The module serves to inform how MARS interventions are structured on the basis of 4 topical dimensions:

  • Critical ethnocentrism: becoming aware of our individual and collective positioning within social and cultural frameworks on the basis that understanding ourselves and others is inseparable; and considering the links between healthcare, self care and critical ethnocentrism;
  • The geopolitical and historical contexts within which MARS work is embedded: local, EU and global frameworks of power, identity, legislation, and human rights;
  • Music as a Tool for Active Listening to both Needs and Resources respecting the complexities of the past and the transient present; and forging shared narratives that embody reciprocity and belonging in times of transition;
  • Music as a tool for taking care of the relationships of power and identity and belonging between facilitators and beneficiaries; and within the wider organisational contexts.

Introduction to the module

Watch introduction video by Mercedes Pavlicevic

Towards critical engagement: questioning dialogues and monologues

This theoretical module is not an accessory; the texts and questions provide tools to support and inform on how to plan and develop our project aims, practices and values. Some knowledge and images may be surprising, even shocking; disrupting our narratives and skills. These disruptions are catalysts for re-questioning ourselves, or being in flux. We hope that these readings and questions enrich your understandings of the ongoing transience and instability of the lives of refugees.

Warm and Cold Reading: in your engagement with the texts below, note what texts / sections feel warm and engage critically and reflexively with why this is: because it disrupts your thinking; resonates with your knowledge / experiences; reconfigures how you think of your project.

Cold Reading: similarly – note what sections feel cold, distant – when do you feel disengaged – and why? (Bear in mind that cold texts may be the more disruptive to your own development; while warm ones feel more comfortable.)

As a first engagement with this module, we invite you to find at least 1 photo that you personally find shocking and disruptive.  Write a brief comment about how you feel, and why. Try to share and discuss this with colleagues and/or friends.

Webinar 1

Watch video webinar by Dario Gentili


Webinar 2

Watch video webinar by Anna Sonetti


Webinar 3 - Music as Active Listening

Watch video webinar by Mercedes Pavlicevic

For this module we propose one assignment, in the hope that you will be able to share your work and generate some rich thinking. It may help you to keep in mind some questions:

  • How can I use the module inputs in a practice work?
  • What would be useful to take from each of these to create a link with the practical field work aspect?
  • How can I imagine something for the future?

You are encouraged to work in small groups, if possible; and to consider multiple ways of presenting your assignment (textual, imagery, film, poetry, musical...).

Develop a theoretical paper or manifesto

As a result of being shocked, and your thinking being disrupted, dismantle and explore your ideas and preconceptions about music, ‘healthcare’, support, and resilience. If you work in groups, confront these disruptions. Then develop a position paper (theoretical or a personal manifesto) supporting your position using the 4 topical dimensions, and finding your own way to link them to your thinking.

You can refer also to your (disrupted and re-assembled) values and beliefs to investigate how all of these would affect your MARS practice and your engagement with the fieldwork. Consider it under a critical and theory-informed perspective.

Suggested Mandatory Readings


Further Readings

  • Pavlicevic M., Fouche S. - Reflections from the market place – community music therapy in context. International Journal of Community Music 7(1) 57-74, 2014
  • Beneduce R. - Politics of healing and politics of culture. Ethnopsychiatry, identities and migration. Transcultural Phychiatry, 367-393, September 2005
  • De Rosa R. T. - Transculturality - The New Frontier of Care Relationships. Translational Medicine 4(12) 95-98, 2012
  • Gozdziak E. M. - Training refugee mental health providers: Ethnography as a bridge to multicultural practice. Human Organization 63(2), 2004


On colonialism, racism and globalization

  • Chesnais F. - La mondialisation du capital. Syros, 1994
  • Diamond J. - Guns, germs and steel, the fates of human societies. Nature, 386(6623) 339-339, 1997
  • Diamond J. - Collapse: how societies choose the fail or succeed. Penguin, 2005
  • Gould S. J. - The mismeausure of man, WW Norton & Company, 1996.
  • Montagu A. - Man's most dangerous myth. The fallacy of race. AltaMira Press, 2001
  • Sayad A. - La Double Absence. Des illusions de l’émigré aux souffrances de l’immigré. Le Seuil, 2016
  • Sayad A. - The suffering of the immigrant. John Wiley & Sons, 2018