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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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9 Stories in Transit/Storie in transito: Storytelling and arrivants’ voices in Sicily (Marina Warner / Valentina Castagna)


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9 Stories in Transit/Storie in transito: Storytelling and arrivants’ voices in Sicily


This chapter describes the international project Stories in Transit/Storie in Transito, a storytelling project with young refugees developed and carried out in Palermo by the two authors with the contribution of several scholars, writers, poets and artists from the United Kingdom, Italy and other countries. The chapter traces the ideas upon which the project is based, voicing the belief of the authors that the expression of culture is a fundamental human right which should be granted to anyone and that literature and orature constitute an immaterial form of shelter. The chapter then offers a short description of the events held in Oxford, Palermo, and London, from the first in May 2016 to the workshop in November 2017, stressing the active contribution of the young arrivants involved in the project and the results obtained so far.


Stories in Transit is a storytelling project which aims to establish the right of refugees to cultural expression, to encourage displaced and dislocated individuals to tell stories, and to inspire them to draw on their own traditions and their faculty of imagination. Marina Warner first had the idea for the project when she was awarded the Holberg Prize 2015 in recognition for her work on myth and fairy tales; she wished to further develop her interest in themes such as flight, loss of...

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