What is Luoghi Comuni?

Luoghi Comuni – piccole storie migranti (“Common Places – Short migrant stories”) is a project that aims to create and narrate a new collective story in a world that is becoming increasingly nomadic and mixed.

Through the voices of Italians and migrants, youth and adult, the project documents the social and cultural processes that arise from the coexistence of different value systems, ways of thinking and lifestyles. It does this by experimenting with places and languages that are able to draw a wide audience and create a sense of involvement and empathy: with posters on public transport, videos shot in schools and video interviews with directors during African and international film festivals.

What have we accomplished?

Since 2009, in collaboration with local associations and institutions in a number of Italian cities, we have been collecting authentic and significant stories from Italians and first- and second-generation migrants and publishing them on posters in high-visibility meeting places and on public transport. They are published in Italian, the shared language, as well as in the authors’ own language.

The stories tell of “common places,” experiences that have shaped people’s identities, symbolic imagery and different languages. Circulating in the streets of the city, these stories reveal the hidden wealth among the people, giving each of them a face and a name, and turn a careless and hurried moment into a chance to smile and involve ourselves with others.

“My son was born here and was four years old when we went for the first time to the Ivory Coast. When we exited the plane, he looked around and said ‘Mum, they’re all black!’ ‘Yes, darling, you’re in Africa,’ I responded. ‘Yes, but isn’t there even one white?’ When he saw a white, he smiled at me and said ‘Look mum, a white! And another one!’ He was so happy.”

Since 2010, in collaboration with teachers, we have been collecting the voices of Italian and foreign children, as they explain what they feel, how they live, and how they handle interaction with each other. We do it at school because it is a “common place,” a meeting space between different personal stories, a time for discussion and education among their peers.

The video This is Why I’m Here: Kids Have Their Say produced with the children and their teachers in a school in the outskirts of Milan, is the result of an experimental scholastic activity, which involved not only the participants, but the entire school and the families, in a journey of mutual discovery. In 2013, Modena per gli altri and Voice Off produced a collective video called Io sono qui perché (I am here because) – inspired by This is Why I’m Here: Kids Have Their Say – from a laboratory within the Fermo Corni Professional Institute in Modena.


Creator and curator
Flora Forte

Valentina Forte
Tania Gianesin
Cristina Perillo
Vanessa Lanari


CISS Cooperazione Internazionale Sud Sud, Naples; Centro di Servizio per il Volontariato di Modena, Modena per gli Altri Onlus, Kenzi Production, Parma per gli Altri, Associazione di studi Transculturali per l’Oncologia e la Salute (ATOS), Cantiere delle Idee, Logo Nuova Generazione, Centro Studi Ricerche Sociali G. Arnao, Erripa Achille Grandi, Ass. Culturale I Fiori Blu di Sicilia, Coop. Soc. I Sicaliani, Ass. Mainstreaming Agenda.

Alma Mater, Asinitas Onlus, Associazione Itaca Corsico, Circumvesuviana S.r.l., CISL Milan, CTP Naples, L’Orientale University of Naples, Centri Territoriali di Educazione Permanente, Casa delle Culture, African, Asian and Latin American Film Festival of Milan, Movimento Primo Marzo Palermo, Kala Onlus, Centro Astalli, Laboratorio Zeta, Centro di accoglienza per migranti Santa Chiara, Life and Life.

Sponsors and Contributors
ATM Milano, Ente Autonomo Volturno S.r.l., IGP Deacux, Migrart, Moleskine, Province of Milano, Campania Region, Smemoranda, Emergency, Voice Off, European Union, Ministry of the Interior, Province of Palermo.

Watch the stories on Flickr
Luoghi Comuni/1 – Milan
Luoghi Comuni/2 – Naples
Luoghi Comuni/3 – Modena
Luoghi Comuni/4 – Parma
Luoghi Comuni/5 – Lampedusa
Luoghi Comuni/6 – Palermo

Watch the videos on YouTube
And listen to the interview with Flora Forte (Part 1 and Part 2)
Luoghi Comuni/The Directors’ Voices 2010
Luoghi Comuni/Kids Have Their Say
Luoghi Comuni/The Directors’ Voices 2011
I am here because – 2013

Downloads (PDF)
Luoghi Comuni Catalogue/1 Milan
Luoghi Comuni Catalogue/2 Naples
Luoghi Comuni Catalogue/3 Modena
Luoghi Comuni Catalogue/4 Parma
Luoghi Comuni: Kids Have Their Say | Didactic Kit