Valentina Fusco

2020 - Ongoing

Millions of Italians arrived in America by ship, the same ships that left mostly from the port of Genoa, where the light of the lantern, symbol of the city, was the last they saw before crossing the Atlantic.

The Italian migratory picture has been and continues to be stratified and seems to find little space in national history and collective memory.

For a long time, Italy was considered a country of emigration, which only after the completion of a cycle of mass exodus would become a country of immigration, now oscillating between the universality of the human being, identity movement and racism.

Today as yesterday, Italians continue to go abroad. Moving from Genoa to Buenos Aires has allowed me to take a trip into the past and to connect with what it means to live far from one's own land, where even the stones know us. I experienced the 'sweet home sickness' when, due to the pandemic, I was unable to return to Genoa for a long period and I lived with the unconscious fear of being forgotten and of disappearing.

This gave rise to the need to document a passage, a change, an experience in which communication across generations played a fundamental role, through which a chain of individual and collective memories could be established in which everyone could find their place and their meaning. Talking with Argentinians of Italian origin, with Italians who have emigrated in and out of the country, with my family - who are also migrants - and with my network of relations has been useful in expanding the meaning of migration as a social fact that does not only concern the person who decides to make the journey, but extends to the whole community and affects it profoundly.

Migration thus becomes an existential caesura that marks a before and an after, a transformation of identities that accept, through the encounter with the other, to be in continuous movement. If migrants, as Abdelmalek Sayad said, are "people out of place", "doubly absent", both in the society of origin and in the host society, in order to open up to this new world and to a new future, do we have to close the doors with the past and let a part of ourselves die? Which emotions are intrinsic to the migration experience? Can we recognise and accept that identity, despite its pretensions and illusions, is radically elusive?

E-movere: from Latin, it is equivalent to move out, bring out, move.

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