Interview with Vera Gheno for the sixth episode of Voci, the Amapola series that looks at contemporary social issues

22 May, 2024

The first six episodes are online. In the latest episode of Voci, sociolinguist Vera Gheno talks about language, inclusion and living with differences.

The first six episodes of Voci | Words without limits, the Amapola series created to shine a light on important social issues through a collection of stories from people who have direct personal experience, are online. The latest episode of Voci looks at the question of language with respect to diversity and inclusion, in other words, living with differences, as the interviewee, sociolinguist Vera Gheno, points out, citing activist Fabrizio Acanfora.

The Voci episode with Vera Gheno and all the stories in the series

Is inclusive language disturbing? If so, does that mean that inclusion is disturbing? What is the relationship between reality and language and how do these two dimensions influence each other? The Voci episode with Vera Gheno takes these questions as the starting point for a reflection on how communication, increasingly today, can be a tool for sharing, enrichment and emancipation.

Besides inclusive language, the stories examined in Voci include the experience of Raiaan Dobosh, a Syrian entrepreneur who has opened an Italian-Syrian restaurant in Turin, with the support of a project funded by the city council. Meanwhile, Carmine Falanga from the Idee in Fuga Cooperative recounts how the prison economy can help combat the alarming re-offending rate among former prisoners, who return to prison just months after leaving (about 70%). The series also heard from Alex Moscetta, head of communications at the Sant’Egidio Community, which for many years has been active in the ongoing emergency caused by the war in Syria. To talk about gender violence, examine the roots of the phenomenon and discuss anti-violence centres, Amapola’s guest was Lella Palladino, founder of the E.V.A. social cooperative. The original episode, which was the starting point for the entire series, considered the dramatic events in Iran in September 2022 with Amin Pasandehpoor, Iranian by birth, Italian by adoption, and an expert in international relations.

How the project began

The Voci project is one of the common benefit objectives Amapola has been working on as a Società Benefit, a benefit corporation, whose purpose, under its articles of association, is not only to generate a financial profit but also to achieve positive social and environmental impacts, within the company itself and in the wider community.

“The limits referred to in the series title are the limits of our attention, inundated every day by all sorts of content and messages,” says Micol Burighel, head of communication at Amapola and a member of the Impact Council which manages the agency’s benefit activities. “In all this chaos, questions with a profound social impact tend to have a moment of high visibility and are then quickly forgotten: every time a woman is murdered, for example, or the experience of people coming out of prison, who are often virtually invisible. During the protests in the wake of the death of Mahsa Amini, we wondered what we could do to support the women and men of Iran. We asked friends from the country, and their answer was “amplify our voices”. And so we launched Voci, because inattentiveness can’t be an option or an excuse when events and phenomena with such a severe impact on our communities happen.”

Voci is an on-going project, which will be opened up to welcome new initiatives: anyone who wants to propose a new story, participate with a personal contribution or reflect on ways to broaden the project’s impact should write directly to

The episodes are available on YouTube.