Look Beyond Prejudice: words, images and live painting against Islamophobia

On the 24th of June, Fondazione L’Albero della Vita hosted its second event for the Look Beyond Prejudice campaign at the WOW Spazio Fumetto in Milan.

The event, which was attended by a diverse panel of speakers and guests, aimed to present the work done so far as part of the Look Beyond Prejudice campaign and to explain it within the wider context of the MEET project. 

During the first half of the event, the audience had the chance to hear from Diana De Marchi, President of the Commission for Equal Opportunity in Milan, Triantafillos Loukarelis and Benedetto Zacchiroli from UNAR (National Office against Racial Discriminations), Silvia Brena from Vox Diritti, and Tommaso ChiamparinoEuropean Commission’s Coordinator against Islamophobia. Their presentations touched on different ways in which civil society organisations and institutions are working at the local, national and european level to tackle Islamophobia and to build a more equal society that does not discriminate based on gender and religion. 

The second part of the meeting was focused on stories and testimonies. Takoua Ben Mohamed, ambassador of the campaign and author of the animated video that launched the intiative, spoke about her personal experience, the discrimination that she has faced over the years and what has helped her overcome it.

Yasmine Ouirhrane, Founder of the We Belong Europe podcast and activist, called in from London to tell us about her experience as a professional muslim woman and to invite young people to embrace their identity without letting prejudice stop them from becoming who they aspire to be.

Last but not least, the audience was shown the latest episode of the European webserie realised by the young students of the class III G of the Scuola Secondaria di I Grado Benedetto Marcello of the Istituto Comprensivo Luciano Manara in Milan with the help of Lab80. 

Two students, Noemi Batistini and Elisa Spagoni, went on stage with the messengers of the workshop (Aida Diouf Mbengue and Chiara Amina Purgato), and with Sergio Visinoni, from Lab80, to talk about what it meant for them to reflect on Islamophobia and to work together to build a meaningful counternarrative.

To conclude, the audience was shown a beautiful illustration with a powerful message that Takoua had been live-painting throughout the event.