Milan – Oslo Is identity coexistence or conflict?

What makes a city “mine”? Can it be “your” city, too? How can heterogeneous elements be combined with elements that forge identity? For Freiraum, residents are being asked to articulate what makes Milan “their” city and to compare their views, to thrash them out and ultimately to rethink identity. To this end, the Goethe-Institut is collaborating with an alternative arts centre and an association that works on the subject of Italy and Africa.


Milan and Oslo have merged their questions into a question about identity as togetherness versus divisiveness and about coexistence between long-term residents and incoming refugees in Europe’s big cities. An open picnic was held in Oslo in May to kick off the project. It was called a "First Supper" in a tongue-in-cheek allusion to The Last Supper, Leonardo Da Vinci's famous mural in Milan. The picnic was organized in close collaboration with Oslo’s partner theatre Den mangfaldige scenen, which regularly works with immigrant communities. Afterwards, German director Jan Bosse put on an improvised play called Allied Aliens, in which Modou Gueye, a Senegalese actor from Milan, interacted with Camara Joof, a Norwegian-Gambian actress from Oslo. The artistic point of departure was the question "Who are you and how can we create a present together?”

The Allied Aliens project will be continued in Milan this autumn. Again, the question is what it means to be foreign or familiar, though this time around with a focus on the difference between Milan and Oslo. And Elouti Wanguè Olivier, a Cameroonian actor from Milan, will join Gueye and Joof on stage. The performance will take place on 29 November 2018 at the Zona K Theatre, followed by a panel discussion open to the general public on the topic of "Multiculturalism in Europe’s Metropolises". The project partners are rehearsing in the just-opened Cascina Casottello, a socio-cultural centre run by Milan’s Freiraum partner, the Sunugal association.

(September 2018)

Our Partner

Founded jointly by members of the Senegalese and Italian community, Sunugal promotes social and cultural exchange between the two countries. The organization sees itself as a bridge between immigrants and their families in Senegal, carries out development work in Africa, provides information in Italy about the Global South and supports non-European immigrant groups.

Jan Bosses "Allied Aliens"
Video and photos of the performance on 29 November 2018 at the Cultural Centre Zona K in Milan
  • Allied Aliens 1 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 2 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 3 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 4 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 5 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 6 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 7 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 8 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 9 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 10 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 11 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 12 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 13 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 14 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 15 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 16 © Rocco Soldini
  • Allied Aliens 17 © Rocco Soldini

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