The summerperiod is over, and the second workshop of Green light has started.
This means that 40 participants will attend the workshop in the course of the next two months. The first week is meant to be the Tutorial Week, where already experienced people show the participants how to build the lamps. In the beginning of the Biennale people from the Studio Olafur Eliasson were on site to teach how to make the lamp. Very busy with the Triennale in Japan the people from Studio Olafur Eliasson could not be present for the Tutorial week.
Instead the team on site was supported by two former team members of the Green light pilot project in Vienna.
The participants of Green light are from Venice, they live in Mestre, Marghera, Tessera and in other districts in Venice. In order to recruit the participants Green light approaches NGOs that work with asylum seekers in Italy. In contrary to Austria, where the very first project took place, Italy has a very centralized asylum system, carried by two roof organizations: CARA and SPRAR. These two roof organizations take care of accommodation, shelter and integration of Italian asylum seekers.
Usually the group inside the Green light space is a very accurate representation of migrants arriving in a country. In Vienna most of the participants came from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, only one came from Nigeria. This was due to the migration tide (also to Germany), when Austria played a crucial role as a transit country.
Here most of the participants come from Central or Western Africa. Interesting is also that Italy was not that affected by the migration tide that occurred in 2015. Italy has to deal with a lot of other issues, like Dublin II and has another approach than Austria, for example. In Italy, due to the long experience with migration problems are solved more pragmatical.
For starters there is a list of countries, and if migrants come from that country, they automatically are allowed to stay and work for at least six months. Integration provisions already take place, even if the asylum seekers have not received a definite answer yet, plus Italy has a complete different approach traditionally to illegal migrants aswell: for example it is part of the Italian tradition to legalize illegal migrants who already worked in a while in certain fields. These legalization waves took place until the 90s at least, and show a very pragmatical approach to phenomenons concerning migration.
Most of the participants reason their participants with two wishes: it is either their already existing interest in art, or their wish to get to know new people, that make them apply for Green light.
The attendance is voluntarily of course. Either they come and attend or they just don’t want to and don’t come anymore.
Of course this puts the team on site in a very challenging situation, because Green light does not work, nor exist without participants, and this is the moment, when the Shared Learning concept intertwines and becomes a very pragmatical approach for maintaining the workshop that is conceptualized to be without any hierarchies.