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Migration and the Contemporary Mediterranean

Shifting Cultures in Twenty-First-Century Italy and Beyond


Edited By Claudia Gualtieri

This collection of essays presents a study of migration cultures in the contemporary Mediterranean with a particular focus on Italy as a point of migratory convergence and pressure. It investigates different experiences of, and responses to, sea crossings, borders and checkpoints, cultural proximity and distance, race, ethnicity and memory, along with creative responses to the same. In dialogic and complementary interaction, the essays explore violence centring on race as the major determining factor. The book further submits that the interrogation of racialized categories represents different kinds of critical response and resistance, which involve both political struggle and day-to-day survival and coexistence. Following the praxis of cultural and postcolonial studies, the essays focus on the present but draw indispensable insight from past connections and heritage as well as offering prognoses for the future. The ambitious aim of this collection is to identify some useful lines of thought and action that could help us to think outside intricacy, isolation and defensiveness, which characterize most of the public official reactions to migration today.

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‘Spara!’ (99 Posse)


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1 Music and lyrics by Luca Persico, Massimo Jovine, Marco Messina and Claudio Marino (1996). Rap song available at . Translated from the Italian by Giuseppina Rizzi with the assistance of Giovanna Gualtieri, Roberto Pedretti and Andrea B. Farabegoli. The translators’ choice was to be accurate as regards the meaning of the song, not to reproduce the rhythm and rhyme scheme. One version of the lyrics contains parts in Arabic – one part is at the beginning and one is after the second refrain. In the English translation they appear in italics. The sentence in italics in the fourth stanza of the Italian version is in the dialect of Naples.

2 Camorra is a powerful long-standing criminal organization mainly based in the area of Naples.

3 Italian politician kidnapped and killed by the far-left terrorist group Brigate Rosse [Red Brigades] in 1978.

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