Filmmaker and citizenship rights activist Medhin Paolos will screen her film, Asmarina: Voices and Images of a Postcolonial Heritage (2015), a documentary on the Eritrean and Ethiopian communities in Milan, Italy. In contrast to media narratives that portray African immigration to Italy as a recent phenomenon, Asmarina offers another vision of the African diaspora in Italy, one that demonstrates the long-standing presence of Eritrean and Ethiopian communities, as well as their contributions to the development of Italian postwar national identity. Asmarina is also a study of contemporary Italy, currently dealing with a rise in xenophobic attacks against African migrants, ongoing migrant catastrophes in the Mediterranean, and the struggle of second-generation Italians of African descent to gain full citizenship rights.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Medhin Paolos and Dr. SA Smythe, Assistant Professor of Black European and Mediterranean Cultural Studies, Department of African American Studies, UCLA.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media, Department of Italian, Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment, Department of African American Studies, Bunche Center for African American Studies, Center for European and Russian Studies, and UCLA African Studies Center