Welcome to The Betweenship!
The Betweenship is a state of mind shared by a growing group of people. Globalization created us – we're people of mixed race, transracial adoptees and children of immigrants. We identify with a subculture, a neighbourhood or a mindset rather than with the colour of our skin.
We are also people balancing between social classes, rural / urban lifestyles and we choose ourselves with whom we share our lives. We move between several cultures and form our own. We all have our different ways of relating to our own betweenship, but our common nominator is the search for a place where our identities won't be questioned.
Despite Europe’s long tradition of immigration, it has failed to welcome people of foreign descent into its inner chambers. The core of Europe and the image of a true European is still Caucasian, Christian and conservative. An immigrant stays defined as an immigrant all through life, regardless of time spent on European soil. This definition is passed down for several generations and is often applied to children who have never seen anything but this continent. Accordingly, many youths turn their backs on Europe and willingly define themselves as anything but Europeans. But in their parents’ homelands they’re also treated as foreigners. They’re stuck between their own homeland and the homelands of their elders. Instead of thriving off of their cultural richness, these youths are restrained to being defined as semi-immigrant, second class citizens.
The Betweenship’s mission is to examine why many youths who were born and/or raised in Europe by immigrant parents have difficulties identifying themselves as Europeans. We want to know how this affects the individual, and the European societies on the whole. Still, it might not be necessary to define oneself as a “true European” to feel as part of this continent. Perhaps we can create new, more inclusive labels of identification, which will more correctly reflect us as human beings. Perhaps we’ve already done that in the back of our minds, but still need to articulate these thoughts. The Betweenship wants to boost the positive aspects of being brought up in a multicultural manner. Youths of foreign descent in Europe often surpass traditional ethnic and cultural borderlines. In an ever-polarized world, this is a tremendous skill and force.
The Betweenship does not present ready-to-go solutions on discrimination. We reflect the story of millions of people in Europe, and solely provide a platform for those stories to be uttered. The fruit of our work is yet to be visualized. We don’t regard our work as actions of integration. It is about opening up the psychological boundaries to Europe in the same way that we’ve opened up the physical ones. We believe it’s a democratic right for all citizens in Europe to be able to feel a strong connection to the turf they were nurtured on. A name with a European ring to it should not equal faster access to a granted European identity.
The Betweenship is an independent, non-profit organization based in Stockholm, Sweden. It is neither politically nor religiously aligned. The initiators and board members of the Betweenship all have personal experiences of “feeling in-between”. Our work alters in form and tone, we embrace seriousness as well as comedy as valid ways of getting our point across. Our first self-administrated activity along this website was The Betweenship Youth Exchange Stockholm-Paris summer 2009.