Northern Italian street paper zebra. on the journey and bureaucracy faced by refugees, and how street papers can help them through it
The street paper zebra. is located in South Tyrol, a region in northern Italy close to the border with Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The project is uniquely placed, not only because it is published in two languages – German and Italian – but also because its cohort of vendors is made up people from ten different countries and four continents, many of whom have ended up in the region having fled from a situation of poverty, war or persecution. Ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June, zebra.’s social work team – Alessio Giordano, Patrizia Insam, Francesca Parisi and Niklas Klinge – explain how the organisation has found itself in the centre of the refugee crisis and how the street paper’s assistance can be life changing for the people who pass through it.
Street papers have found themselves increasingly to be at the centre of the refugee crisis. Higher numbers of people selling street papers across different parts of the world have fled from their home countries due to poverty, persecution and conflict. Not only do street papers have the ability to platform their voices and stories, but they also offer a stable income when a place in the mainstream job market may seem out of reach. Their support beyond simply selling the magazine – assisting in applying for documentation and permits, looking for a new place to live, and language classes – means a pathway to integration into what is sometimes a new and unfamiliar society. Ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June, INSP and its member street papers are helping some refugees – who now work selling street papers – to tell their story.
Street papers provide global update on how the world’s homeless population is facing the coronavirus
The Big Issue took stock of how coronavirus is affecting the world’s homeless community, providing another update on just how severely the spread of the virus is impacting street papers and the people for which they provide an income.
Scarp de’ tenis editor Stefano Lampertico: “Coronavirus makes no exceptions for street paper vendors”
Italy is in nationwide lockdown, effectively quarantining its entire population in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Inside the initial red zone of the northern region of Lombardy sits the city of Milan, where Italian street paper Scarp de’ tenis is based. The magazine’s editor Stefano Lampertico writes vividly of life under lockdown for the publication and the vendors it serves.
With coronavirus cases across the world now at well over 100,000, Italy is in lockdown and the US west coast is bearing the brunt of Covid-19’s appearance in America. INSP spoke again with street paper staff about the effect it is having on their organisations and vendors, with particular attention given to how staff are assisting vendors to stay safe and healthy.
Samuel Osaigbovo, 34, is originally from Edo State, Nigeria, and now calls Bolzano home. He tells zebra about what moved him to leave his native Nigeria, his journey to Europe and life in his adopted hometown of Bolzano, the capital city of Italy’s South Tyrol province. He is hopeful that his work as a vendor will help him to negotiate the path to secure employment.
CEO selling events are a staple way for street papers to drum up interest and educate both high-flying business people and celebrities, as well as regular members of the public, on the work they do. South Tyrol’s zebra. held their first ever such event earlier this month, inviting sports brand mogul Heiner Oberrauch to sell the street paper with vendor David Charles for an afternoon. The magazine’s editor Lisa Frei reports back on how it went.
Giuseppe has been working as a Scarp de ‘tenis vendor for five years in Naples, Italy. After experiencing a difficult period in his life, which was triggered by the death of his wife, Giuseppe found Scarp de ‘tenis and was able to make a new start. He’s grateful for the financial security that his work gives him and is delighted to have fallen in love again: with music.
As vendors of South Tyrolean street paper zebra. congregated for their annual meeting, on this occasion celebrating the publication’s fifth birthday, some left with a bad taste in their mouths. This is due to the new controversial amendment to the asylum law by Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini which directly affects some zebra. vendors, leaving them in a concerning position.
After finding it difficult to find employment after returning to Milan following a 15-year absence and entering her 60s, Anna was introduced to Scarp de’ tenis by Caritas. She now works as a magazine vendor and is touched by the solidarity that those around her demonstrate when they buy copies of the magazine from her.
This year we asked vendors: if you could give a song as a present this Christmas, what would you choose? The result was the INSP Vendor Playlist, which is now available for your listening pleasure. In the final instalment of this series, Zebra vendor Happy talks about his love of gospel music.
This year we asked vendors: if you could give a song as a present this Christmas, what would you choose? The result was the INSP Vendor Playlist, which is now available for your listening pleasure. Scarp de’ tenis vendor Claudio reminisces about the Italian countryside through his favourite song of all time.
This week, Italian broadcasting network TV2000 will air a four-episode documentary series celebrating the work of Italian street paper Scarp de’ tenis, the lives of its vendors and those who work with homeless people in their daily lives. The show is gaining national interest thanks to the participation of film star Giacomo Poretti, who presents with “irony and a lightness of touch”.
Castrenze has been hit hard by Italy’s financial crisis, more than once in his life. But now settled in a home as a Scarp vendor, things are looking up.
Over the last few years, homeless women have become a familiar sight on the streets of Italy and the problem of homelessness has been steadily increasing among Italy’s female population. As the number of homeless women continues to rise, Scarp explores the reasons behind this and learns more about the unique problems that are faced by women living on the street.
“Thanks to Scarp de’ tenis, I am able to smile today,” says Marcello, who sells the magazine in Milan. Here, he talks about this past, the circumstances that led to him becoming homeless and his hope that, in the future, he will be able to repay the kindness that he received while homeless by helping others in need.
Tommaso, a Scarp de’ tenis vendor in Italy, tells us about his close relationship with his brother and how it has helped him push through some of the more challenging periods of his life.
Sergio has a talent for woodworking and he is never too busy to help someone out.
Italian street paper Scarp de’ tenis has been recognised for its commitment to raising awareness of homelessness through journalism after being presented with an award in Sorrento.
Mimmo is a veteran vendor of Scarp de’ Tenis whose time with the paper has helped him change course in life. “Patience helped me – and still does – to set a good example for my family.”
Opened last May, social restaurant Elpis offers meals for the token price of one euro. The restaurant has one important rule: you can eat there for a maximum of three months.