Italian Australian: Creating Culture, Defining Diaspora

image005An exhibition, Italian Australian: Creating Culture, Defining Diaspora, will open at the Museo Italiano, 199 Faraday Street, Carlton, on Wednesday 26 August at 6.30pm with a talk by Professor Ghassan Hage from the University of Melbourne (booking required). The exhibition will run from 27 August to 16 October 2015 (free entry; opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 10-5; Saturday 12.30-5). Wogs, Dagos, Post-War migrants, New Australians, Zips, Marios and Marias, I-Ties, Multicultural Australia. All these phrases have been used to categorise and describe the Italian diaspora in Australia. This exhibition addresses these labels, some embraced, some forgotten, some derogatory, by asking the question: Can we define ourselves? Is it possible to document the commonalities of experience and of culture and to start to trace the transition from migrant group to diaspora? Documentary and street photography by Melbourne photographer, Gracie Lolicato along with the portraits and recorded interviews of around 200 volunteers result in an exhibition that may confirm but also challenge your impressions of Italian-Australians. This is not a nostalgic gaze into tradition, nor is it a definitive contemporary docu­ment, but rather an introduction to the idea that it is possible to be both Australian and Italian and to feel like you are neither.

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