Johanna Maccioni: Overlanding from Brussels to Kuala Lumpur

Guest PostsOverlanding from Brussels to Kuala Lumpur: A few comments on interactions along the way, by Johanna Maccioni.

Johanna Maccioni and family

As a family with four children, we decided to travel for a year and a half from Brussels to Sydney with our own truck. Our first itinerary planned to cross Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, part of Russia, Mongolia, China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and finally Australia. However, we never managed to obtain Chinese visas, so we had to build a new itinerary. From Mongolia, we exited through Siberia again to reach Vladivostok where we took a ferry to South Korea and then to Japan. We then shipped our truck to Borneo planning to cross from Malaysia to Indonesia by land on that island, and then take ferries up to Dili in Timor for a last leg to Darwin. During the time our truck was being shipped from Japan to Borneo, we stopped in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. But plans changed again as we were running out of time and money. So, we finally decided to travel to peninsular Malaysia from Borneo, made a loop in Thailand and Laos and sent our truck back home from Kuala Lumpur to sell it. The trip continues for us as we have now settled for a projected two years in New Caledonia, a French island in the Pacific, giving us time to visit part of Oceania.

This road trip was a very exciting adventure and experience to learn from. While there are many possible subjects to describe, I would like to report here a few comments related to interactions during our trip, placing them into a personal perspective.

During this trip, there have been three main type of interactions with others: interactions with local inhabitants in each country, interactions with the expatriate community living abroad, and interactions with members of the overlanding community.

Read the full description to learn the details of these 3 types of interactions, and follow the family’s blog to learn more details of their experiences.

Constructing Intercultural Dialogues #1: Lullabies

Constructing ICDFollowing the recent announcement of a new series to be published by the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, the first issue of Constructing intercultural Dialogues is now available. Here is “Lullabies” by Johanna Maccioni.

As a reminder, the goal of this series is to provide concrete examples of how actual people have managed to organize and hold intercultural dialogues, so that others may be inspired to do the same. As with Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, these may be downloaded for free. Click on the thumbnail to download the PDF.

Constructing ICD #1Maccioni, J. (2017). Lullabies. Constructing Intercultural Dialogues, 1. Available from:

If you have a case study you would like to share, send an email to the series editor, Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Les compétences interculturelles: Enjeux, pratiques, perspectives

Special Issue LPS About a year ago, Johanna Maccioni asked if I would write an article for a special issue of the journal Les Politiques Sociales on Les compétences interculturelles: Enjeux, pratiques, perspectives [Intercultural competences: Stakes, practices and perspectives] which she was editing with Cédric Juliens. I agreed, and wrote the draft, which we discussed when we both happened to be in Paris in April. It was translated over the summer; in fall Yves Winkin helped by reviewing the entire translation with me when we were both in Victoria. The issue has just been published, and is now available. As a Belgian journal published in French, the overview provided below is in French, however abstracts of all of the articles are available in French, English and Spanish. My thanks to Johanna for the invitation which led to a model of intercultural collaboration.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Présentation [Overview]

Lors de vagues de migrations successives, des millions de personnes ont gagné l’Occident dans la perspective d’une vie meilleure. Migrants et natifs du pays d’accueil ont alors fait l’expérience de la rencontre. Mais quand les différences culturelles sont perçues sur le mode de la hiérarchie, des rapports de force s’installent. Les travailleurs sociaux doivent-ils préconiser l’assimilation ou négocier sur fond d’interculturalité ? Et lors de cette négociation, quelles compétences les acteurs mettent-ils en jeu ? Ce numéro propose un état de la question des compétences interculturelles. Il clarifie certains enjeux identitaires, explore des pratiques actuelles et pose une réflexion pour l’avenir.

Sommaire [Table of Contents]

Présentation [Introduction] by Johanna Maccioni and  Cédric Juliens

De la possession des compétences interculturelles au dialogue interculturel : un cadre conceptuel [Putting intercultural skills and abilities at the service of dialogue: A conceptual framework] by Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz

L’interculturalisme québécois : un modèle alternatif d’intégration [Inter-culturalism in Quebec: An alternative model of integration] by Sabine Choquet

Reconnaissance : entre égalité et diversité [Recognition: Between equality and diversity] by Audrey Heine and Laurent Licata

« Islam-médicament » et « Coran-pharmacie » : du religieux comme forme de soin [“Islam the medicine, the Koran the pharmacist”: Religious practice as a form of care] by Eléonore Meriem Armanet

Enjeux de formation à la démarche interculturelle : exemple du milieu des soins [What is at stake in intercultural approaches: The example of the area of health care] by Johanna Maccioni

Le choc culturel : révélateur des difficultés des travailleurs sociaux intervenant en milieu de migrants et réfugiés [“Culture-shock”: A telling sign of the difficulties of social workers working with migrants and refugees by Margalit Cohen-Emerique

L’évaluation des compétences interculturelles [The evaluation of intercultural competences] by Anne Bartel-Radic

Les mobilités académiques comme opportunité pour les compétences interculturelles : de l’endoctrinement à l’acceptation des imaginaires [What happens when students exchange universities: The chance to be at
home in a different culture and replace received ideas with a new imaginative world] by Fred Dervin

« La première fois que j’ai vu de la neige en Belgique, je croyais que c’était du sucre. » Entretien avec l’équipe de médiatrices interculturelles du « Foyer » [“The first time I saw snow in Belgium I thought it was sugar”: A discussion with the team of female intercultural mediators at the cultural centre, Molenbeek, Brussels] by Juliens Cédric and Chikhi Hamida

« C’est à l’Eden que je songeais » [“C’est à l’Eden que je songeais”] by Frédéric Dussenne

Compétences interculturelles : entre droit à la diversité et nécessité du vivre ensemble [Intercultural competence between the right to diversity and the need to live together] by Altay Manço

Johanna Maccioni Profile

ProfilesJohanna Maccioni is a a clinical psychologist in Brussels, Belgium. After 5 years study in psychology, she obtained a D.E.S. (Diplôme d’Etude Spécialisé) in adult psychotherapy and passed the “Agregation” (which enables her to teach within universities).

Johanna Maccioni

She worked in hospitals in oncology and other units for ten years (in Belgium and in Martinique-France). For four years at Brugmann Hospital, she coordinated a project funded by the Belgian National Cancer Plan to improve migrants’ hospital care. In 2010, this project won the Gert Noel prize from the Belgian King Baudouin Foundation (the foundation supports justice, democracy and diversity in society), and this project inspired other units in other hospitals. After that, Maccioni began teaching Social Psychology, Intercultural Psychology, Group Dynamics and Clinical Systemic Therapy at the Haute Ecole Leonard de Vinci, a school specializing in paramedical training. As of September 2015, she is teaching a course on “Interculturalism in Health” (this is the second course on the subject offered in Belgium, after “Health and Culture” given by Dr. Louis Ferrand in Anvers University for doctors). She also trains doctors and paramedics who are currently working on this subject. In addition, she participates in a group project on how to improve migrants’ hospital care, organized by the Interfederal Center for Equal Opportunities (UNI-A: Centre Interfédéral pour l’Egalité des Chances, a public institution fighting discrimination).

Publications include:

Maccioni, J. (2019). Le-La patient.e étranger.ère et sa famille face au cancer: Un projet d’accompagnement multiculturel. In A. Heine & L. Licata (Eds.), La psychologie interculturelle en pratiques (pp. 189-200). Bruxelles : Mardaga.

Maccioni, J. & Heine, A. (2019). Dispositif de formation des soignant.e.s aux compétences interculturelles. In A. Heine & L. Licata (Eds.), La psychologie interculturelle en pratiques (pp. 373-384). Bruxelles : Mardaga.

Maccioni, J., & Juliens, C.  (2016). Sur les compétences interculturelles: Enjeux et pratiques. Special issue of Les Politiques Sociales, 3/4.

Maccioni, J. (2014). Vers la compétence interculturelle dans les soins. Contact, 139, 11-12.

De Pauw, S., Maccioni, J., & Efira, A. (2014). Patients drépanocytaires: Quel accompagnement médical spécifique lors de l’adolescence? Revue médicale de Bruxelles, 35, 87-95.

[Création de livret]. (2012). Entre soignants et patients croyants: 4 représentants religieux nous informent. Question Santé ASBL, 1-27.

Maccioni, J., Etienne, A., & Efira, A. (2012). Le patient étranger face au cancer : projet d’accompagnement multiculturel. Santé Conjuguée, 59, 13-17.

Maccioni, J., Etienne, A., & Efira, A. (2011). Accompagnement multiculturel de patients étrangers. Agenda Interculturel, 289, 18-20.

Work for CID:

Johanna Maccioni has written Constructing Intercultural Dialogues #1: Lullabies, as well as a guest post, Overlanding from Brussels to Kuala Lumpur: A few comments on interactions along the way. She also serves as a reviewer for French.

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