Presented on 19 th June, just before World Refugee Day, at the Greek Theater of Taormina, the project “Fildis Syracuse – Migrantes 2017” is the result of an international cooperation of promotion women’s talents and professionalism for social and cultural integration of immigrant women. Invited by Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlinghieri President Fildis Syracuse and UWE Vicepresident, UWE Board represented by President Edith Lommerse, Treasurer Annelies Pierrot -Bults and Secretary General Roxana Elena Petrescu, attended on 15 July the TAOMODA opening event in the presence of personalities from fashion and television gathered together in the centre of wonderful city of Taormina. A unique piece of clothing designed to support the “Migrantes” Project by Filly Cusenze promoted by volunteer associations Fildis Syracuse and the University Women of Europe was sold at the contemporary exhibition with auction organised on this occasion and with gathered funds will go on buying sewing machines to be donated to migrant women, thus addressing them to a new perspective of professional integration in the fashion industry.
“I have created a Suk-spice warm-colored dress, the Tunisian markets that look so much like the Sicilian ones and want to explain the beauty of the different colors. In the decoration, it was created a face that, bored by the usual white or black skin, asks designer Filly Cusenza to have two colors: brown and pink. A woman’s face that wants to open to different cultures of the world to enrich her experiences. The union of different cultures creates wealth, creates beauty.”
Next day, surrounded by a beautiful landscape at Taormina Excelsior Palace Hotel we had the honour to attend together with Fildis Syracuse to a fashion design Masterclass led by the designer Filly Cusenza for the brand FILLY BIZ with a group of migrant women from our international Project Migrantes promoted by volunteer associations Fildis Syracuse and the University Women of Europe. Fifteen immigrant women participated and together with Filly created tailored made accessories for one piece of dress material to tell their stories and emotions.
The purpose of ‘Migrantes project‘ is to create an evolving perspective on the human side of immigration, migration, refugees, asylum-seekers and social justice which is now particularly difficult to cope especially in the Sicilian context.
More than other countries in Europe, Sicily is facing a “biblical exodus” for people moving between Arab countries, Middle East and south Asia escaping from their own realms to reach Europe.
IOM (International Organization of Migration) reported that deaths of all migrants and refugees attempting to reach EU by sea in 2015 now total 2,373: most of them have drowned in overcrowded boats heading for the coasts of Italy. As crossroads in the middle of the Mediterranean, Sicily welcome women that had left their homes with their children in great haste, fleeing before the civil war in search of a future. Their husbands had stayed behind, either because they had joined the combat forces or because they had fallen victim to the bloody conflicts. For these women, the death of their menfolk means there can be no return to their previous lives, even after the war ends. Projects aimed at helping migrants are facing renewed political opposition in some countries. Even facing such an uncertain future, the refugee crisis shows no sign of abating.
The main aim of this project is giving women refugees in Sicily the hope of a brighter future and work opportunities by combining social, fashion and design on the art of tailoring thanks to specially designed training.
In 2016 we started the project with the well-known fashion designer Loredana Roccasalva from Modica (Sicily), to create a special DRESS inspired by woman refugees and their stories. In 2017 the desiner is Filly Bizz. As sympathetic woman close to social issues, Filly fully agree and crafted for us a stunning dress by using different fibres and patterns from all over the Mediterranean, she tailored a sort of mosaic-overcoat coupled with a pure-white silk dress with flowers evoking positive outlook and hope to reborn (see attached immage). Thanks to Agata Saccone, the Director of Taomoda Fashion Week, the 16 of July 2017 the “Migrantes Project” will performe a masterclass with with first training in sewing, fashion design and embroidery skills. The majority of women, between 18 and 50, are married, with children. For most women, the income they generate will support the entire family.