Tag Archives: mobilities

The book, the photo and the stork

Photos move us. They enable us to travel virtually to wherever the scene is captured. They also move us by provoking emotions unleashed by the picture. Travel photography illustrates this double power especially clearly as Giorgia Alù argues in her just-published Journeys Exposed: Women’s Writing, Photography and Mobility (Routledge, 2018). The writers and photographers analysed (Melania Mazzucco, Ornela Vorpsi, Monika Bulaj, Carla Cerati, Elena Gianini Belotti and Anna Maria Riccardi) are variously related to Italy: Italians, Italophones, migrants or expatriates to Italy, or through hyphenated adjectives of nationality, as Italian-American or Italian-Australian. The book begins with an anecdote recounted by Karen Blixen. During a stormy night a man has to go out to fix a leakage in his pond’s dam. He stumbles around, falls over, and takes wrong paths but next morning he sees that the tracks his boots have left in the mud trace the outline of a stork. The stork provides an unsuspected unity for his apparently random movements but one which only becomes visible a posteriori and from a distance. Such traces expose the form of movements, underlying or unintended, in lives, texts and photographs but, like photographs, the form requires the technical processes of exposure to be seen.

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CfP: Transnational Italies: Mobility, Subjectivities and Modern Italian Cultures

logo_withtextTransnational Italies: Mobility, Subjectivities and Modern Italian Cultures, a conference to be held at the British School at Rome, 26-28 October 2016, with Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Marina Warner as keynote speakers, is issuing a call for papers.  The conference is part of the AHRC-funded project ‘Transnationalizing Modern Languages: Mobility, Identity and Translation in Modern Italian Cultures‘ and opens the project exhibition at the British School at Rome.  The history of Italians and of Italian culture stems from multiple experiences of mobility and transnationalism. Such experiences reflect the history of Italy as an ‘emigrant nation’ (Choate), an imperialist power, and a European country facing the challenges of world system transformation from its Mediterranean location. These histories of mass movements also represent millions of individual and collective trajectories, traced through micro-processes of cultural translation, acts of transmission, and memory mediation of subjects from a variety of national, linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

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