Conference Series: Black History Month

Black History Month Florence held its fourth edition this February and ISI Florence was very honored to have been able to participate in this noble initiative with two events at Palazzo Bargagli.





On February 18, 2019 special guest Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfaù (University of Padova) spoke about two episodes in Italy that were featured in the press as not racist. “It Has Been Said It Was Not Racism” examined the events of Macerata and of Florence, where two African immigrants lost their lives. She looked at these events from a political stand point and analyzed how the press is used to manipulate public opinion, especially when it has to do with the current wave of migrants.

The following week, on February 26, ISI Florence Professor Federico Damonte presented “Deviant Bodies”. In this lecture, Prof. Damonte illustrated how ‘La Nazione’, Florence’s local and most popular newspaper, uses imagery to paint migrants in a negative light. He states that this is far from naïve or random. Whether the intent is to purposely spread negative propaganda, or to sell more papers by giving people what they expect and want to see, in either case, it provides a crucial contribution to an overall negative representation of migrants.

Diversity and inclusion are topics very dear to our Institute. We encourage our students to go from being Americans to Italians during their short stay in Italy; but we also must take into consideration their intersectionality and how that translates culturally into their new environment. It is through events like this that we are able to offer a window into local issues and broaden their understanding of cultural differences.

Nina Peci
ISI Florence