The PAINT YOUR UNIVERS(ITY) project stems from the collaboration between the SIRIUS project team at the University of Florence, Il Cenacolo - a Florentine social cooperative involved in migrants’ reception and integration - and United Painting, an Amsterdam-based association, which promotes projects of art performance around the world.
Under the expert guidance of the artists from United Painting, young migrants hosted in apartments run by Il Cenacolo were involved for two days in a carpet painting and decoration performance occurring at the University of Florence campus for Social Sciences. The art performance was open to all people – students, faculty and passers-by – who were keen to be involved. The result was a spontaneous, genuine and creative exercise of cooperation.
The event took place at the University of Florence in the framework of the SIRIUS project meeting, together with a policy workshop, which saw the participation of academics, the third sector and other stakeholders, such as representatives of the Ministry of Labour, the Tuscany regional administration, IOM, and the Mayor of Prato.
In contrast to a social and political narrative which often juxtaposes migration with security concerns, through art and data-grounded analysis, the events were aimed at opening up a dialogue in the public sphere, and highlighting the economic and human resources that migrants bring with them.