Annalisa Frisina Sandra Agyei Kyeremeh

Art and counter-racialization processes. A qualitative research journey with Italy’s illegitimate children

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In Italy racism is a structural and everyday phenomenon, which keeps on being invisibilized through the collective self-representation of the Italian «good people» (brava gente), reproduced by mainstream media and the political discourse. In literature and cinema, there are more and more critical voices of those illegitimate children of Italy, who still seem to constitute an inappropriate posterity of immigration for Italian institutions. This essay presents the results of a qualitative research that involved thirty artists born or raised in Italy since childhood and racialized for their appearance (primarily the dark colour of their skin) and/or their origins (as children of immigration). The discursive in- terviews on their literary and cinematographic production show the importance of calling out racism through art and their commitment to decolonize the imaginary of Italianness. Furthermore, the essay offers a reflection on the various difficulties encountered by artists in putting into action processes of counter-racialization in contemporary Italian society.


  • racism
  • Italy
  • literature
  • cinema
  • second generations


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