In the frame of Local Activities I, each project organisation had to analyse the situation of young migrants and urban art in its country. Here you have a summary of the text written by Espressione Hip Hop concerning the situation of Italy.
Italy was a country of mass emigration from the late 19th century to the 1970s, whilst currently immigration has become a characteristic phenomenon of the country. Indeed, at December 31, 2019, according to the National Institute of Statistics, 5,039,637 foreign citizens, including first, second or third generation immigrants, were legally residents in Italy, representing the 8.45% of the total population. Regarding the origin, 1,2 million Romanian citizens live in Italy, which represents the 23% of the foreign population in the country. The other main foreign communities are Albanian (9.3%), Moroccan (8.7%), Chinese (5.4%) and Ukrainian (4.65%). Over 30% of foreign residents are citizens of another EU country, whilst 20% are citizens of African countries and other 20% of Asian states. Concerning the educational level, there are no differences to underline between the foreign and the Italian population. Two third of the people that immigrated to Italy declared that they did it for working reasons. However, the economic conditions of foreign families are generally worse than those of the Italian families, especially for those coming from Ukraine, Moldova and Romania.
The official data do not include the numerous foreigners residing illegally on the national territory, which is estimated to be of at least 300,000 irregular foreigners. The irregular immigration is made up by “overstayers”, it means people that remain in Italy after the expiry of the visa or residence authorization, and by immigrants who arrived illegally from other Schengen countries, taking advantage of the abolition of international border controls and, although only the 15%, from the Mediterranean sea. People that are disembarking on the Italian coasts are mainly refugees escaping from armed conflict or persecution and entitles to asylum, and people that are looking for better working conditions. In recent years, the main countries of embarkation of migrants are those of Northern Africa, especially Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, but also Turkey and Greece.
Regarding this topic, there has always been a strong political debate in Italy on whether or not to open ports for landings. Concerning the inclusion, according to the MIPE, that is the Index of Immigrant Integration Policies in 52 countries, Italy’s approach to integration/inclusion has a score of 58/100. Major obstacles tend to emerge in political participation and access to nationality, as immigrants in Italy face slightly unfavourable polices in these two areas.
It arrived in Italy in the early 80s with the first videotapes and it immediately involved foreign communities, in many cases helping the inclusion of these people in the society, especially in largest cities such as Rome, Bologna, Milan and Turin. Rap is the most famous of the four elements of Hip Hop Culture and it has reached very high popularity, dominating the charts especially with its sub-genre of trap music. Many Italian Trap artists are from migrant families and therefore they often speak about these topics in their songs.
In Italy there is not a large-scale Hip Hop festival. There are jams but the audience is not so big. In general we can say that there are no big Hip Hop events with the theme of the social inclusion of migrants. In 2020, in the framework of the Erasmus+ project “InclusionART”, the association Espressione Hip Hop created a professional rap song named “Non è un Sogno” (It’s not a Dream) by the rapper BJ, that talks about the social inclusion of foreigners.