Artists and writers to discuss migration, Euro-Med democracy

Lampedusa sabir(ANSAmed) - The Sabir Festival of Mediterranean cultures will seek to promote the idea of Lampedusa as the door to Europe, and not only a symbol of the tragedy of migrants fleeing wars and hardship.

To be held October 1-5, the festival is sponsored by ARCI, the October 3rd Committee, and the Lampedusa city council, under the aegis of the Prime Minister's Office and Italian state broadcaster RAI.

The cultural and political event will be international, with participation from both civil society and institutions. It takes its name from 'Sabir', the lingua franca in which navigators and coastal populations communicated from the Middle Ages to the 19th century in the Mediterranean Sea, and will seek to shape a new idea of Mediterranean citizenship and promote solidarity and a welcoming attitude towards those fleeing war and poverty, and not focus simply on emergency interventions.

The dates were chosen to mark the first anniversary of the October 3, 2013, deaths at sea of 368 migrants with a silent march ending with an inter-religious ceremony in which 368 lanterns will symbol the deaths of the migrants. A flash mob and a photographic exhibition will be held, and murals will be painted. Performing artists expected to attend including Ascanio Celestini and Fiorella Mannoia, and the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio, as well as the writers Erri De Luca, Giuseppe Catozzella, Tahar Lamri, and Doha Boraki. In addition to theater performances, music, and literature, there will also be debates and workshops on two main themes: 'Migrations' and 'Euro-Mediterranean Participation and Democracy'.

More information can be found at

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