On 13 May, the Human Rights Nights Festival in Bologna will host a rare screening of Asmarina, by Alan Maglio and Medhin Paolos. The documentary tells the history of Milan’s Porta Palazzo neighbourhood through the voices of its first- and second generation African immigrants. It investigating the identities, experiences and aspirations of Milan’s habesha community -a term that has attracted quite some attention lately with the ongoing arrival of Eritrean and Ethiopian migrants who use the neighbourhood as a hub for their onward journeys.
Besides many other interesting events, the festival also screens Jonas Carpignano‘s Mediterranea, about the plight of burkinabe’ immigrants working on Italy’s orange plantations. Their plight has received renewed attention lately because of increasing tensions about their labour condition in and around the region of Puglia and Basilicata, about which I will report later. In the meantime (and for those who cannot attend) I attach the movie trailer.
The power of this move cannot be overstated at a moment in Europe when blackness has come to be synonymous with death—whether activists on the left are invoking images of black refugees drowning in the Mediterranean, or right-wing xenophobes are implying that an “encroaching” blackness marks the impending death of a racially pure Europe that never actually existed. See more at: http://www.doppiozero.com/materiali/why-africa/asmarina-post-colonial-heritages#sthash.E3Es22Uj.dpuf