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Home / Resources / News / Citizens²: Voices for a Diverse Europe: Discover New Transeuropa Video

Citizens²: Voices for a Diverse Europe: Discover New Transeuropa Video

European Alternatives (EA) transeuropean video 'Citizens²: Voices for a Diverse Europe' gives their say to engaged European citizens, whose parents were born abroad. The video has been created by and produced by members of European Alternatives in Italy, France, Germany and the UK and presented during Transeuropa Festival 2012. It’s also just been selected for a movie festival in Ecuador.  

Séverine Lenglet (SL) is an independant filmaker and journalist. She is also an active member of European Alternatives. She trained the team of EA video makers  and created the video. Here she gives us an overview of the project and the video.

Discover the film subtitled in French, Italian and Spanish on European Alternatives' You Tube Channel!

European Alternatives : Where did the idea of the movie come from?

Séverine Lenglet: The idea of the movie “Voices for a diverse Europe” came from European Alternatives local group in Italy which initiated the project “CITIZENS2: NEW VOICES FOR A DIVERSE EUROPE”. This project aimed at involving young people in a transnational discussion and action on the meaning of European citizenship, starting from the situation of young people with ethnic minority backgrounds. The project wanted to emphasise the contribution of young people belonging to the so-called “second generation” to the building of a European society and identity which recognises its own diversity.

Some researches and comparative studies have shown that the situation of young people with ethnic minority background is very different depending on the Country they live in. The different systems of access to citizenship can have a very hard influence on the lives of these persons. Most European Countries, especially since the ‘70s, have modified their norms of access to citizenship and made easier the grant of citizenship to the children of migrants. But there are still some Countries – Italy is amongst them – which maintain norms based on the so-called principle of ‘ius sanguinis’, which considers citizenship as an hereditary aspect, excluding people who were born and have grown up in a Country, if they have parents of a different nationality.

In this complex and diverse European context, there are still some aspects which are common to second generation young people. Many researches underline that their opportunities and life chances are significantly inferior to those of children born to non-immigrants. Even when they are formally granted citizenship, they are often at disadvantage in the educative system, have a more difficult access to the labour market and experience daily discriminations based on their ethnic origins.

We are convinced that the European society has to accept the challenge of this complexity, as an opportunity to redefine collectively what European identity means, recognizing that growing between different cultures is not a handicap but a resource.
Second generation young people, bringing differences in themselves, are the pioneers of an authentically multicultural society, they become representative of a European identity that has to recognise itself as diverse.

EA: What is unusual in the process of making this movie? Who were the people involved and how did this work?
SL: Last year European Alternatives created a transeuropean video team. As a professional filmmaker I was in charge of training young people from 8 different European countries how to film, how to use a video camera, how to make interviews, how to produce a short film, a documentary film, etc.
So for this movie, the project participants were young filmmakers coming from Italy, the UK, France and Germany. We met the first time in Bologna in January 2012. We had one day video training and the second day  we discussed the idea, the script, the message of the movie, the questions of the interviews. At the end of this week-end each participant went back home and looked for young people with ethnic minority background who would be interested to tell us their story. We collected the stories, filmed them, met on Skype to discuss on the interviews, on the shootings… and we met again at the end of March to speak about the final editing.

EA: How did you select the people you interviewed?
SL: As the project was focused on the so called “second generation”, we had to look for young people with ethnic minority background who were born or who grew up in one of the four country of the project… As we are all young people involved in a civil society organisation, we decided to look for young people under 30 who are also actively involved in some NGOs, social, political projects  because we wanted them to tell us their vision on participation in society.

EA : How would you describe the movie?
SL: Ç???r, Farah Clémentine, Kaveh, Souad, Sanaà, Aboubakar, Leila are young people with minority background. Their parents left Iran, Morocco, Turkey, Benin, Burkina Faso some decades ago with the hope to have a better life in France, Great Britain, Italy or Germany. Today these young people tell us the stories of their families, their childhood as migrants’children, the discrimination.
They give us their visions of Europe, of identity. They tell us about participation, citizenship, cultural diversity.

EA: Which future for the movie? ( any film festival, strategy to spread it and show it)
SL: We showed this movie in Paris and Rome during the Transeuropa festival 2012. The audience reacted well and very interested. Some local groups of European Alternatives have organised some special events to show and discuss the topic. We would like to present this film in some festivals. For the moment, it will be shown in the theater and short film festival Sudaka in Ecuador.