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A10 Memorial

The history of migration is bitterly studded with accidents and tragedies caused by precarious travelling conditions, the exploitation of migrant workers, the lack of adequate protection and episodes of racist violence. Italian emigration was and is no exception.

The memorial, an environmental installation accompanied by a constantly updated multimedia station, is intended to recall some of the most significant “emigration tragedies”: bereavements and dramatic episodes which ravaged Italian history during the 19th and 20th centuries, involving thousands of people.

From the tragic shipwreck of the steamship Oncle Joseph, which occurred in 1880 but is so tremendously topical, to the two most sadly famous work accidents of Marcinelle in Belgium in 1956 and in Mattmark in Switzerland in 1965, via racist lynchings in New Orleans, USA, in 1891, and Aigues Mortes in France in 1893, the memorial is a fitting tribute to the memory of those who perished, and perish, in search of a better future, a dignified and free life, to the pain of their families, to the years stolen from so many lives.

The installation, made up of numerous knotted ropes that evoke the bereavements and the number of victims, suggests and proposes a moment of reflection on the historical facts that have marked Italian emigration and their correspondence with the tragic episodes linked to present-day migrations, of which we are daily spectators, so that, by denouncing their absurdity, everyone may dwell on the uniqueness of each individual life.