More than 800 high school students from more than 15 Italian cities participated in “Writing does not go into exile,” the big school festival held at the Auditorium del Massimo in Rome on Monday, October 23.
It was an opportunity to award prizes to the winning students of the literary contests “Writing does not go into exile,” for high schools, “Let’s write in colour,” for middle schools, and the poetry competition “Different Verses – The Poetry of Plurality.” All winning short stories have been assembled in an online publication edited by Centro Astalli.
More than 200 short stories were submitted in the past few months for the competitions promoted by Centro Astalli as part of the educational projects “Finestre-Storie di rifugiati” (Window-Stories of Refugees) and “Incontri-Percorsi di dialogo interreligioso,” (Meetings-Routes of Interfaith Dialogue) through which refugees and believers of other religions meet more than 27,000 students from more than 170 Italian institutions each year.
Speakers at the event included Fr. Camillo Ripamonti, president of Centro Astalli, Fr. Nicola Bordogna, Rector of the Massimo Institute, writers Melania Mazzucco, Elvira Mujčić, Sumaya Abdel Qader, journalist and writer Saverio Tommasi, actresses Evelina Meghnagi and Claudia Potenza, and young graphic novelist Luca Esposito, aka Louquito.
The event, streamed live on the Rai Scuola website, was also an opportunity to present the “Refugee Friendly School” award to institutions that promote among students the implementation of awareness-raising and active citizenship initiatives with the aim of creating a fairer, more open and more welcoming society.