The project goes on. Five Europeans have been filmed/intervied so far. And many others will be soon.
Il Ragazzo dell’Europa – A research/A document. By Radio Onda Italiana Amsterdam
It is widely understood that the European Union started as an agreement among sovereign states willing to open their borders for economic exchange with the goal of creating a common market as well as a common currency.
More and more the public is being persuaded that the ‘raison d'être’ of the EU is synonymous with economy and free trade: no wonder many Europeans have completely absorbed this notion. It’s easily forgotten that when we talk about economic trade, we talk about big corporations, big investments, big capital flows. But is there any benefit for individuals in this scenario?
We know that citizens of EU member states are (in theory) allowed to travel, work and reside in the Union itself. This ‘Europe of the citizens’ represents one of its most interesting and least understood aspects from many points of view.
In the eighties and even more so in the nineties, after the Maastricht treaty, our rulers insisted that the free movement of individuals within the Union would be a benefit and feasible for everybody. Indeed, the opening of borders, with the almost contemporary fall of the Berlin wall, originally created a big sense of optimism. As a matter of fact this ‘new freedom’ has been the starting point of a new migration, the migration of Europeans within the ‘new and open Europe’
The journalists of Radio Onda Italiana belong to this group of European nomads. It’s absolutely incredible how little is known about these new nomads and about many others like us. Who are we? Why did we leave our home countries to move to another EU country? And above all: what has this ‘new Europe’ meant for us? Were we in some way ‘Il Ragazzo dell’Europa’, the young European hero without flags and borders in Gianna Nannini’s iconographic song?
These questions and the absence of sources from where we can find answers mark the birth of this project. Our purpose is to collect a great deal of stories, all different and also from non-Italians, all sharing the European migration experience of our time. Then we will have their common points, assuming that we can find some.
Video will be our platform. The idea is to film numerous portraits of many European migrants in order to produce a documentary film. These portraits will in reality, be formed by many interviews. This is not surprising considering that Radio Onda Italiana is the inspiration for this project. (Radio) interviews are still effective documentation and journalistic tools. Audio will be recorded parallel and at the same time with the film interviews, so it will be possible to radio transmit this material as well.
Europe is showing its worst face now in the summer of 2012, when the project ‘Il Ragazzo dell’Europa’ is ready to be started. It’s a big European Union where the keywords are: economy, finance, neoliberalism. On top of this we have the Euro-crisis, now synonymous with the identity crisis of a continent. We are informed about the public debt of the member states punctually and in detail and about the financial manoeuvres to rescue them. We know there are ‘good countries’ and ‘bad countries’. We are publically invited to sympathize with countries having a low interest rate on their debt while we are supposed to regard ‘lazy and corrupt’ countries with disdain, which, according to the financial markets, have an unacceptable debt.
Not only have we lost every sense of solidarity, we have also been transformed into complete ignoramuses. Ignoramuses because we know nothing about the culture, the history, the society of Ireland, Finland, Portugal, Bulgaria or even France and Germany.
Also among European citizens we have succeeded in creating first, second or even third ranks. We, from Radio Onda Italiana, could in our day migrate to Amsterdam relatively easily. Can we say the same about the citizens of the new member states of the Union? How are Polish, Rumanians and Bulgarians received in The Netherlands these days? Are they welcome? Are they openly discriminated against by both people and politicians or are they somehow ‘Ragazzi dell’Europa’ without frontiers as well?
Dignity, that’s it, let’s give dignity back to European citizens. To all of them. And then of course to all the non-Europeans as well.
Radio Onda Italiana – www.ondaitaliana.org
• Is the only Italian Radio in The Netherlands for Amsterdam and the rest of the world available through internet streaming.
• Since 1993 Radio Onda Italiana has been providing weekly information about Italy, art, music, culture, society, politics and gastronomy with interviews and reports about different events in Italy and in Holland.