Lovely Lampedusa and PortoM – M for Mediterranean, Migration, Memory or Militarisation?

A mural of faces in different hues of blue, green, red, yellow and white painted by Amnesty. Abandoned boats, on spare ground overlooking the port – three from Libya and two from Tunisia. A cluster of coastguard boats nestled against the harbour wall, designed to rescue people more easily from the sea. In the distance … Continue reading Lovely Lampedusa and PortoM – M for Mediterranean, Migration, Memory or Militarisation?

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Art and anarchists at Asinitas and Italy’s National Museum of Emigration

We stand in two lines facing each other in a hall in Garbatella, a garden suburb built for the working classes during the Fascist era. The hall is used by Asinitas, a charity working with migrants, that follows the enlightened methods of such educationalists as Montessori and Cemea. “Buongiorno,” we sing, orchestrated by Carolina. “Buongiorno, … Continue reading Art and anarchists at Asinitas and Italy’s National Museum of Emigration

Grafitti, pickpockets and Satanic cults in Rome

As I leave Lucca, I open up my book, Let the Games Begin by Niccolo Ammaniti. ‘A raunchy and satirical romp,’ says Ian Rankin. ‘Debauchery on an epic scale,’ writes Big Issue. But I’m struggling. Take the characters for a start. There’s Fabrizio, in his crumpled designer suit, who is struggling to write a best … Continue reading Grafitti, pickpockets and Satanic cults in Rome

Prada Foundation art collection takes root in Milan – all the talk at the Venice Biennale

I meet Farah coming out of Lodi metro station. “Everybody was talking about it at the Venice Biennale,” she says adjusting her sunglasses. Prada, of course. This self-assured art curator, a Canadian of Iranian descent, was as lost as I was in this wasteland of South Milan. Then, as we turn a corner, large billboard … Continue reading Prada Foundation art collection takes root in Milan – all the talk at the Venice Biennale