From the very beginning of the pandemic which hit Italy as the first Western country, Altreitalie Center began documenting the impact of Covid-19 on contemporary Italian emigration.
During the first Italian shutdown, the Center developed an online survey for Italians abroad and collected around fifty in-depth interviews of migrants, academics, policymakers, and specialists.
The results of the survey – which collected a sample of more than 1200 Italians all over the world – and the whole investigation were published in November 2020 in a volume Il mondo si allontana? Il Covid-19 e le nuove migrazioni italiane [Is World Moving Away? Covid-19 and the New Italian Migration] by Maddalena Tirabassi and Alvise Del Pra’ (Academia University Press, 2020).
The book was presented in various occasions in international video conferences and contributed to develop the debate in Italy of the difficulties concerning health, closures, unemployment etc. Italians encountered abroad.
In April 2020 we made a video for CO.AS.IT. Italian Australian culture series on line. Talk #2. https://www.coasit.com.au/events/events-archive/740-tirabassi-talk
The Center participated in numerous webinars and online Conferences, February 26 and 27, 2021, at the International Conference ‘Captivity and Social Justice in Modern Italian Culture’ (University of Rochester, York University).
Maddalena Tirabassi (Director of the Centro Altreitalie), interview on WeTheItalians.
Altreitalie, issue 60 was dedicated to Women and Violence in Italian Emigration with contribution by scholars of different countries.
Abstract of M. Tirabassi, «La violenza sulle donne nelle migrazioni italiane: where do we go from here?».
The study starts from the premise that the violence suffered by Italian migrant women has not yet been adequately considered. Identify traces of suffering and «large» and «small» violence by rereading the research that had as its object the trafficking of white women, arranged marriages, brides by proxy, women left home by the husbands, women assisted by social workers for intergenerational conflicts. It shows that a good starting point can be to identify the sources for writing the history of this violence by reading between the lines of literature and official documentation: by on-board doctors, judicial reports, social work or asylums files.
But, it is in the literature and, in particular, in some studies carried out recently in the United States, that the tragedies experienced by women can be found. Also, from memoirs we can understand the reasons for the reticence of historiography to address the topic. The family memories handed down orally and put on paper by descendants of the second or more generation seem in fact to offer the most promising fields to reconstruct their history, in particular for the older migrations of which we cannot have direct evidence, having as protagonists predominantly illiterate women, who spoke neither the language of the new countries and sometimes not even Italian.
Del Pra’, Alvise and Tirabassi, Maddalena, «Le donne qualificate nelle odierne mobilità italiane» [«Skilled Women in Contemporary Italian Mobility»] in Studi Emigrazione, LVII, 219, 2020, pp. 391-416.
Female Italian migrations, especially highly skilled, have become an im- portant part of the new migrations. The percentage of women varies ac- cording to the country of destination, while other data show how the age classes of the female migrants are different from the men’s: Italian wom- en tend to move early, whereas they are statistically underrepresented – perhaps due to maternity – in their thirties and forties. Even resorting, as in the research, to the very numerous qualitative and autobiographi- cal sources – publications, blogs, interviews in newspapers etc. – the picture is not exhaustive since there is an over-representation of women inserted in certain sectors, such as the scientific one, and because the media tend to concentrate on the few women who have broken the glass ceiling. On the whole, Italian women abroad have more opportunities to find qualified, or very qualified occupations and, also, in many countries they are able to better combine family and career.