The language school and socialization group for LGBTI people is born out of the meeting between some asylum-seeking queers and some local/ native-speakers queers from Laboratorio Smaschieramenti in the context of the initiatives leading towards the B-Side Pride 2019 in Bologna.
Since the following autumn we have been meeting twice a week at the Women’s Center (Centro di documentazione delle donne) in Bologna for some hours of socialization, dialogue, lesson and chit-chat. Sometimes we visited other city locations, too, as for example the Sala Borsa library.
For us, learning Italian is by no means neither a duty leading to integration nor an obligation. It is rather a tool of comunication that comes from a desire of encounter and relationality, both for those who teach and for those who learn.
We want to reciprocally get to know each other, to reciprocally get to know our cultures of origin. And by getting to know each other we discovered that different queer communities in every part of the world have their own languages, habits and lanscapes, sometimes surprisingly similar, sometimes very different: we want to know and recognize each other.
When the lockdown arrived, we interrupted the classes but we kept staying in touch through our whatsapp group. At a certain point we realized that we were feeling too lonely and bored so we decided to start to meet regularly again by having classes on line. We also started arabic language classes, which is something we had in mind since long. At the moment we meet Tuesdays for Italian school and Thurdays for Arabic school, so we switch rolese between student and teacher all the times, and it is a lot of fun.
In between classes we communicate on a group chat, which somehow always ends up being spammed with pics of food and things we cook. 🙂
We have a lot of fun having classes online, we tried to put all our creativiting in them. However, we unfortunately were faced with the fact that sometimes the signal or datas of our phones are not enough to get us through a lesson, and for this reason we are organizing a foundraising to pay for the data connection to those who cannot afford it, and collecting old laptops that wuold be formatted and re-installed and distributed to people who need them.
The school is open only for LGBTI people and for the moment classes are A1/A2 level for italian and pre-A1 for arabic, but if new people join and they are interested in learning different levels or learning/teaching other languages than these, we will be happy to organize new classes. The classes are a safe space in which we can be out and ourselves, even if not all of us are out in the world outside (or anyways, not everywhere/ not all the time).
If you want to join the school of languages and queer interculture, text 328 542591Seven (Italian, Arabic, English, French, Spanish or any language, we will find a way to translate) or email us