Continuing the series "Exile and
Continuing the series “Exile and Creativity,” this evening explores the lives and works of the writer and political activist Amelia Pincherle Rosselli (1870-1954) and her granddaughter, the avantgard poet, Amelia Rosselli (1930-1996).
Marina Calloni (University of Milan) and Jennifer Scappettone (poet and translator)
The two Amelia Rosselli whose lives and work will be discussed and celebrated, were respectively, the mother and the daughter of the anti-Fascist leader Carlo Rosselli, founder of one of the earliest antifascist movements, Giustizia e Liberta’.
Mussolini had identified Rosselli as the regime’s most dangerous political opponent. After evading custody in the island of Lipari, Carlo Rosselli reached Paris where was joined by his wife Marion Cave, a British political activist. In 1930 their daughter Amelia was born in exile, seven years before the brutal murder of her father and uncle.
The elder Amelia Rosselli, born Amelia Pincherle was born in Venice in 1870. An accomplished playwright, translator, activist in the burgeoning women’s movement, as well as author of books for children, Amelia married and later divorced, Joe Rosselli.
After the murder of her sons, in 1937, Amelia gathered the two widows and seven children, and led the family to exile first in France, Switzerland, and England, and finally to the US.
Amelia’s political fervor that had inspired her sons, in the war years, became an inspiration for many Italian antifascists.
The younger Amelia, finding her way through exile and family tragedy, went on to become one of the foremost Italian poets of the second half of the 20th century. A self-described “poet of research” as well as a translator, musician, and musicologist, she is the author of eight poetry collections.
Her multi-lingual verses attest to what she described as a state of
permanent exile. Her tragic yet oddly consolatory voice has been compared to those of Celan, Bachmann, Char, Pasternak, Akhmatova, and Plath, all of whom she translated. She took her own life, at her home in Rome, in 1996
The program will examine the different ways in which exile impacted on the creativity of these two bold women whose work is being increasingly re-examined on both sides of the Atlantic.
Marina Calloni is Professor of Social and Political philosophy at the State University of Milano-Bicocca. Since 2007 she is a component of the Inter-ministerial Committee for Human Rights (CIDU), based at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome. From 2007 to 2010 she was member of the management board of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (based in Vienna) as representative for Italy and director of the «International Network for Research in Gender». Among her last books: A. Saarinen & M. Calloni (eds.), Women Immigrants as constructers of a New Europe. Gender Experiences and Perspectives in European Trans-regions (2012), Y.Galligan, S.Clavero, M.Calloni, Gender Politics and Democracy in Post-socialist Europe (2008).
Poet and translator Jennifer Scappettone was born in New York, and has lived in Italy, Japan, Virginia, and California. She received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Scappettone’s translations of the Italian poet Amelia Rosselli, collected in Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli (University of Chicago Press, 2012), were awarded the 2012 Raiziss/de Palchi Book Prize by the Academy of American Poets. Scappettone is also the author of the poetry collection From Dame Quickly (Litmus Press, 2009) and the editor and translator of a special feature on contemporary Italian experimental poetry for Aufgabe 7 (2008). Her book Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice, a study of the postromantic city as a crucible for twentieth-century experimentation across literature, politics, the visual arts, architecture, and urbanism, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press.
Join us for the ceremony
Join us for the ceremony of the reading of the names of the Jews deported from Italy and the Italian territories. Consulate General of Italy, January 28th, 2019 from 9 am to 3:30 pm.
January 31, 1946
Report by Massimo Adolfo Vitale on the persecution of the Jews of Italy, Centro Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea, Digital Library, www.cdec.it
The tragedy of Italian Jews and of the foreign Jews who lived in Italy and were deported to Germany, is expressed in the following numbers: from Italy: 7,500, from Rhodes: 2,500, foreigners: 2,500, returned: 522 Italians, 44 foreigners. No one knows the numbers of the deportees from Libia.*
The hope that others may arrive fades every day, and no news has arrived from Germany, Austria, nor from Poland on the unfortunate victims.
All of those who returned agree the all people of age, or sick, the children, the women with children, have been killed in the gas chambers upon arrival in the German camps.
The number of deportees, remarkably high for such small Jewish population in Italy (42,000 before the racial laws of 1938-1939, 35,000 after those laws), is due to the impossibility of the majority to foresee what would happen. Improvidence was caused for some by lack of means (part of those who were in better financial conditions had left Italy upon the promulgation of the laws […]. For the most part, it was prompted by the belief that the spirit of politicians and of the Italian people would not arrive to painful extremes. They trusted that they would limit themselves to the implementation of those decrees that removed the Jews from public office, limit their activities and their rights, deprived them of the majority of their assets, but would let them “physically” unharmed.
For a certain number of individuals (particularly for foreign Jews), the implementation of those rulings meant to be sent to concentration camps (disseminated in all Italian regions) or to be interned in remote Italian villages.
Of these measures, all terribly unjust, were nothing compared to those that followed in the years from 1940 to 1944 and the first months of 1945.
Internees were forced to a hard and demoralizing discipline. It is important to illustrate this topic with precision to document the extent of the indignity to which the Fascist government arrived in regard to innocent citizens. […]
- As of 2015, the Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation in Milan identified 9,800 deportees including 1,834 people from the Dodecanese islands and about 750 individuals, mostly refugees, who still remain to be identified. Approximately 12% survived the death camps.
Starting in the last months of World War II, surviving family members of Jews who had been deported to extermination camps prompted the first attempts to locate their loved ones and gather information about their journeys and fates. Soon after, in 1945, the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities created the Comitato Ricerche Deportati Ebrei, CRDE, (Research Committee on Jewish Deportees). Adolfo Massimo Vitale, a colonel of the Italian army dismissed during the Racial Laws who had long lived abroad, led the Committee. It was Vitale who compiled the first list of the Italian deportees.
In 1955 the Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation opened in Venice with the mission to reconstruct Jewish life and preserve the remnants of its past. Vitale’s list became indispensable in tracing the destiny of the Italian deportees and in writing the history of the Shoah in Italy. Without Vitale’s early work, much of would have been lost forever. Following this first phase, the research was advanced under three of CDEC’s directors, Roberto Bassi, Guido Valabrega and Eloisa Ravenna. During this time CDEC moved its headquarters from Venice to Milan, where records concerning the deportees were permanently transferred.
In 1972, CDEC’s staff decided to cross-reference Vitale’s list in order to follow proper historiographical standards. They initiated new research aimed at collecting every available document in any relevant archive inside and outside of Italy. This phase was entrusted to Giuliana Donati, who was involved with the project until 1974.
Under Donati’s guidance, CDEC acquired a large archive of handwritten documents, containing individual name cards for each victim. The available biographical data for each name was thoroughly checked and new data was added. In 1979, CDEC considered publishing the complete list of all Jews who died in Italy or were deported from Italy in the 1943-1945 period. This project was directed by Liliana Picciotto.
In the meantime, new documents come to light: the census of 51.000 individuals the fascist government recorded as Jewish in 1938, the registry of Italian jails with the names of Jews who were arrested, the records collected by prosecutors during the trials of Nazi war criminals operating in Italy. Vitale’s original list was vastly expanded through these new documents.
In 1986, CDEC received its first computer, a rarity at the time, which transformed research capabilities: the data collected up to that point was merged into an innovative database. In 1991 Liliana Picciotto published Il Libro della Memoria. Gli ebrei deportati dall’Italia (1943 – 1945), (The Book of Remembrance. Jews deported from Italy 1943 – 1945, Mursia, 1991).
Three subsequent editions came out as the research continued to expand. In 2013 the database– which in addition to Jews deported from the Italian peninsula included those from Italian controlled Aegean Islands– was finally made available online. CDEC also made available the database of foreign Jews interned in Italy, a work-in-progress curated by Anna Pizzuti and the late Francesca Cappella at the Scuola Normale di Pisa.
Film screening and discussion with
Film screening and discussion with Peter Statsny and Paola Mieli (Après-coup Psychoanalytic Association)
Redemption Blues (2017). By Peter Statsny. Produced by Peter Stastny, Lucia Schrenk, Roland Hablesreiter – Transmitter Film
Redemption Blues, a film about the onerous legacy of the Holocaust, begins where conventional Shoah narratives leave off and traces a path forward, exploring redemption through the second generation’s point of view. At a time when the last members of the survivor generation are bidding us farewell, and historical witnessing cannot endure, Redemption Blues engages with emotional and political vestiges that are yet to be resolved.
The film is presented as an artistic reckoning and a deeply personal journey into the future of living with the legacy of the Holocaust. The perspectives of survivors and the guiding narrative of the filmmaker are woven into a stream of music that runs from nostalgia and religious sources into an ocean of free, improvisational creation. Could this be a way forward, given the many spiritual and political fallacies?
Peter Stastny is a filmmaker and psychiatrist living in New York and Vienna. His film work began as an impulse to document the pioneering accomplishments of former psychiatric patients and activists, Nerve (1995), followed by several collaborations with current and former patients, In the House (1996) and Coney Island (2003). Since 1999 he has also addressed the consequences of the Shoah in experimental documentary fashion, including Conversation in the Mountains (1999) based on a story by Paul Celan; Munkacs 60-year Reunion (2005) and most recently, Redemption Blues (2018).
Paola Mieli is a psychoanalyst in New York City. She is the president Après-Coup Psychoanalytic Association (New York) and a member of Le Cercle Freudien (Paris) and of The European Federation of Psychoanalysis (Strasbourg). She is a contributing editor of the Journal Insistance: Art, psychanalyse et politique (Paris) and associate researcher at the Centre de Recherches en Psychanalyse, Medicine et Société at the University of Paris VII. Dr. Mieli is the author of numerous articles on psychoanalysis and on culture. Her books include: Sobre as manipulaçaões irreversívels do corpo ( Rio de Janeiro 2002), and Being Human: The Technological Extensions of the Body (Co-Editor, New York, 1999). She is the Publisher and Director of Sea Horse Imprint (New York), Silver Martian: Normality and Segregation in Primo Levi’s Sleeping Beauty in the Fridge (CPL Editions, NY 2014).
Film screening and discussion with
Film screening and discussion with Giorgio Treves (filmmaker), Ernest Ialongo (Hostos College, CUNY) and Nina Valbousquet (Fordham University)
1938 – Diversi (2018), By Giorgio Treves
Produced by Tangram Film/Roberto Levi and Carolina Levi, in collaboration with Sky Arte, Piemonte Film Fund, MiBACT, AB Groupe e AAMOD
“Fascism can still return under the most innocent appearance. Our duty is to unmask it and to point to each of its new forms – every day, in every part of the world”. Umberto Eco
1938 – 2018: Eighty years ago, the King of Italy and Mussolini signed the so-called Racial Laws. According to them, Italians were a pure race and the Jews, who had lived in Italy for almost 2000 years, were not to be considered Italian. Jews were therefore stripped of the civil rights, professions, right to education, all forms of presence in public life, books, culture, right to ownership, to conduct business, to provide goods and services and so forth. Jews who did not have Italian citizenship or had acquired it after 1919 were ordered to leave the country.
The political conditions that led to the racial persecution in Italy and the reasons why the Italian people with rare exception did not oppose it and in fact participated in it at all levels of society, have long been the subject of research, literature, film and public debate.
Giorgio Treves’ new documentary, “1938 DIVERSI,” revisits the promulgation of the laws in the context of Italian Fascism as well as focusing on the recollection of that period by Jews and non-Jews. As the director explains, “The film is born of a profound need to know, understand and make known. These events, albeit in different ways, repeat themselves and threaten our future. I sought to waive the official voice of History with micro-histories, personal stories, and testimonies. The film works on different levels, on one side seeking to reconstruct and teach history, on the other to stimulate reflection and awareness through an emotional approach.”
Giorgio Treves was born in 1945 in New York. He has worked in theater, cinema and television and has been assistant director to Francesco Rosi, Vittorio De Sica and Luchino Visconti. Mr. Treves directed over a dozen films including: “K-Z” (1972, Academy Award nomination); Ashes for Sister Flynn (1982, based on James Joyce’s The Dubliners); The Devil’s Tail (1986, David di Donatello); Rosa and Cornelia (2000); The Paths of the Recherche, Luchino Visconti (2006).