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When a Smartphone Fosters Integration, Re-Future is born


At the time of Migration 2.0, a European project supporting foreign unaccompanied minors (FUMS) that exploits the driving power of technological innovation as a means for cultural integration.
Its name is Re-Future and it is one of the 12 projects that were selected,  among over 300 ones, by the Creative Europe Program aimed at supporting the integration of refugees, realized within a partnership including European institutions, based in Italy, France, Sweden and Turkey. 
The initiative takes origin from the meeting between the creative team of the Dugong Films, a video production company specialized in works matching artistic research with social issues, and AccoglieRete association, working in Syracuse (Sicily), among the first ones in Italy to support and popularize the role of voluntary legal guardianship aimed at giving an answer to the feeling of bewilderment of the unaccompanied foreign minors who, more and more, arrive along the shores of Sicily.
The Re-Future project involved the FUMS, who were aided by AccoglieRete in a workshop dealing with filmmaking and education to image, whose object is to stir up and stimulate their attention on reality using, as a filming means, a tool they have in their pocket, their smartphone. 
Technology changed the XXI Century immigrants into “digital immigrants” and the smartphone actually is for them an indispensable good to lead their own life, the only link between what they leave and what is expecting them. A tool to discover the country hosting them, keep in touch with their family of origin and start new relationships with the place of arrival.
Under the supervision of the Milanese, Andrea Caccia, a director with a long experience in courses aimed at image literacy diffusion on smartphone aimed at teenagers, the workshop is delivered in Syracuse (Sicily) in the in the newly restored premises of the Fine Arts Academy, headquarter of the MADE Program project.
During the 8 months of lessons these youths will be supplied with creative tools to master, at their best, the use of this innovative technique of visual storytelling. A learning path that is based on an analysis of the pictures produced by these youths during the year and their comparison with sequences drawn from the history of cinema.
The young participants, using their smartphones as filming tool, tell about their daily life, their stories and, consequently, about their own experience of integration. Within this real-time writing, a kaleidoscope of pieces of life, instants and glances that transform the objective of the smartphone: from an often considered as depersonalizing personal tool into a tool to get personally involved to tell and share an experience. 
The objective is to stimulate these young authors who work in complete autonomy in order to make them look at things in a responsible, critical and free way, promoting a process of inclusion into our society through emotional and cultural interactions. Acquiring a vision and a technique to express themselves allows to overcome any language and cultural barrier, apart from representing a background of competences and skills that these young people will be able to exploit even in their professional integration.
At the end of project, planned in December 2018, they will realize and distribute a documentary film, coproduced by the several European partners, which will tell about this workshop experience and will include the videos realized by these youths.
The pictures produced during the workshop, with particular attention to those focused on the personal representation of reality as an essential component of the integration process, are collected on daily base on  a server to be analyzed by a team of researchers of cognitive psychology of the International Telematic Univeristy UNINETTUNO.
At the same time, the AccoglieRete Association will work on a study dealing with the instrument of Legal Guardianship in Europe aimed at implementing, creating and sharing a common view on the issue of the integration of minors. 
The project can also rely on the partnership of Infinity Edge, Innovation Hub, organizer and licensee of TEDx Roma, which will organized a cycle of talk-shows and events devoted to Re-Future.