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Integration, Assimilation, Identity: Key issues to be addressed


“Welcome brothers and sisters! We all originate from eight African mothers“, is how Umayya Abu-Hanna, who is Palestinian but lives in Finland, opened the conference. Abu-Hanna painted an ironic and self-critical picture of our multicultural society. She called on her audience not to think in categories between which bridges have to be built but to be open for all things new as well as old and to approach other people and cultures on an equal footing.





Afterwards, the professor Nikos Papastergiadis (University of Melbourne) pointed out that the notion of a local people with a unique individual culture in a clearly-defined state was no longer contemporary considering migration movements were so deeply intertwined. “I don’t want to integrate,” he quoted the immigrant activist Nico Sguila. He was arguing that people with immigrant backgrounds often felt as if they belonged to neither culture fully and thus wanted to be considered simply as individuals. He added that art and music could help to develop appropriate ideas for community life today because of the way they dealt critically with society.

You can download the lecture script of Nikos Papastergiadis here.


European Music Council (EMC)