Migration Literature in Italy: African Diasporas and Postcolonial Traces

Migration Literature in Italy

Curated by Fadil Moslemani

Traditionally a country from which millions of people migrated, Italy has only recently become a land of immigration. This exhibition presents these narratives of immigrants’ experiences and life stories in the context of an emerging history of contemporary Italophone culture. By combining literary texts and images, it returns the voice to Africa that has been forgotten by Italians, reconstructing an often omitted past.

This selection of works contributes to fill the gaps and the voids in the individual and collective memory of Italian colonialism in Africa through stories, texts, autobiographical and literary references. In this journey between past and present, more or less known monuments and places are described from an estranged perspective, recovering original meanings that have been ignored or removed. This route allows us to resume the relationships that bind Italy to Africa.

These writers’ narratives offer an original, multifaceted, and complex portrait of contemporary Italy, where the African community is becoming larger in number, while providing insights into the ways in which migrants express their feelings of belonging, loss, and possible aspirations towards the nations from which they or their parents come. They are new voices in the discourse on an Italian multicultural identity and point out that the nation’s alleged homogeneous identity is nothing but a deliberately constructed myth.