Migrants Got Talent: breaking stereotypes and promoting integration

Migrants Got Talent, Source: Multi Kulti Collective

How does it feel to be a migrant? What obstacles hinder one’s integration into society? And, how do migrants enrich a country?

These are questions that the Bulgarian ‘Migrants Got Talent’ campaign will answer and explore in-depth over a period of 3 years. Launched by the not-for-profit organisation Multi Kulti Collective (MKC) and supported by Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria, the communication campaign will run until March 2024 and present talented individuals who have not only migrated to Bulgaria but are making it a better place.

Giving migrants a voice

Generally, people debate the topic of migration and talk about migrants; however, they rarely give them the opportunity to talk about themselves. With this campaign, MKC not only gives them the chance to share their stories first-hand but to also showcase their strengths, skills and talents. In this way, it empowers them whilst combatting discrimination, prejudices and negative stereotypes.

Speaking to Sip of Culture, Chairperson of Multi Kulti Collective Bistra Ivanova revealed where the idea for the Migrants Got Talent campaign came from:

“The idea was born in a Tuscany garden with a stunning view over the olive trees a few years back. I was working on a new project idea using the design thinking methodology as part of an international programme. I was asking myself the question: How could our organisation support migrant integration in Bulgaria and create a more inclusive society?

I wanted to bring people closer together, empower the migrants and counter xenophobia and hate speech. After 3 days of hard work, I designed the project as a communication campaign that aims to highlight the positive contribution foreigners make in Bulgaria.

Basically, how do migrants make our society better, how do they enrich our lives and culture, which talents do they bring? They could be in the fields of arts, culture, sport, business, cuisine, science, social causes, etc. And then let them speak in public, with their own voices in major media and at live events where they showcase these talents to the local society.”

Over its course, the campaign will introduce over a hundred migrants from various backgrounds. (Some examples include a musician from Peru, a chef from Nepal, and an artist from the Dominican Republic.) Through their work, such individuals enrich the arts and culture in the country, ultimately making it a more vibrant place.

When asked what changes she hopes to see in Bulgaria and the treatment of its migrants by the end of the campaign, Bistra Ivanova shared:

“I would hope that Bulgarians see the value which migrants bring into the society more and more. Besides that, the project also aims to make migrants feel more appreciated and cherished so that they can realise their full potential in Bulgaria.”

As a media partner of the campaign, Sip of Culture will interview and introduce talented migrants who will share their stories, discuss their work, and offer insight into their cultures.

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