From the European South

a transdisciplinary journal of postcolonial humanities

Oltre l’Italia: riflessioni sul presente e il futuro del postcoloniale

Cristina Lombardi-Diop e Caterina Romeo


Beyond Italy: reflections on the present and the future of the postcolonial. Italy, like other European countries, has undergone an epochal transformation as a postcolonial country in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall and as a consequence of the demographic and social changes brought about by mass immigration from the global South. Similarly to most European countries, postcolonial studies applied to the Italian context repositions colonial history and its legacy at the center of the debate on contemporaneity and connects them to transnational immigrations. The historical examination of the Italian past, however, unlike that of other European countries, necessarily includes mass emigration (and, in more than one sense, emigrants as colonized subjects) and the Southern Question (as "internal colonialism"). The essay builds an historical and theoretical framework in order to interrogate what constitutes the postcolonial condition of contemporary Italy. It surveys an array of concomitant factors, such as the ‘question’ of the subalternity of the South of Italy as an internal colonial condition; trans-Mediterranean and transoceanic migrations; emigration, colonization, internal migra-tions and contemporary immigration placed within the same continuum; Italian colonial history alongside historical processes of racialization and contemporary racisms; contemporary postcolonial cultural production, and new conceptualizations of blackness and its intersection with Italianness.




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