Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

"Irregular Migration in Contemporary Italian Cinema"

Department of Italian Research Seminar: "Irregular Migration in Contemporary Cinema: Constructing Lampedusa as Europe’s Southern Frontier", Prof. Áine O’Healy, Loyola Marymount University

Lampedusa, the best known of Italy’s southernmost islands, has become inextricably linked in the popular imagination to the processing of massive waves of irregular migration from the global south and to the recurring tragedies associated with these migratory flows. Yet these islands have simultaneously continued to function as a sought-after tourist destination, attracting visitors from Italy and elsewhere each summer, and providing the main source of income to the islanders. Shot on Linosa, Lampedusa’s neighboring island, Emanuele Crialese’s Terraferma (2011) is the first mainstream film to examine the tensions affecting the social fabric of the islands in recent years.

Less well known are several documentaries that explore the ways in which film and media have facilitated the visualisation of various forms of mobility (and immobility) experienced on the islands, at the expense of others. Placing several audiovisual texts in dialogue with each other, this presentation will examine (and question) the construction of Lampedusa as Europe’s borderland par excellence. Áine O’Healy is Professor of Italian and Director of the Humanities Programme at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

She is currently a Visiting Fellow and Exchange Professor at the University of Exeter, where she is completing a book for Indiana University Press titled ‘National Cinema in a Transnational Landscape.’ Her research interests lie in the representation of global migrations, with particular emphasis on Italy as an emerging borderland. Her recent publications include more than a dozen articles on the audiovisual construction of Italian immigration, as well as the coedited collection Transnational Feminism in Film and Media (Palgrave 2008).

Category: Public Lectures and Seminars: Arts Celtic Studies and Social Sciences
Time: 6pm-7.30pm
Location: West Wing 9, UCC
Target Audience: All welcome
Admission Price: € Free
Contact: Dr Mark Chu
021 490 2335/2486

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