Toward a New Poetics and Politics of Migration in Contemporary Italy

The Archive of Migrant Memories as Digital ARTivism

  • Elvira Pulitano California Polytechnic State University


This essay discusses the on-line multimedia project Archivio delle memorie migranti (AMM) as a virtual storytelling space in which migrants in contemporary Italy exercise agency and resistance despite their disenfranchisement as political subjects. Focusing on the section “Self-Representations,” I analyze some of thestories and narratives produced by migrants and refugees as powerful examples of “digital ARTivism” in the sense in which this practice has been enacted by contemporary Chicanx and Latinx cultural producers. Through a digital storytelling mode, AMM aims at facilitating the development of transnational migrants’ activist consciousness. Such methodology, I argue, aligns AMM and the Italian border archive with the decolonizing epistemological reorientation that has begun to undo the Western project of coloniality/modernity. As migrant and refugee stories migrate from the entangled structures of the web into the intimacy of our homes, we are are called to reflect on the complexity of national identity and belonging. AMM’s stories and self-narrations enable a re-visioning of contemporary Italy as a possibility for transnational citizenship and peaceful co-existence.