The ambitious initiative takes place across three continents, beginning with our city.
It will then head to the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute of Queens College in New York in November, then in June 2019, it will continue at the Galata Museo del Mare in Genoa.
Manager of Co.As.It.’s Cultural Programs, Paolo Baracchi, explained that the symposium was born out of contacts made via a scholarship offered by the International Specialised Skills Institute which brought together Co.As.It. staff and other institutions involved with Italian migration, including the above mentioned.
Though diverse, these three bodies have united over their mutual interest in the Italian migration experience and their strong connection to Italian diasporic communities.
They also share the aim of exploring the theme of Italian identity and culture in contexts characterised by mobility.
It’s an increasingly important topic in today’s world, which is characterised by masses of people on the move and contrasting reactions, from acceptance to fear.
“It was important for us to do something that wasn’t niche or extrinsic,” Mr Baracchi said.
“We therefore chose a very broad theme. The challenge was to express it in various ways across three cities and divide the presentations in a coherent manner.”
The first “chapter” of the convention will be dedicated to the theme ‘Living Transcultural Places’, exploring how different cultures intertwine to create new and interesting identities.
It will take place at Co.As.It. from April 4 to 8 and features a rich program of events for professionals, academics and the general public, some free and others ticketed.
The opening night will begin at 4:00 pm with greetings from the Consul General of Italy in Victoria and Tasmania, Pierluigi Trombetta; representatives of the organisations involved, Anthony Tamburri (John D. Calandra Italian American Institute), Pierangelo Campodonico (Galata Museo del Mare e delle Migrazioni) and Rhonda Barro (Co.As.It.); Sir James Gobbo; and former MP Marco Fedi.
It will be followed by the inauguration of ‘New Horizons’, an exhibition of works by Italo-Australian artists, then a discussion about relations between Italians and Indigenous Australians.
Set to participate in the discussion are Paola Balla, an Indigenous artist of Italian background; Francesco Ricatti and Matteo Dutto from Monash University; Federica Verdina and John Kinder from the University of Western Australia; and Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli from Deakin University.
The following days will include two free lectures – one from 9:00 am to 9:55 am and the other from 4:00 pm to 4:55 pm – plus three series of presentations which will take place simultaneously across the entire day and require a reservation.
The two lectures on Thursday, April 5, will be led by Rita Wilson, Professor in Translation Studies at Monash University, and Loretta Baldassar, Professor in Anthropology and Sociology at UWA.
The latter lecture will be followed by a free creative writing workshop with Gaetano Rando, Marisa Fazio, Archimede Fusillo, Moreno Giovannoni and Marco Zangari.
Friday will open with a lecture by linguist Joseph Lo Bianco from the University of Melbourne, and will close with a lecture on “new Italians” by Enzo Colombo, Professor in Sociology and the University of Milan.
On the final day, you can attend lectures by Joseph Pugliese from Sydney’s Macquarie University and president of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Anthony Tamburri.
Many different issues will be addressed during the convention, from the representation of “Italianness” in the media, cinema and literature, to the language and identity of second- and third-generation Italians living abroad.
“The world which we are moving towards is an increasingly globalised and hybrid world, characterised by the movement of people, even in Italy itself,” Mr Baracchi explained.
“Diaspore italiane” reflects this progression of globalisation and promotes Italian language and culture both in the Belpaese and abroad.