Continuing in our 1968/2018: Year of Revolt series, tomorrow Tuesday, April 17th at 6:00PM in Villa Sassetti, La Pietra Dialogues will be presenting the March of the Millennials panel! Several student activists from the University of Florence as well as NYU Florence will be speaking about their experiences as activists on and off campus as well as answering your questions. Meet some of the students who will be on the panel.
I was born in Livorno, and since I was child my family taught me the value and responsibility of social, political and ecological activism. I started doing art with recycled waste for SCART, then I work with other artists on the ecological process in art.In 2018 I graduated at the Academy of Fine Art of Florence, and participated for two years in the project '68 Rewind'. Now I am studying CGI and Augmented Reality at the Nemo Digital Arts Academy of Florence, cause I'm working on the net activism and also the responsibility and awareness in the use of new media and new technologies.
I am Sara Muçaj, 22 years old. Almost five years ago I came from Albania to Florence, to study medicine. My presence in activism is quite recent. Living in the biggest dormitory of the city from the very beginning, helped me become a member of a students' group, SMU (Studenti Multietnici Uniti - United Multi-ethnic Students). This happened more or less 3 years ago. SMU takes care of the daily problems in our students' house, trying to fix them and promote the integration of the students who live there, (around 500 of them). This year we follow the tradition, going on from 7 years now, of organizing and holding in the month of May the so-called 'Multiethnic Festival'. It welcomes all the students of our city's university. I am also an active member of the organizing team of GÌAN-GIO (Gruppo Italiano Amici della Natura - GIOvani). It is the Italian partner of IYNF (International Young Nature Friends). It is a Non-Profit Organization whose members promote and make eco&solidarity tourism. We try to contribute to the affirmation of a society where all human beings can enjoy equal rights and opportunities and it considers as indispensable conditions: peace, non-violence, environmental protection and social justice. From all the projects GÌAN-GIO is trying to carry on, I would like to mention the 'Srebrenica City of Hope' project. It is about the creation of a Nature House in the city of Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, known for the Genocide of 11th July 1995. Its mission is founded on helping environmental-friendly tourism in this Balkan area and also educating and involving the population in supporting the farmers and the local products and organizing the community in a democratic way through popular assemblies. Last year I helped as a volunteer in a project of the organization MAM Beyond Borders: on 7/8th of April we organized a two-days activity, as a sign of solidarity, for the people living in Montefortino (a small municipality which was affected by earthquake and snow emergency state during the month of February). I also volunteer twice a month in Florence's Infants' Hospital, Meyer, where me and others stay and play with kids hospitalized in the neurosurgery department. I try to be updated about the activities students from different faculties organize in the city; the last one I participated and offered my help is 'Architettura Occupata: Da Firenze ad Afrin'.
Paola Martinez Parente
My name is Paola Martinez Parente, and I’m from Mexico City, where I lived for the first 14 years of my life. The year I started high school, I moved to The Woodlands, TX, because my parents wanted me to get a better education than the one I was receiving. Moving to one of the most Republican Counties in the US was eye-opening, and it made me want to actively fight for a society that is more accepting and safe for everyone. I first started doing activism my junior year of high school when I got involved with the Junior State of America, a non-partisan youth organization. With them I started organizing voter registration drives, public debates, fundraisers and other events. Once I started, I knew activism was going to be something I would want to do for the rest of my life. I founded a UNICEF chapter at my school, I became an intern for the Bernie Sanders campaign and later the Clinton campaign. I got even more into activism this year, as part of the EDI (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) Committee, and I even ended up becoming the spokesperson for the March for Our Rights protest here in Florence.