Roots and Routes Print

www.rootsnroutes.eu

Keywords: Western Europe, South East Europe, Eastern Europe, All Europe, English, youth, ethnicity, initiatives and projects.

Europe is becoming more and more culturally diverse, at a continental level resulting from the expansion of the European Union and at a local level resulting from the migration brought about by the global mobility of workers, migrants and asylum seekers.

Nonetheless, this cultural diversity remains invisible to the established creative industry. Luckily, numerous urban young people are not discouraged by this lack of recognition. They learn their skills on the street and in small community centres where they perform, practice and compete with one another, often using new technology to produce what is termed ‘urban art’. In the process they generate a huge quantity of positive energy and boost their hopes for future opportunities. Unfortunately, most of them never make it on to the mainstream performance circuit and remain unknown to the rest of the population. An increasing number of initiatives empower these urban youths by helping and coaching them to use their singing, dancing and media skills as an economic weapon and a tool for social integration and citizenship. At the European level a number of these initiatives are united in the Roots & Routes International network, with members in already ten EU - member states.