"Il clandestino è l’ebreo di oggi": imprints of the Shoah on migration to Italy

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Drawing on Rey Chow’s notion of “entanglement” and Michael Rothberg’s work on “multidirectional memory”, I look at the ways in which certain visual, lexical, and historical representations and tropes operate to create points of connection between the Shoah and contemporary migration to Italy across the Mediterranean. I argue that the deployment of these images is not intended to indicate similarities, or indeed, dissimilarities, between historical events. The network of association which is produced offers a space in which to critically and creatively interrogate past and present, and their possible interconnections. I then analyse in detail the work of novelist, Igiaba Scego, and film-maker, Dagmawi Yimer, to uncover an “entanglement” bringing together cultural memories of the Shoah, and silenced histories of Italian colonialism to indict political and cultural practices informing responses to death by drowning in the Mediterranean.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-88
JournalQuest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2016


  • Shoah
  • Migration
  • Mediterranean


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