The EPIC local alternative narrative campaign in Brescia

Mar 2, 2023

EPIC partners Brescia and ADL Zavidovici joined hands to promote positive narratives about migrants !

The local communication campaign carried out by the Municipality of Brescia and ADL Zavidovici aimed to tackle the difficulties newcomers face when trying to rent private apartments due to stereotypes and the reluctance of some neighbours to rent or live near newcomers. Its objective was to break down harmful stereotypes about both local citizens’ perceptions of migrants and migrants’ perceptions of local citizens. The campaign holders believed that mutual knowledge was an essential key to unlocking housing opportunities for citizens with migrant backgrounds, including through private landlords who are often hesitant to rent their properties to third-country nationals. The campaign’s thematic focus was to invite citizens to be less frightened and more open to discovering the resource that each person can be and how interesting the match between different cultures, backgrounds, and traditions can be.

The campaign encouraged people to take the first step in getting to know their neighbours and to see individuals beyond stereotypes and first impressions. It was also intended to encourage people to overcome their fears and get closer to others after being forced to stay distant due to the COVID pandemic.

The campaign used various mediums such as flyers on bus lines heading towards Borgo Trento and Don Bosco neighbourhoods, posters at metro stations (with a focus on Marconi and Brescia Due), and social media posts by ADL Zavidovici, Coop. K-Pax, and the Municipality of Brescia. The flyers were also delivered to local communities such as parishes, community points, ACLI offices, libraries, and post boxes in buildings where citizens with migrant backgrounds are known to live.

In May 2022, two campaign launch events took place in Borgo Trento and Don Bosco, involving local associations, municipality representatives, religious communities, and local stakeholders. At the events, the campaign was presented, and stories of positive local experiences with good neighbouring were shared, along with food and drinks. A closing event was also held to provide feedback about the campaign results, attended by citizens, municipality representatives, and local stakeholders.

The campaign spread a positive narrative about being neighbours with newcomers, promoting integration at the local level, and transforming fear of the “other” into the discovery of the other. The campaign slogan was #MEGLIOVICINI/BETTERCLOSE, which means “better close” but also “better neighbours”. Overall, the campaign transmitted the message of being less frightened and more open to celebrating the richness of cultural diversity and discovering the resources that each person can bring.

More info can be found here :

  • Press article in Giornale di Brescia: https://www.giornaledibrescia.it/brescia-e-hinterland/meglio-vicini-la-campagna-per-smontare-i-pregiudizi-sui-migranti-1.3716345
  • Web page of cooperative K-Pax: https://www.k-pax.eu/news/megliovicini-la-risorsa-e-nella-porta-accanto/

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