Tag Archives: italy

SwEquality: justice and dignity in the world of disabilty in Sweden

I suppose that, during my activity as a blogger and digital ambassador, you’ll find out that I’ve so many interests. Before coming to Sweden, I read something about the importance given to human rights and everything concerned dignity and equality. Well, these are part of my interests. I’m aware that I’ve to deepen my knowledge about that, and this piece may be a very little contribution to what equality really means in Sweden.

I’ve chosen to focus on the equality regarding people with disabilities. Why? You should know that I come from a country (Italy) where, despite the presence of a law against any kind of discrimination and a law safeguarding the rights of disabled people, some people still behave unfairly against disabled people, discriminating them, or not respecting them; or, last but not least, architectural barriers still portrays the overall national urban landscape.

Anyway, things are changing slowly, thanks to organizations, associations and activists’ work. I’ve been following the activity of one of them, Iacopo Melio, who has been opening my eyes as well as our country’s eyes in the struggle against discrimination and the pursuit of better and equal conditions of life in the society. I really admire him and what he’s trying to do. He inspired me to find some information about the policies adopted by Swedish government and then to talk about that in this virtual space. So, many thanks Iacopo!

Iacopo-Melio

Source: http://www.pernoiautistici.com/2016/07/10878/

In my first two months as a student in Gothenburg, I have had a very good impression concerning the quality of some public buildings and of the streets and their structure, operational and efficient for everybody, at least in the city centre and in some areas I’ve been; nevertheless, it was told me that some improvements have to be done in other areas, such as Majorna.

Reading more about the condition of disabled people, I’ve found out that a very big problem to solve, for the Swedish government, is general inaccessibility. Everyone with functional disability has the right to live as others, benefiting from the facilities and having the same chances to take part to social life and activities. Much has to be done but, at the same time, much has been accomplished, and this makes me feel glad to live in such a country.

“The objective of policies for people with disabilities is to ensure a society based on diversity, a society designed in a way that enables people of all ages with disabilities to participate fully in the life of the community, and that ensures equal living conditions for girls and boys, and women and men with disabilities. Barriers to people’s participation in society must be torn down. This is a matter of equality and justice. Women, men, girls and boys with impairments must be able to lead active everyday lives on equal terms as regards participation and accessibility.”

That is the aim that the government set itself.

Alongside the efforts of the government, it is likewise very important to mention the vital and pivotal role played by a federation of many Swedish organizations for disabled people, called Handikappförbunden (Swedish Disability Federation), whose goal is:

“ (…) a society for everyone, characterized by solidarity, equality and participation. To achieve this, political initiatives are required in many fields; medical care, support services, education and training, labour market policy, physical planning, culture and information. Almost every political issue has a disability aspect. A main task for the disability movement is to inform about this and to influence decision makers and the general public.”

Many of us probably take for granted of find simply normal just going upstairs or downstairs in our houses…

Or going out quickly when we’re late for a meeting or jumping on a bus/tram…

And many other everyday activities.

Well, life is made of little nuances, right? How much are we aware of them? Things are not so easy for disabled people, and this is a matter of fact. However, we all, together with a government behind us as well as many associations, must contribute to shape a more equal and fair society. This is a goal that one day shall not be pursued anymore. Possibly everywhere. And that will be a matter of fact, too.

Online sources: https://sweden.se/society/swedens-disability-policy/http://www.hso.se/vi-ar-handikappforbunden/In-English/http://www.government.se/government-policy/social-care/goals-and-visions/

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Credits Featured Image: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Nobel Prize Literature Day, Nobel Prize Farewell: Dario Fo, a great human being

It’s a sad morning. A least for me and, I guess, for many people in my country, Italy. Who or what I’m talking about, you might be wondering.

This morning I was drinking my coffee, as the ritual goes regarding my everyday breakfast. But it tasted a little bit bitter. Suddenly, I got a notification on my phone. It was a piece of news of an Italian newspaper. The Italian Nobel Prize for Literature 1997, Dario Fo, has passed away.

And guess what, today the Swedish Academy is going to announce the Nobel Prize for Literature 2016.

Twitter Dario Fo

Source: The Nobel Prize Twitter account

Probably you may not know anything or little about Dario Fo. Let me tell you few things about him, hoping that this will be enough to encourage you to examine in depth his life and his works. He was one of the most famous actors, artists, poets and playwrights that the world has seen after the end of WWII. Quoting the main reason that pushed the Nobel Foundation and Committees to award him the Prize, “… (he) emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden”.

Yes, a jester. By interpreting the critical, satirical and extremely popular essence of Medieval jesters, Fo wanted to pursue the path to justice, standing up for oppressed and fighting against the powerful people. His masterpiece, Mistero Buffo (“The Comic Mystery”), has been performed for thirty years across the world, and it’s been a successful piece of unconventional theatre.

Dario Fo and His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden - 1997

Dario Fo and His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, 1997. Source: nobelprize.org

Dario Fo and his always grinning face. I try to build a picture of him now, wherever he is, thinking about his heritage and kissing his wife, Franca Rame, who died three years ago. Ciao, Dario.

If you want to know more about Nobel Prize, I suggest you to have a look at this previous post on our blog written by Raghuraman.

What do you think about Nobel Prize? Have you ever heard about it before?

A presto.

Source Featured Image: Norra Skåne

Bonjourno, Sweden!

Milan, 26C, partially cloudy

Bongiorno!

I have a motto for life – “the more I move, the luckier I get”. Perhaps I become a more interesting person, or maybe I become more open minded.

Several Master’s programmes at Chalmers have double degree exchange deal with Stuttgart University and Shanghai JiaoTong University. I thought how cool would it be to spend the second year of my Master’s in Germany (drinking beer and eating bratwürst)… especially for an Automotive Engineering student at Stuttgart.

 

But I turned down this opportunity… for several reasons.

1/ The Swedes, young and old, speak English near native level… it is easy to forget that I am studying in Europe.  You might not be able to say the same about all German professors. Was ist das?

2/ The Swedes are pretty open to immigrants… the Swedes are generally open to different cultures, religions, sexual orientations, etc. I don’t feel like an alien in Sweden!

 

Third, my mother told me to stay in Sweden.

 

4/ I changed my mind. I am satisfied with Chalmers education. “if it isn’t broken, why fix it?”

5/ I met a girl from Italy at Chalmers… Life is full of unexpected surprises. I tried to find an internship position, but failed. When I devoted my life to the machine shop, this happens.

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I spent the weekend in Milan with her majesty Eva. I also managed to catch up with Camilla, a Polytechnic Uni. of Milan exchange student I met in Canada. What a beautiful city. Why would anyone leave Italy for Sweden?!! The Milanese explained the education in Italy is much more “theoretical”, whereas Sweden focuses more on the “practical” aspect.

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Eva is striking luck up here in Sweden. She managed to settle a one-year biomedical engineering master’s thesis project at a local artificial limb company. I think her “receipt for success” is her über proactive approach to opportunities.

After taking lessons from her, I managed to grab a part-time lab technician position at the Chalmers combustion dept. starting in September. Looking forward!

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Midsummer at IKEAtemporary exhibition in Milan

 

I am rather sad leaving the summery Milan, even though I had a year’s worth of mosquito bites in just one weekend.

 

Greatest life lesson – ALWAYS remember to bring mosquito repellent!

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“the further north I move, the luckier I get!”… back to the wonderful Swedish summer!

 

Lövvvv,

 

gimmygöteborg