Saturday, September 20, 2014

Lampedusa: Migratory Space, Memory and Aesthetics_A UCL one-day Symposium 23 October 2014 3-6pm.

Dear all,
It's my pleasure to share with you the details of a one-day symposium I am organizing at UCL on the 23th of October 2014. The event is sposored by the UCL School of European Languages, Culture and Society and by the UCL Italian Department.

Lampedusa: Migratory Space, Memory and Aesthetics
The spatial dimension of Lampedusa and the Mediterranean has never been of greater political relevance than it is today. While boat migrants and refugees approaching Lampedusa are de-individualised by the media, detained by law enforcement, or find their anonymous resting place in the waters of the Mediterranean, recent documentaries, festivals, video-art and heritage sites - on and beyond the island - have attempted, in different ways, to put a face on the migrant and review the Mediterranean passage.
This one-day conference aims to facilitate a crucial conversation about the aesthetic potential of the contemporary nomadic condition of migrants as a way to resist imperial and Eurocentric subjugation of these subjects. This conversation will consider various perspectives on the issue of migration in Lampedusa, from the geographical discourse around space to the conservation of memory and the legacy of migration in aesthetic forms.

Speakers include: Sandro Triulzi (Director of the Migrant Memories Archive): Claire Dwyer (UCL Geography); Ilaria Vecchi (film-maker and activist) and Valentina Zagaria (writer and director).

For full programme see below. For further details pease contact me:

:::All Welcome:::

Lampedusa: Migratory Space, Memory and Aestheics
23 October 2014
UCL Chandler House, 2 Wakefield Street
London , WC1N 1PF, room 118 -3.15pm
Welcome and Introduction
Federica Mazzara (UCL SELCS)

3.15pm - 3.45pm
Alessandro Triulzi (Director of Migrant Memories Archive)
Working with migrants in Italy: sharing thoughts and problems

3.45pm -4.15pm
Claire Dwyer (UCL Geography)
Space, migration and memory

4.15pm – 4.30pm

4.30pm – 5.00pm
Ilaria Vecchi (film-maker and activist)
The collective Askavusa: The museum of migration and the Lampedusa in festival

5.00pm – 5.30pm
Valentina Zagaria (writer and director)
Performing Lampedusa in ‘Miraculi’

5.30pm – 6.00pm
Round Table with all the speakers
Chair: Federica Mazzara (UCL SELCS)

Other useful links:
Porto M (Museo delle migrazioni a Lampedusa  |  Museum of Migration in Lampedusa)

Io sto con la sposa | On the Bride's Side

Io sto con la sposa (On The Bride's Side), a documentary by Gabriele del Grande,  Khaled Soliman Al Nassiry and Antonio Augugliaro, telling how a group of Syrian refugees staged a fake wedding to cross Europe safely and reach Sweden, is out in Italian cinema from the 9th of October, after an amazing success at the Biennale in Venice!
Find out more about the film and the crowdfunding project behind it here
Read also:
Facebook page

Monday, September 8, 2014

Migrant Bodies of Lampedusa: Policy, Space and Aesthetics (Book)

I am so glad to share with you a piece of good news.  The Publishing house Peter Lang (Italian Moderities) has accepted my book proposal on Lampedusa. It's now time to work hard on my project and if everything goes well and smooth it should be out around April 2016. Please write to me if you want to know more or have any suggestions.
See below for a (rough) abstract:

Migrant Bodies of Lampedusa: Policy, Space and Aesthetics
 Lampedusa, a tiny island that belongs politically to Italy and geographically to Africa, is today one of the most controversial places within the Mediterranean. It lives off tourism for nearly seven months a year but it is forced to deal regularly with what is commonly perceived, in public opinion, as an ‘invasion of Europe’ by migrants mainly from the African continent.
Migrant Bodies of Lampedusa is a study of how migrants and Lampedusa are represented across different media, how the political and legal systems respond to such representation and what is left out of it. While the body of the migrant is de-individualised by the media, detained by law enforcement, or finds its anonymous resting place in the waters of the Mediterranean, Lampedusa’s migrants are also recently claiming different perspectives and voices in documentaries, festivals, video art and heritage sites, and also in the island thanks to the recent attention that local cultural associations and even the mayor are performing towards the migrants.
Migrant Bodies of Lampedusa will discuss the link between on the one hand the legal and political discourses aiming at regulating – mostly according to a logic of exclusion – the migrant subjects’ passage within the Mediterranean and, on the other hand, the representation of these subjects in visual discourses, from mass media to video art. From the perspectives of geography, politics, law and the media, migrants are most commonly considered and represented as ‘bodies without words’ (Agamben 2005). This book will propose that aesthetic representations (including cultural heritages, visual and documentary art, photography, literature and theatre) in dialogue with cultural, geographical and legalistic conditions and discourses offer privileged and pressing opportunities for the migrants to claim a voice and effectively ‘talk back’.
Finally, this book intends to answer pressing questions revolving on the one hand around the common fear of the Other in Italian society and the related resistance to making national borders more porous, and on the other hand the ‘resistance to this resistance’ performed through interstitial acts of aesthetics and social agency that interrupt the fictitious 'order' of the Italian Nation.