The meeting point between religions and systems of secular thought
through comics for the integration of immigrants
What is Common values?
Common values is a project coo-financed by the European Commission within the program INTI 2003 for
the integration of immigrants.
The project Common values aims at promoting peace-culture through the implementation of dialogue among different religions and cultures now present in Europe. The actions of the project will involve students, teachers and civil society of four European countries in a reflection on the common values shared by different systems of thought using comics as a means of communication and development.
Why Common values?
The project started by addressing one of the most compelling challenges of contemporary multi-confessional European societies. Indeed, European societies are now experimenting the difficulty of achieving a pacific coexistence within their national boundaries among communities that have different religious believes. The fragmentation of religions into smaller aggressive doctrines, and the political and economic influence that they exert, play a crucial role in the genesis of these challenges. The relevance of these issues becomes obvious once we consider the growing number of non-European immigrants, who have now become active actors in European daily life. Yet, within this heterogeneous context, some communalities can still be found between religious and secular believes. In other words, among all the differences and specificities, we can still found some ethic values, which are shared by people of different professions. If these values and ideas are conveyed through a form of communication that is accessible to all, they can become the common denominator for the development of an intercultural dialogue grounded on mutual respect. The project Common values has identified few specific actions that can be implemented in order to emphasize the common aspects of different systems of thought.
What has Common values realized?
- RESEARCH: The partners nominated an international Scientific Committee, which carried out an in-depth research comparing different religions and secular thought with the specific aim of identifying few common values;
- Following the research, the 5 common values, identified by the Scientific Committee inspired 5 stories written by Belgian and African authors (C. Norac, A. Waberi, P. Fonteneau and T. Gunzig);
- SCENARIO AND COMICS: The stories were adapted to the format of the comics by C. N. Edimo, and then 5 African artists (S. Mbumbo, Chrisany, P. Masioni, F. Titie and F. Mukuna) drew them;
- GUIDE: In collaboration with the Scientific Committee, Lai-momo edited a didactic guide for secondary schools. The guide offers interdisciplinary analyses of the themes that are tackled in the comics;
- DIFFUSION: In this latter phase of the project, the comics and the guide were translated into 3 languages (Italian, French and Spanish). They will be distributed in the partner countries through didactic activities in schools, in specialized bookshops, and also through the organisation of a temporary exhibition in few Italian cities.
The approach of Common values
Common values wishes to promote the intercultural knowledge through comics. This art form was chosen as the most effective means of communication to convey the results of the project to the civil society ad in particular to high school students. Thanks to the comics and didactic guide, the readers are led through an iter that encourages and values intercultural dialogue and the other.
Who are we?
Common values is a project of Lai-momo and Eurodialog realized in collaboration with:
Africa e Mediterraneo, Italy
Grupo Comunicar, Spain
L'Afrique dessineÚ, France
Le Comptoir du livre, Belgium
CS Associazione di Cooperazione allo Sviluppo, Italy
Agronomi senza frontiere, Italy
Fumo di China, Italy
Who is the project directed to?
Common values is an international project, which combines the expertise and experiences of European
and African scholars, artists and writers to reach a wide audience that includes both youths and
adults. The web site is translated into Italian, French and Spanish and some parts into English, in
order to be accessible to a larger audience as possible.
The web site wishes to be a valid resource for:
- TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS can find in the web site in-depth analyses and references to the guide. Specifically, teachers of foreign languages can use the comics and the guide in the organisation of linguistic workshop (in French, Spanish and Italian).
- GIRLS AND BOYS can explore the web site finding visual and textual material, with which they can interact and learn new perspectives on different systems of belief.
- ANYBODY INTERESTED on interculture and education with an emphasis on the comparison between secular and religious practices. Not only does the web site offer interesting ideas and reflections, but also specific references to the religious texts and an innovative methodology to deal with interculture through the implementation of comics.
What will you find in the web site?
In this web site you will find:
- COMICS: In this section you will find images and introductive descriptions of the 5 comics;
- VALUES: This section offers an in-depth analysis of the 5 common values, which were identified by the Scientific Committee;
- SCHOOL WORK: Useful material for both teachers and students will be available in this section to assist them in their didactic activities;
- FURTHER ANALYSIS: This section will further develop the themes and exercises that are available in the comics and guide;
- AUTHORS: In this section the readers will find the biographies of the writers, artists, and members of the Scientific Committee, who have participated in the project.