22 September, 2022

Renoize workcamp 2022 – How was its seventh edition?

by SCI Italy

The “Renoize Workcamp 2022” funded by #EuropeanSolidarityCorps of the European Union and supported by the “Agenzia Nazionale dei Giovani”  came to an end. This year was the 7th edition of this workcamp at “La Città dell’Utopia” from 24th August to 7th September 2022.

Volunteers at La Città dell’Utopia

Renoize festival poster

Renoize Festival” was established in 2006 as a tribute to Renato Biafetti, a Roman activist who was killed because of neo-fascist aggression. In addition to fascism, the main theme this year was also highlighted on issues such as oppression, the environment and accessibility.

This year’s workcamp was divided into two parts. First, the part of the study that the participants did together on fascism lasted about a week. Afterwards, the participants worked more practically and helped the preparation and festival process of the Renoize Festival. The location of “La Citta Dell’Utopia” also has a strong connection with the history of anti-fascism: the building; It was used as a shelter for partisans fighting against the Italian Fascist regime (1922 – 1945) and remains a symbol of resistance to this day.

Camp lasted 15 days; It hosted 15 participants from Portugal, Italy, Spain, Greece, Germany, Czech Republic and Poland. Throughout the camp we collected and discussed different stories about local fascism, historical and current. In this process, we had the chance to visit some museums. The most important of these was to go to Focene, where the fascist attack took place, and to visit museums related to fascism. In this context, the participants used the information they gathered to produce an output at the end of the work camp. We talked about how we can stand up against fascism using these outputs. 

A person looking at the posterNtombi, one of the participants, tells us: “We saw cells from the Nazi era in the museum. This was very impressive for me. Reading the writings on the walls of the people staying in those cells was like witnessing history”.

Stefanos, the Greek participant said: “I was particularly impressed by going to Focene, where Renato was killed. I guess I was expecting more mourning, but it wasn’t. Renato’s family and friends were all having fun together, and here I understood why the festival was important. Yes, at first they are angry with all this, but they are connected with each other with love. It’s a very strong bond”.

Apart from this, the participants worked with other social centers in the preparation of the festival area. The day before the festival, they volunteered for many tasks such as cleaning the area, setting up the tents, and preparing the tables. During the festival, they also spent time in the festival area voluntarily. The participants both worked at the stands and saw the enthusiasm of the festival. In particular, they had the chance to chat and exchange ideas with people from other social centers. At the end of the festival, we cleaned the festival area together.

A girl looking at the notes in the wallAlessandro, the Irish-Italian participant said: “The festival was magnificent. Everyone came, whether or not they knew Renato personally. Anyway, it wasn’t about getting to know him personally, I never knew him, but even today we are fighting against fascism together. As Renato’s mother said, you can kill people, but you cannot kill thoughts”.

On the last day of the Renoize project, the participants made presentations of the outputs they were working on.  We shared our thoughts on the festival and on fascism. Some participants mapped social centers in Rome, some interviewed activists, some created social media posts.

volunteers at La Città dell’Utopia

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