January 31, 2020

What stories should we share to build a peaceful future?

Esa Aldegheri

WritingBorders and bridges, 2020

Borders are closing, walls are rising in Europe and beyond. I see my children – the third generation of a Scottish-Italian family – worry about the future as Scotland leaves the EU; many adults are also anxious. All my work as an academic and writer has taught me that the stories we share are key to what we learn, build and become. Personal experience as a multilingual traveller and translator confirms this. My entry explores the question of what stories we should share to build a peaceful future. I do this by weaving together the present, memories of my travels across Europe in times of open borders, and stories of my Italian and Scottish family on opposing sides of the Second World War. I reach the conclusion that if I want to build a peaceful future for my children I must tell them about past conflicts and journeys that have shaped our family and Europe: stories about fear and courage, borders and bridges. I leave the reader to decide if that is an answer for all of us.