Press Release: Moving Stories – UNITED Network Conference in Italy

UNITED Press Release 22-04-2016

Moving Stories: Narratives of Migration Crossing Europe
UNITED Network Conference near Torino, Italy, 22-27 April 2016

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They take our jobs. They put pressure on our social services. They bring war, disease and uncivilised social practices. They degrade our culture and threaten our societies. Everything was better before they arrived…

These are just a few of the myths on migrants and refugees that are routinely spread by the mainstream media and politicians in Europe. Depicting migrants, refugees and asylum seekers as a burden on national economies and a danger to social cohesion, these myths combine to build a specific “narrative” on migration that leads to fear and anxiety among the public and oppressive reactions from governments.

Together with partner organisations all over Europe, UNITED for Intercultural Action is organising an international conference to bring together around 70 network activists from all over Europe to discuss the issues around narrative of migration in Europe, share their best practices and learn about new tools to deconstruct narratives and promote their own, positive visions of an inclusive and open society. Entitled “Moving Stories: Narratives of Migration Crossing Europe”, the conference will take place at a venue near Torino, Italy, from 22-27 April 2016.

“In Torino, we will discuss and think about how to deal with dangerous narratives such as those regarding migration that are spread today all across Europe. A burning issue and a great priority in our continuous efforts to counter the rise of populism and xenophobia in a troubled Europe.” Said conference coordinator, UNITED’s Athena Constantinou, who also highlighted the unique networking platform that UNITED conferences offer: ”The links fostered during UNITED conferences help young activists engage in creating a united and inclusive Europe, through the implementation of projects and participation in UNITED campaigns.”

Local host, Claudio Tocchi of Trepuntozero, said: “Narrative, the conference’s main topic, is a key dimension in today’s challenge against hate and for a better society. We need to get stronger in deconstructing hate and in describing and promoting our own vision for society – this is the aim of the conference!”

The conference programme is diverse in both its contents and methods, including panel discussions, working groups, non-formal education activities and networking sessions. Experts scheduled to speak and lead workshops at the conference include Jonathan Even-Zohar of EUROCLIO, and Martina Chichi of Carta di Roma, while representatives of the OSCE, the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum and ENAR will also be present.

The conference is organised by UNITED for Intercultural Action, the European Network against nationalism, racism and fascism and in support of migrants and refugees, together with partner organisations Trepuntozero (Italy), Movimiento contra la Intolerancia (Spain), Menedék (Hungary), APS YARD (Italy), CK13 (Serbia) and Walter Ry (Finland). Find out more about the International Preparatory Group (IPG) and their organisations here [pdf]

To stay up-to-date with everything that is happening at the conference, make sure you FOLLOW UNITED on Twitter, LIKE the UNITED Conference Facebook page, and check the UNITED website for updates. The hashtags for the conference are #MovingStories and #UNITED16.


UNITED for Intercultural Action is the European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees. Within the UNITED network more than 550 organisations from a wide variety of backgrounds, from 48 European countries, work together in common activities and projects. As well as bringing together the European antiracist movement for two annual conferences, UNITED coordinates the annual European Action Week Against Racism and International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism campaigns, and monitors deaths due to European border policies.


Jonathan Karstadt, media & communications coordinator –

This event has been made possible with support of the Council of Europe (European Youth Foundation), the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, and the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum.
The information contained herein does not necessarily reflect the position nor the opinion of our sponsors. Sponsors are not to be held responsible for any use that may be made of it.