In 2022, the annual Sabir Festival will return in person, in the Italian city of Matera, from 12 until 14 May. Promoted by SOLIDAR Foundation members, ARCI and CGIL, in partnership with Caritas Italy, ACLI, and the support of ASGI and Carta di Roma, the festival is a true landmark for the Mediterranean civil society, considering its aim is to reflect on what is and makes Mediterranean culture and how it relates with the symbolic places of Europe. In this context, solidarity and human rights have always been a staple of the festival over its years, regardless if organised in person or virtually, with discussions, testimonies, cultural activities, and similar activities reuniting associations, public institutions, networks and international movements. This year’s edition will he Mediterranean as a space of peace, sharing, sustainable development, rights and social justice, particularly discussing the implications of the crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine, and what this entails in terms of migratory fluxes.
To build up solidarity and stand by those oppressed is an action that has no start or end point, being in need of actualisation on a constant basis and representing more of a lifestyle and mindset. Education for Environmental Sustainability (EES) and the protection of the civic space are two broad themes which serve as prerequisites for achieving solidarity, and, just like with all of the topics discussed in the Sabir Festival, they require to be incorporated in one’s lifestyle. These topics have formed the basis of the 2021 edition of SOLIDAR Foundation’s Citizenship and Lifelong Learning Monitor, and, implicitly, of the national report on Italy. Similar in nature to the aims of the festival, the Monitor spotlights the shrinking civic space which impacts the way in which the civil society can continue to fight for solidarity and for causes such as those which will be discussed at the upcoming 2022 edition of the festival. It doubles down on the need for more efforts to mainstream EES in Italy, considering that without this type of education, it becomes increasingly difficult for Italian learners to show solidarity towards their fellow global citizens when it comes to the environmental crisis.
Read the Italian national report for a more in-depth look at the situation in Italy on the two overarching topics, as well as a reflection on what the participants at the Sabir Festival can do in order to strengthen prerequisites for the continuous promotion of solidarity in the Mediterranean region and beyond.