A cluster of dockyard cranes bow down to a magnificent Cubist tower of Indian red sandstone interlaced with swathes of curved glass. This is MAS, the Museum Ann De Stroom (Museum on the River) in Antwerp. It stands 60 metres high between the ziggurat roofs of the historic centre and the industrial sprawl of the … Continue reading Antwerp in the World: The World in Antwerp
Whoever thought of siting the Cite National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration (National Museum of Immigration History – CNHI, Paris) in the former Palace of the Colonies posed a challenge for the curators. It is undoubtedly an impressive Art Deco building from the 1930s. Intricate naked or half naked stone figures, working cocoa, coffee, cotton or … Continue reading What’s in a building? – migrants across the Channel in the National Museum of Immigration History (Paris, France)
My B&B is along Via Alloro, a narrow street in Palermo’s medieval quarter that winds towards the port. The room is lovely. From my balcony I can almost touch the walls of the palazzo opposite My welcoming host marks on a map the best places for street food, the gallery of Sicilian medieval art at … Continue reading Palermo en route to?
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
A sunset glow sweeps over the exquisite façade of San Michele in Foro, surely one of the most beautiful churches in Italy. I sip an Aperol Spritz and watch old and young negotiate the cobbled streets on clapped out bicycles. People scurry past the cafe, clutching flat, square boxes from the most popular pizzeria in … Continue reading Lovely Lucca and its hidden history of emigration
The taxi driver stops at the end of a dark alleyway leading up from the harbour. “It isn’t safe round here,” he advises. I press the bell to the, ‘new flat on the seventh floor in the historic area of Genoa.’ The heavy, wooden door swings open and I enter a dingy but handsome hallway … Continue reading Memoria e Migrazioni at Genoa’s Galata Museo del Mare
The taxi delivers me to the address of my B&B in Turin, an elegant Art Nouveau building near the centre of town. I scrutinise rows of brass bells but none of them are marked with a name I recognise. I delay the taxi driver, rouse a waiter in the nearby café and disturb a cleaner … Continue reading 24 hours in Turin
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
The day after the election I am leaving these shores, whatever the result, for 2 weeks in Italy - Milan, Turin, Genoa, Lucca and maybe heading south to Lampedusa. Will look at how migration is represented in museums along the way. Watch our for Chirps from Italy.
A woman in the shadow of the monastery. Click image for more photographs of Ladakh. Under the shadow of the monastery an old women, a basket of hay on her back, spins a prayer wheel twice her size. As I climb up the hill I watch her feeding her dzo - a crossbreed between a … Continue reading Oracles and conservators in Matho monastery, Ladkah