The publication aims at contributing to integrate newcomers into society.
Solomon is a solidarity initiative that emerged in Greece to help newcomers arriving in Greece to integrate. It is a magazine that is published thanks to the collaboration of natives, immigrants and refugees who, together, give their ideas, opinions and points of view. For the time being, it is only published in a digital format, although there are hopes that it will be published on paper.
The magazine takes its name from the animal that is the main character in Jose Saramago’s book “The Elephant’s Journey”. In the story told by the Portuguese writer, Solomon is an elephant that speaks not with words, but with actions. During its journey from India to Portugal, the elephant meets people from different cultures that change his character, although it really continues to be the same character.
The magazine Solomon is the result of an action motivated by the belief that everyone has the right to express their views, especially when they have to do with those aspects that affects them more directly. The themes written about allow readers to learn about Greece from the perspective of natives, immigrants and refugees. “We believe that social integration does not mean totally assimilating the culture of the host country”, they say. In this regard, the magazine strives to give its editors the opportunity to share their life experiences, history and traditions with other citizens.
The daily arrival of thousands of refugees to the Greek coast and the total lack of response from the European institutions during the last year has led to the birth of a media that aims precisely to give an answer to the needs of a part of the neglected population. Although it was hard to get the project running due to bureaucratic obstacles from the Greek Government to find funding, they were finally able to start a magazine that, to channel the multi-cultural nature of its writers, will be published in English.
According to Fanis Kollias, the main promoter of the magazine, social integration should be done by society as a whole. In this regard, he says the project aims at helping to build a fairer and more tolerant society towards cultural differences. Although in his modest opinion he believes Solomon won’t lead to any real transformational change in the mass media, the magazine is receiving 16 new collaborators daily. So, through a media, the Greek civil society is trying to act as a loudspeaker for one of the recent most neglected realities by the countries of the European Union: the reception of refugees and immigrants.