The Multidirectional Path of Building a Safe Space

International Student House

 

Steffie De GaetanoAlice PontiggiaSilvia Susanna

Being non-Swedish short-term students, both in terms of the one-week-a-month structure of the classes and the one-year duration of the postgraduate course, we have witnessed a complex process for integrating ourselves in the city and in the school. We initially experimented with different accommodation possibilities in the city during our academic stays in Stockholm, but the path has been revealed as full of obstacles, intersections, overlappings and collisions which took us in a full circle back to the university’s infrastructure. Therefore, we came to the idea of reclaiming a space for the international student body which would represent a place for us to come together and create a community, sharing difficulties and, first and foremost, building a safe space.

For us, carving a place within the academy would represent not only a solution for accommodation, but also an extension to maintain, extend and nourish the collective social space and time shared at the academy. We foresee the “international student house” as a safe place to push forward our confrontations and conversations while building together a real community which works around possibilities for future realities. Due to the communal effort of taking care of the space and engaging in the organization of events and activities, we hope to strengthen the cohesion of the group.

With the aim of being assigned a space in the academy and inserting it within the KKH structure, we have initiated a conversation with different agents within the institution. Due to the current isolating situation created by the pandemic conditions of these months, we have also started a Cineforum project as a way to nourish our discourses. The gatherings of the Cineforum offer us a way to keep on building community and slowly introduce discussion points, while reaching out to counter the current physical and emotional distance within our community.