Tag Archives: emigration

Port of no return

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Michelle Saftich will present her historical novel, Port of No Return (Odyssey Books, 2015), at the Museo Italiano  199 Faraday Street, Carlton, at 6.30pm on 10 February 2016, to coincide with Italy’s Giorno del Ricordo (free event; booking here). The day remembers those Italians killed or forced to leave their homes when Yugoslavia claimed their territories in north-east Italy at the end of World War II. Saftich’s story based is on the experiences of her father and his family fleeing Fiume in 1945 and their years as displaced people in the aftermath of war in Europe. Continue reading

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Life-writing by/about Italians in Australia

CoverSmallLife-writing by and about Italians in Australia continues to be a popular field, as John Gatt-Rutter’s The Bilingual Cockatoo: Writing Italian Australian Lives (2014) illustrates. Antonio Sbirziola has been one of its most successful practitioners. Born in Butera (Caltanisetta) in 1942, he made his way to Australia in 1961 where he worked on the railways. Virtually an autodidact (he left school when he was 12) he has written several accounts of different stages in his life, notably Un giorno è bello e il prossimo migliore (Terre di mezzo, 2007), awarded the Premio Pieve by the Archivio Diaristico Nazionale in 2006, and Povero, onesto e gentiluomo: Un emigrante in Australia 1954-1961 (Il Mulino, 2012). A very different perspective on Italians in Australia has recently appeared in Vivien Achia’s Marrying Italian (2014) whose subtitle ‘When love is not enough’ suggests what is to come. Shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s literary awards in 2014, it offers a particularly sensitive first-person account of the pleasures and pains of a cross-cultural marriage.

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Migrations today: how to analyse them?

superdiversityMigration in its many forms continues to be central to the history and politics of Italy and Australia. But how should we analyse the extraordinary complexity of its contemporary global flows? The continuing expansion in the number of countries of origin, variety of destinations and legal statuses of movers has created a bewilderingly complex series of movements that the conventional instruments for classifying and understanding migrations no longer seem able to handle. One term invented to characterise current patterns and their consequences for the social make-up of destinations is ‘super-diversity’. The most recent issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies (2015, vol.38, no.4), free access online, is devoted to the conceptual issues, theoretical implications and empirical applications of the term.

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Migration Blues: Readings and songs from ‘Schizophrenia Migrantis’

51608-1According to Danilo Sidari, ‘schizophrenia migrantis’ is a state of mind affecting the majority of migrants (regardless of their ethnicity) and caused by a strong feeling of homesickness. The malaise mainly shows itself in a sense of displacement generating a sort of “grey psychological zone” where cultural identity is not clearly defined. At the Museo Italiano, Carlton, on 16 October at 6.30pm, Danilo Sidari will be reading excerpts of stories from his book, Schizophrenia Migrantis, and performing songs alongside the pianist Mauro Colombis.

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