such different elements? What would you do differently?