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Documentario "Ubuntu. Io sono perché noi siamo"

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    Piera, a resident in Poggio alla Croce
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    In these last few years a lot has changed
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    Things were different before, people were simpler
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    They often came into the centre.
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    Now they stay at home,
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    the village is less lived in.
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    Before we were all concentrated on my shop.
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    Most of the world,
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    most of life took place around it.
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    A place to meet, to understand each other,
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    maybe argue with different opinions
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    but still have a dialogue. That was life,
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    in my view that really was.
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    Andrea, who conceived the welcoming project
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    Poggio alla Croce could be defined
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    as “a small Switzerland”
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    Located in a beautiful spot
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    between Chianti and Valdarno
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    Residents are busy at work
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    and like to collaborate.
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    In summer a nice festival is organized
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    attracting people from both valleys
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    When problems arise, like with ice in winter,
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    informations flow over the internet.
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    Looked like and ideal place
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    Then in April 2017 the “bomb” went off:
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    thirty migrants to be hosted in the “palace”,
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    a former hotel middle of village
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    It sounded as if a spaceship full
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    of little black men was about to land
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    Piera
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    Black men are coming. Black men are coming.
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    We are all with our hairs raised,
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    very worried, me too to be honest because
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    you hear a lot of good
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    but also bad about these youngsters
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    Andrea
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    The strongest reaction, intense and wide,
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    was an immediate refusal,
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    a “belly” reaction that caused
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    an immediate decision
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    to collect signatures against,
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    in less than three days
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    230 signatures were collected
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    Even though the Poggio’s residents
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    are around 190.
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    Attilia, a teacher in the the school for migrants
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    A first meeting was held
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    one and half year ago in summer
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    before the migrants arrived,
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    so we did not know them
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    They had no face for us, they had no name
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    I don’t live in Poggio alla Croce,
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    I come from a nearby village
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    During the meeting there were
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    some very aggressive people,
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    I guess they were sincerely scared
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    Martin, parson of Poggio alla Croce
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    Their reaction was not due to being bad.
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    Behind there was also a reality
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    that must be told. It must be told that
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    none was pepared because none
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    had been alerted that these foreigner,
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    these migrants were coming
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    Paolo, a resident in Poggio alla Croce
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    Someone started collecting signatures,
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    and I agreed only because I wanted to know
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    where would these kids be hosted,
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    what did they come for then it became
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    clear that this was not the reason
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    they did not want to welcome them
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    So I said my signature was extorted
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    and was not in agreement any more
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    Luana, a resident in Poggio alla Croce
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    They told us
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    “in a year time we’ll remind you of this..
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    we are scared..
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    I have an 18months old little girl
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    who won’t be able to walk the streets anymore”
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    But I refused to sign in
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    and became the black sheep
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    Paolo
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    They are black, and that may be difficult to fathom
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    Integration is not easy, not easy.
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    Also on their side
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    Attilia
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    There was a bad feeling around,
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    a terrible atmosphere
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    My legs trembled, truly.
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    I recognized kids that I knew
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    when they were little children.
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    And now as grown ups they were scared
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    and said they did not want the migrants
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    because their life would change,
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    it would not be possible
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    anymore to go quietly around in Poggio.
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    No more walkabouts but they shouted
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    all this in a really aggressive way..
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    and I started to tremble and was unable
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    to tell what I meant,
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    that I felt very sorry to see children
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    who had grown up together
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    accustomed to sharing…and I remember
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    there were also coloured children
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    in our classes and they all played together
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    And now I was frightened
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    by what they had become
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    Was more scared of them than
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    of the coming migrants because
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    I could sense a rage and violence
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    that really frightened me
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    Andrea
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    When the spaceship
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    with its little black men finally landed
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    we managed to organize
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    a first meeting in a room under
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    the church that our parson Martin
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    put at our disposal
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    for the whole project.
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    Sitting on chairs in a circle
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    all mixed up some of us,
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    some of them, we played a bit.
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    We sticked a piece of paper on the wall
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    and each and one of us started to write
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    “Andrea Formiconi, italian, speaks italian”
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    Then casually pointed the felt-pen towards
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    one or the other and they wrote in turn
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    Each and one of us wrote his name,
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    which country he came from,
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    which language he spoke,,,
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    A simple exercise that opened
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    a whole world, a universe
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    because it turned out that with
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    fourteen-fifteen of them there were
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    twelve-thrteen languages spoken
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    That some of them were illiterate,
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    you could tell by the unlikely way they
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    brandished the feltpen in their hands,
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    In fact they did not write but
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    drew their name. At the same time
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    some of them attended school
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    and to one exreme there was one kid
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    that had escaped while in his fourth year
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    of Mathematics at university.
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    This helps understand the enormous
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    fan of different human stories and situations
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    hiding behind this stereotype that we call
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    with just one name: the migrant..
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    which prompts the image of one
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    little black man, the same, and his
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    standard story.
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    Absolutely not like that !
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    Malo’, a teacher in the school for mugrants
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    Three of us that embarked in this adventure
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    of the “little school of Poggio alla Croce”
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    without really knowing what to expect.
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    We felt the urge to do something
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    to help these youngsters,
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    and we thought that teaching them
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    italian language was the thing to do
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    also to improve their trust in themselves.
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    As we are scared of them blacks,
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    they are scared of us whites
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    They are afraid of us.
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    The funny thing is that a lot of people
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    were involved who had nothing .
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    to do with teaching.
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    People like Marcie who is canadian
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    with very little italian but
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    she taught italian.. and Willy
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    who is still with us who reads
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    and does dictation
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    and anything else with them
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    I teach in primary schools
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    on Tuesday when finished
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    With my class, often very tired like last
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    year when I taught in first
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    I sit in the car and say to myself
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    “why do you do it ?
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    you should go home to rest or make dinner”
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    then I close my eyes and think
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    “if it is the right thing to do I'll find
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    the missing energies” and there I go
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    and afterwards I am happy because you get
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    there and see those smiles with white teeth
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    and those white teeth of black people
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    those happy eyes...
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    I see Ajan, I see Dedo, the Kurds...
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    waiting for you
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    who thank you for being there,
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    who are looking forward
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    for you to teach them something.
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    (Car noise...)
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    I arrived here a bit by chance,
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    I got to know this experience
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    thanks to Andreas, his stories
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    in university classrooms and I decided to
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    to come and have a look.
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    The question I get asked most often
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    is why I'm doing this, especially because
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    what strikes me about me is the fact
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    that I come from almost 90 kilometres
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    almost two hours by car anyway
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    just to get here.
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    It's not easy to explain,
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    because the reason
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    lies in so many little things:
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    gestures, looks, emotions,
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    the feelings you have when
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    you get in touch with these people
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    which in the end are lives
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    are experiences, are worlds
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    with which you come into contact
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    and of which you often know nothing.
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    (Traffic noise...)
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    (Country noises, chirping...)
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    (Squeaking bicycle...)
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    (Background music...)
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    I go to school in Figline Valdarno
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    every day, On Mondays and Tuesdays
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    I go by car but the other days I ride my bike.
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    I ride my bike. It's not difficult to go,
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    but it is difficult to return
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    because it takes an hour and
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    thirty minutes, It's tiring.
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    When I was in Africa I didn't go to
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    school and fortunately I found myself in
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    Europe and met the people who
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    are helping me
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    and enrolled me in school.
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    My goal is to learn the Italian language
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    I would like to stay in Italy,
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    I would like to work to help
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    my family in Africa. Therefore
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    I have to concentrate on studying,
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    it's my goal.
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    My name is Madou Koulibaly, I come
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    from Guinea and I'm 20 years old.
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    I arrived in Italy a year and
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    two months ago, it was a very
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    difficult trip, I can't forget it,
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    It was very dangerous.
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    I sacrificed my life
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    to seek my fortune in Europe
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    and thank God I entered Italy
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    on 13 June 2018
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    and I was transferred
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    to Poggio alla Croce.
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    I met some very good people who
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    treated me like one of their own,
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    they are like my parents here,
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    not only me but all the Africans
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    who live in Poggio alla Croce.
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    I would like to continue studying,
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    if there is a possibility,
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    I'd like to study and learn
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    a job, for example a welder.
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    (Noise spring water, chirping...)
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    Italy saved me in the sea,
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    in Italy I went to school
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    and I would like to continue studying,
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    I don't know what will happen afterwards.
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    Poggio alla Croce is my village.
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    The path is chaotic,
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    one cannot expect to follow
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    a preordained thread:
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    it would kill this kind of school.
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    So you have to follow the wind.
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    An example would be when
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    Samba had written the curriculum
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    on the computer,
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    then of course you try to help:
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    "Samba, what does this mean?
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    What's this...?"
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    Then we read:
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    "driving experience", so I ask:
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    "Samba, what did you drive?"
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    He light up immediately and says
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    "Cow!"
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    and a whole other discussion
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    started from there
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    about how things change over time,
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    how they change in Africa,
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    how they change here.
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    This is an example of digression.
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    It's a people-centred school,
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    essentially.
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    (Soft music, dialogue in the background..)
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    We all have attics full of old computers
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    and we don't know what to do with them.
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    It's a problem because we have to take them
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    to the eco-center and so we've been
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    spreading this information:
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    "Do you have an old computer?
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    You don't know what to do with it,
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    is that a problem for you?
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    Instead of giving it to the
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    recycling centre, give it to us,
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    we install a version the Linux
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    operating system, a lightweight version
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    that fits into old computers
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    and easily "resurrects" them.
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    The Ubuntu operating system
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    is so called because it is a concept
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    from southern Africa and
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    Nelson Mandela in a beautiful
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    video that we used
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    for a work with the students,
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    describes it with a little story:
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    "Once upon a time, when a wayfarer
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    arrived in a village and he was
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    tired, thirsty and hungry, no one would
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    ever ask him any question,
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    they simply brought him something to drink
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    and food. This is Ubuntu, that is
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    thinking about the other in the knowledge
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    that this creates a community
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    that lives well if we all do that."
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    Ubuntu is a great African philosophy,
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    a great African thought...
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    it's about getting to the help
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    it starts with the fact that we're all
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    brothers, if I help one person
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    that person can help
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    another person close to me,
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    therefore a general connection
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    of society in that we all consider
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    ourselves brothers and sisters.
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    What happened in Poggio alla Croce
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    is Ubuntu, it's definitely
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    authentic Ubuntu.
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    (Chorus of African children...)
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    I think that following a principle
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    where helping someone will help me
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    in turn is good for both, better than
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    fighting with each other,
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    even though in fight wins may be
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    happier than the loser.
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    This principle guides my whole life
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    since I started reasoning I have always
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    used the time I had available in social activities.
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    But not for “goodism”, not because
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    I am good and consequently must do good,
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    help others, help beggars, no.
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    Maybe I am led by selfishness,
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    I think I earn something this way
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    and so live a better life, be serene.
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    You get a lot of rip-offs, but not like
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    those you get When fighting and losing.
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    More like opportunities that leave
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    a bitter taste in our mouth but do not create
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    big problems. There were racist
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    symptoms around and that is way
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    I decided to get involved but basically
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    it was my way of doing things: I am a migrant
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    myself in Poggio alla Croce, moving from town
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    to the country.
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    I choosed to and almost from start
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    it was natural to decide joining this association.
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    It is a way of living, it is normality,
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    no heroism, I think everybody
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    can understand this.
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    When I hear it, the word Ubuntu has an impact
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    because it means “humanity”.
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    In jewish religion we have an expression,
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    “tikkum olam”, that literally means
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    “fixing the world”.
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    And I noticed how relationships
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    developed here; it is really beautiful,
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    because people one by one are slowly
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    “fixing the world” and show humanity.
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    We must concentrate on this positive part
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    of the world because if we don’t,
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    if we do nothing, we are doomed to fail.
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    For me coming here to Poggio is a little thing
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    but it means a lot in my life.
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    This idea of Ubuntu, to re-generate computers,
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    objects tools that were doomed to be
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    thrown away, is what inspired also
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    this community to act and slowly
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    re-generate itself. This is what means
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    the motto “We need you”
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    Our local community was re-generated
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    by your arrival, thanks to your spaceship
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    with little black men, because it injected
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    into us a new need to co-hoperate, to leave
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    our homes and setties, forget about tv,
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    get out and try to solve together a problem
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    for the benefit of the whole community.
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    (words from a malian rap song, music in headphones)
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    I am Samba and I come from Mali,
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    I am an artist
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    But before when I sang with my friends
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    my family was against me making music,
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    but I love it.
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    In 2016 I went first to Algeria then to Libia
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    Then I arrived here two years ago.
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    I have a complicated life,
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    I would like to be an artist
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    a rapper like many italians (Ghali, Sfera Ebbasta..)
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    I would like to do what they do
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    I don’t really know what happened
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    but we have all changed
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    I found out they changed in relation to us,
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    in the begining they would just pass by,
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    just give us a little smile but when they
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    realised we really liked them…
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    I cannot speak for all, but for people like me.
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    When we see a new one we stop him
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    with a “ehi”, and if he is tall tell him
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    to bend down or we can’t reach him, and he
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    calls us and we say “grandmas and grandpas”
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    and he replies “grandpa,grandma”,,
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    We speak italian so we try to make
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    ourselves understood and when we see
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    they reaaly don’t understand we gesture
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    like this..to make them bend down
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    And so they learn and when they pass
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    they ask “nonna, need help ?”..
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    ”no, not today, tomorrow”.
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    Some know some english and so I tell them
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    “tomorrow” and they understand.
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    I always said I have No room at home but if
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    I did I would happily take one in One, two,
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    depends on how many I could take in
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    If the house were mine, because in my view
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    they also need to be understood, to feel
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    the good not just through a smile. There are
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    essential things in the life of all, but they
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    leave their families flee from
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    very bad systems, suffer hunger.
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    Maybe we are unable to give them
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    these things We are just two or three that
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    are really fond of them straight from our
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    hearts not from our mouths
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    And they can feel it, as soon as they see
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    us they come for a kiss, for some food,
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    for biscuits, as with a little child that
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    needs to be taught to speak.
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    Some we see more often and there is a contact
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    We spend time but is not wasted time,
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    it is good time. People who saw us doing
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    that in the beginning were critical
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    But now they say “it is true they make
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    themselves loved, but how did you do it ?”
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    How ?, well we talk to them!
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    And soon or later they understand…
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    Slowly things got more stable.
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    These kids are very nice
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    They hurt nobody, they salute everybody,
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    they pass they call you, we reply,
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    at least I do, others won’t.
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    The village is quiet now,
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    it showed the worst of itself because
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    misleading informations help produce
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    bad reactions. Then you learn, you see, you
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    live and living with them is also nice.
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    The way I see it, these kids were like jailed
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    without this group of people that taught
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    them italian and other things ..
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    what would they do ? Lock up thirty kids
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    in a CAS, what for ? For nothing I think,
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    If they are not made active
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    what can they do ?
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    They are all young kids in their twenties….
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    what can they do ?
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    If they do something, if it is possible
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    to make them do something, work, play..
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    then it is different. They can be useful
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    but you must train them, let them in,
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    something impossible to do in two-three months
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    Then you have to overcome distrust.
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    Seeing a black man by your side
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    has some effects. But in the end it means
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    nothing. If you learn to know him he is
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    like me after all Even if I don’t know you
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    we share the same opinion
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    This is logical I think
Title:
Documentario "Ubuntu. Io sono perché noi siamo"
Description:

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Video Language:
Italian
Duration:
52:00

English subtitles

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