From the European South

a transdisciplinary journal of postcolonial humanities

Sound map of a migration journey: a sonic essay

Melanie Garland


The ongoing cross-border regime crisis in Europe and Latin America has led to the generation of new refugee and migrant camps, which this work considers as an important aspect of the European colonial legacy and of the postcolonial era. Particularly relevant in this sonic essay is the relation and contrast between the Italian migratory history towards South America in the 1950s, especially towards Argentina, and the current migration of communities from the African continent towards Italy – addressing the self-called settlement Tiburtina, and derogatorily named by the press “Hotel Africa”, as a case study. I am inter¬ested in contrasting and overlapping past and present stories of migrations framed by racism and exclusion, and inclusive past processes of European diasporas in the global south. The sound method used in this essay is part of my ongoing reflections on the juxtaposition between artistic practices and ethnography. Starting from the different tracks overlapping in this sonic composition, I am interested in reflecting on the multiple histories, mixing past and present, languages, rhythms and sonic materialities. I opened ground for new interpretations of the state of in-betweenness, waiting and transformative process that migrant communities experience when they are navigating through border regimes and European colonial legacies.


migration, colonial legacy, postcolonial, ethnography, sound method, artistic practices



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