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Chi Rom e…chi no

The association of social promotion “chi rom e…chi no” was born in Scampia, a northern suburb of Naples, in 2002. Scampia is a very poor and conflictive area in Naples dramatically known for its social problems related to the lack of economic opportunities for the residents and the pervasive presence of such a powerful crime organization as Camorra. Urbanized not many years ago, Scampia lies on the border between the city of Naples, with all its beauties and contradictions, and the countryside, has a predominantly young population and host some nomad communities. Because of the recent urbanization of the area, Italians, nomads and foreigners are all relatively new arrivals.

Scampia has a little legal labor market, with one of the highest unemployment rate of Europe estimated between 50% and 75%, opposed to the complex organization of illegal labor, revolving around a huge drug market. As a lot of contemporary suburbs, Scampia allows its social conflicts to unfold more through closure and isolation than acts of open, aware rebellion. The cultural, educational and social interventions the association of social promotion “Chi Rom e… chi no” have made in the past 10 years have been intimately shaped by this context and the relationships with Scampia’s inhabitants: all the elements of complexity and cultural diversity that make up the social fabric live in “Chi Rom e… chi no” activity.

The aims of the association are strengthening social cohesion, overcoming prejudice and activating processes of individual and collective empowerment so to raise Scampia’s lifestyle to decent standards.

The methodology of action-research, which guides “Chi Rom e… chi no” in the design and elaboration of its activities, combines the use of tools such as direct observation and ethnographic research with a regular production of audio-visual materials and other documents, all available to the public.

The sites in which the association works are spread throughout the entire municipal and the provincial territory, including the Roma camp and the shack of the association, known by children as the Jungle Scola.

The activities of “Chi Rom e…chi no”

The association Chi Rom e… chi no produces a continuous stream of self-financed activities aimed at supporting both Roma and Italian children, youths and adults:

  • Intercultural pedagogical programs;
  • Participatory action research laboratory with young people
  • Linguistic and cultural laboratories
  • Publications and audio-visual productions
  • Theater workshops
  • Laboratories for participating in the Carnival of Scampia;
  • Environmental education workshops
  • Extracurricular activities (education support)
  • Recreational activities
  • Summer camps for Italian and Roma children and adolescents
  • Activities of training for social workers

2002 Chi rom e…chi no has also worked in partnership with associations, schools, public institutions, cultural organizations and city, national, and international agencies in Scampia. Some of the most relevant projects led or helped by the work of the association are:

  • La Kumpania – gastronomic and intercultural training project, funded by the Prime Minister office UNAR, designed to help overcome social and ethnic discrimination by developing Roma and Italian women’s entrepreneurship in the restaurant business.
  • The system of protection of Roma and Sinti – project funded by the European Commission and ERRC in collaboration with OsservAzione against discrimination of Roma and Sinti children in Campania region.
  • Journey into memory – funded by the European Community under the Youth-Initiatives for young people, addressing about 700 pupils of Italian and foreign compulsory school: Chi Rom e… chi no took care of 20 adolescents and 30 adults, including 15 Roma and Italian women.
  • Arrevuoto (2006-11) – educational theatre project, carried out with the Teatro Stabile of Naples, aimed at 100 Italian and Roma boys from every Naples’ neighborhood.
  • Alisa – Video documentary commissioned by the Campania Region, Asst Welfare and Equal Opportunities, which tells the story of a Roma woman and her children.
  • In the middle – Video installation for the exhibition “Napoli untitled” sponsored by the Pan Palace Arts Naples, a gaze at conflictive streets among the Roma settlements and Scampia’s neighborhoods.
  • The fourth floor (Quarto Piano) – short film that tells the cultural educational research work of transformation and re-appropriation conducted by a group of Italian and Roma children in an abandoned apartment in the “Vele” of Scampia, a wicked building know for hosting a massive drug market.