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At the heart of this project was a desire to redefine and re-examine the concept “ghetto” in the context of today’s closed migrant districts.  Through artistic creation and sociological research, we aimed to create a space in which to examine and discuss the multiple stories emanating from Europe’s migrant “ghettos”.  How do we talk about “ghettos” today?  Is it possible – and even necessary – to redefine the word in a manner that more accurately reflects the multiform realities that constitute our contemporary urban landscapes?

What role do “ghettos” play in constructing a European identity?  What factors contribute to phenomena of “ghettoization” in contemporary Europe? What are the dynamics that contribute to the implantation of migrant communities throughout Europe today and how do they connect to the collective memory of Europe’s past?

The City Ghettos of Today entailed a series of workshops open to local communities in different European cities – Warsaw, Paris, Bologna, Milan, Helsinki, Antwerp and Berlin.  Run by artists and cultural actors, each workshop installment concluded with an art installation and public debate on the project’s themes in each of the cities listed above.  This European collaboration concluded in February 2015 with a large-scale installation-performance and debate that brought together materials culled from each of the participating city workshops.  The project will unite artists, cultural actors, academics and social workers in order to explore the broad themes of “ghetto” and “districts of migration” in participating European cities.  The City Ghettos of Today reflected the interdisciplinary dimension of the Strefa WolnoSlowa foundation, which crosses academic and theoretical methodologies with practices of artistic and cultural creation.   Through artistic reflection and intellectual research, this collaborative project seeks to unravel the complex and problematical theme of “migrant ghettos” in contemporary Europe, paying particular attention to various definitions and visions of ghettos within the contexts of Warsaw, Paris, Bologna, Milan, Helsinki, Antwerp and Berlin.