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Towards Italy, Europe. Dialogues and Silences in Visual Memory

A talk with Luisa Passerini and Geoffrey Nowell-Smith.

Chaired by Katia Pizzi.

Event in English

The Ebook Conversations on Visual Memory is one of the results of a research (funded by the European Research Council) aiming to enlarge the study of memory from orality to visuality. Originally inspired by visual arts on migration towards Europe (especially video-art and photography), Luisa Passerini has collected in the last ten years oral, written and visual testimonies of mobile people hoping to find in Italy a door to Europe. Dialogues are those that she established between art and migrant memory (images will be shown) as well as the conversations she had on visual memory with friends such as Jerry Bruner and Jack Goody. On the basis of her previous research, which interpreted memory as structured by silences, the author poses these questions: How can the interpretation of the connection between silence and memory be transposed to the study of visual memory? Which form do silences take in visual stories? And which dialogues – or which silences – between people of various cultures are possible in the present Italian/European context?


Luisa Passerini is Professor Emerita at the European University Institute, Florence, and was Principal Investigator of the European Research Council Project “Bodies Across Borders. Oral and Visual Memory in Europe and Beyond” (BABE) 2013-2018. She has studied the subjects of social and cultural change, from the African liberation movements to the movements of workers, students, and women in the twentieth century, and to migrants to and through Europe in the last decades. In this endeavor, she has used memory in its oral, written and visual forms. Among her books:Conversations on Visual Memory (2018); Women and Men in Love. European Identities in the Twentieth Century (2012); Memory and Utopia. The Primacy of Intersubjectivity (2007); Europe in Love, Love in Europe (1999); Autobiography of a Generation. Italy 1968 (1996); Fascism in Popular Memory (1987).

Geoffrey Nowell-Smith is Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of History at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the editor of The Oxford History of World Cinema (1996) and author of Hollywood and Europe: Economics, Culture, National Identity 1945-95 (1998) and The British Film Institute, The Government and Film Culture, 1933-2000 (2012). He has also published many books and articles on Italian cinema, particularly Luchino Visconti, Michelangelo Antonioni, Roberto Rossellini. This event is staged on the occasion of the XVII edition of the Settimana della lingua italiana nel mondo (16-22 ottobre 2017). Under the high patronage of the President of the Italian Republic.

Katia Pizzi is Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies at the University of London. She has published five books and several articles in the UK and internationally on Modern Italian literature and culture. Her latest book is Pinocchio, Puppets and Modernity (New York, Routledge 2011).

  • Organizzato da: ICI London