MIGRATION AND DETENTION: DOUBLE-FACED INTERCULTURAL EXPERIENCES INSIDE A PENITENTIARY COMMUNITY
Personal presentation at the 6th "Redefining Community in Intercultural Context" International Conference - Intercultural Pedagogy and Migration.
Hosted in Bari (Italy) 5-6 June, 2017
In people’s eyes, migration reminds of a controversial attempt to overcome cultural, economic discrepancies and conflicts between the richest societies and the poorest ones. Meanwhile, suffering and struggling migrants are stuck in the middle of nowhere, running the risk to be offsite and wrapped in a ‘double absence’ paradox (Sayad, 2002): the absence and distance from their homeland versus the absence from illusory shelter communities, in which they are incorporated but excluded too, at the same time.
As if migration itself were considered equivalent to criminality and being immigrates were a crime in disguise, regardless of illusions, shattered expectations (Sayad, 2002, 2004), or patriotic nostalgia, social exclusion becomes dangerously the anteroom of their criminal involvement really, leading to judicial troubles, up to imprisonment as the worst end of their hopeful journeys.
Just considering life conditions of foreign delinquents in Italy, they are the most marginalized repentant people among the marginal inmates themselves (Vatrella, 2015), victimized by a double exclusion (Delle Vergini, 2004). Not only in the case of adult inmates. After committing crimes, juvenile immigrates seem penalized too: being more excluded from legislative benefits as foreigners and more exposed to vulnerability as minors behind the bars (Maurizio, 2006).
Therefore, this paper focuses also on how penitentiary educators are called to feed and personify the intercultural vocation of inclusion and mediation: to let every prison apply for educational city community (Federighi, 2016) from the inside out and avoid to be misconceived as a place at risk of ideological extremist radicalization, nowadays.