with the support of
5 years after opening to the public MEM Memory and Migration, the permanent gallery on the third
floor of the Galata Museo del Mare dedicated to the history of migration in Italy, the Mu.Ma
Istituzione Musei del Mare presents “I’m Italian, too. Immigration in a changing Italy", a new
exhibition dedicated to contemporary immigration in our country. The entire project was curated by the
Director Pierangelo Campodonico and by the scientific staff of the Mu.MA and carried out thanks to
the support of Compagnia di San Paolo.
Formed in 2011, at the peak of the "Arab Spring" crisis, this section has been revised in light of the
development of the political and social debate and a greater awareness of parties involved. The new
concept focuses on the perception of the immigration phenomenon by Italians and how
immigrants see themselves in the context of Italian society.
In particular, the new Immigration Area presents eights themes: migration as a global phenomenon;
immigrants in Italy, a history; do we need them?; immigrant labour, who’s who and definitions;
stories of fleeing people; the new Italians at school; Genoa in a day; home and family, cooking
and the migration of taste; your thoughts.
Migration as a global phenomenon: a global view on the flows of international and internal
movements helps to better understand migration today. An interactive map shows a portrait of the
current global migration flows made by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Immigrants in Italy, a history: takes you through the chronology of the main events that have marked
the history of immigration in Italy. The events are well documented with news clips, videos and reports
via an interactive monitor that runs along the timeline. Since 1973, the country’s net migration has been
negative: more people arrive than leave. While in the late '70s there were only 300,000 people entering
the country, in twenty years that number has tripled, becoming more than a million in the early
millennium. Then, in the space of a decade, it increased even further, reaching the current figure of 4.9
million. This growth trend is a momentous, unprecedented fact.
Do we need them?: we cannot understand the phenomenon of contemporary immigration in Italy
without keeping in mind the demographic evolution of our country. On the one hand the aging Italian
population with its low birth rate has given - for years - a worsening of the general picture. According
to mathematical models applied to the current situation, in 30 years the working population in Europe
will decrease by 25%, while in Africa the working-age population will double. Therefore without this
migration, Europe would be doomed to decline. In addition to lowering the average age, the arrival of
immigrants has helped sustain the economy: we can say that much of the progress and well-being of
this country in the '80s and at the beginning of the new millennium, has been ‘paid for’ by immigration.
This, which is the central argument in the exhibition, is explained through a cartoon where an engaging
character gives a reasoned explanation of birth data, growth and aging: that body of information we call
Immigrant labour: the most powerful driver of immigration is work. The analysis of economists,
sociologists, trade unionists and entrepreneurs, recognizes that the presence of immigrants in the labour
market is integral. The need arose to collect first-hand accounts of new arrivals to document the
changing society. Just as at Ellis Island someone photographed and collected the testimonies of those
who came at that time, so the museum conserves and preserves the stories of those who have emigrated
and now live permanently in Italy so as not to lose the faces and voices of people who might otherwise
remain simply a social phenomenon. The testimonials are directly accessible through keywords:
unemployment, language, job insecurity, underqualified work, non-recognized qualifications,
adaptability, resistance, courage, desire to return... The complete interviews will be available in the
Archive of Migrant Memory at the website www.memoriaemigrazioni.it.
Stories of fleeing people: after a study of the change in the legal status of migrants in recent years this
section examines the issue of tragedies at sea. A boat seized by the Guardia di Finanza in Lampedusa is
displayed, with scenes of landings and rescues at sea and audio stories. To the sides are video
testimonies about crossings and journeys of hope, narrated in the first person: on the one hand tales
from literature and journalistic investigations, on the other memories and personal experiences.
The new Italians at school: A video shows a teacher at the blackboard describing how young secondgeneration immigrants find their place at school and in Italian society. In Italy, foreign children number
nearly a million (993,238), and have recently increased by an average of over 100 thousand per year,
between those born in the country and reunited with their families. Second generation foreign citizens
number about 650 thousand, mostly minors, and are more than one tenth of the resident foreign
population. For them, Italy is their country of origin and belonging, where they were born and have
been educated but the process of acquiring citizenship is long and tortuous for all of them. Next to this
display is the video Ideas on the Move, the result of an educational project involving schools of all
levels, in which it is the students who decide which issues to face when talking about migration.
Genoa in a day: talks about immigration today in Italy, which means confronting the theme of
coexistence and integration. How much has the coexistence of Italians and foreigners changed our city?
A film of an ordinary day in Genoa, from dawn to night, helps to understand how our life has changed
and how it is, whether we like it or not, a life "together", from kindergarten to the market, from
restaurant to club, through workplaces and families.
Home and family: here we deal with the issue of children’s upbringing, their relationship with their
country of origin and the city of Genoa, hopes of one day returning home, or the knowledge that now
the country they feel more connected to is Italy. Again, thanks to the testimonies collected in the
Archive of Migrant Memory that the immigrants themselves tell, through video interviews and stories
related to some of the exhibits as well as presenting an important cultural vehicle for change: the
kitchen and the migration of taste.
Your thoughts: The last space of the Immigration Area is dedicated to impressions and comments
from visitors, and especially to the future. The issue of immigration really affects everyone and often
arouses debate: collecting testimonies and different opinions by the museum is another way to tell the
story of Changing Italy.
The museum project was directed by the architect Deborah Bruno, the displays were set up by
Falegnameria Francia di Scandiano (RE), photographs by Timothy Costa, Giuliana Traverso Team
Donna Fotografa, Annamaria Guglielmino, graphics by Paola Marelli, video content edited by
ToonTaun Studio (GE), video interviews by Giovanna Rocchi and Pietro Barabino, the video ‘Ideas on
the Move’ by Serena Giordano, Lidia Schicter and Michele Ruvioli, and multimedia installation by
Musiquarium (GE).
Special thanks for the invaluable cooperation of the associations: 3 Febbraio, Amici della Tanzania
Onlus, Associaciòn de Solidarizza de San Jacinto de Balzar - Asso Balza, Nuovi profili, Pas à Pas, Un’
altra storia, Arci Solidarietà, Celivo Centro Servizi al Volontariato, Comitato Umanità Nuova - Scuola
di lingua italiana, Comunità di Sant’ Egidio - Scuola di Lingua italiana -, Filippino Community Club
Genova, Fondazione Migrantes, Mabota Associazione Speranza per l’Africa, Migratour - Intercultural
urban routes, Centro Culturale dell’Amicizia Sadaka, Programma Sviluppo 76 Onlus.
In 2008, the Mu.MA - Entity of the City of Genoa - opened the exhibition "La Merica!" dedicated to
the movement of Italian emigration to the US. Since 2011 the third floor of the Galata Museo del Mare
of Genoa has been fully dedicated to telling the story of Italian emigration by sea and foreign
immigration, a phenomenon that Italy has experienced for at least forty years. 1200 square meters and
over 40 multimedia stations, many of them interactive, tell the story of how migration has
marked and will continue to mark Italian society.
The exhibition starts from the world of the nineteenth century Italian farmer (the greatest source of
emigration) and passes from a reconstruction of nineteenth-century Genoa and its alleys that greeted
(and exploited) emigration, to a reconstruction of the ship 'Città di Torino' which in its long career
transported hundreds of thousands of those who Americans ironically called ‘steerage passengers’ and
environmental reconstructions that recall the Italians’ very different destinations: urban areas, such as
La Boca, a colourful district of Buenos Aires but also rural ones, sometimes in the middle of a forest
such as in Brazil, ending in the best known: Ellis Island.
Duration of the exhibition : Permanent exhibition
The exhibition is included in the entrance fee to the museum during opening hours of the Galata Museo
del Mare :
From November to February :
Tuesday - Friday 10:00 to 18:00 (last admission 17:00 ) Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 10:00 to
19:30 (last admission 18:00).
From November to February:
Closed Monday for individuals but open by appointment for schools and groups.
Contact details for further information:
Tel: 0102345655
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.galatamuseodelmare.it
Headquarters of Galata Museo del Mare
Calata De Mari, 1 ( Darsena - Via Gramsci )
16126 Genoa
Website: www.galatamuseodelmare.it
Press Office:
Costa Edutainment for Galata Museo del Mare
Eleonora Errico Tel: 0102345322
Email: [email protected]