A few years ago, I first learned about this project on Italian colonial memory called “Immaginari PostColoniali – PostColonial Visions”.The project sought to establish “a large shared archive of everyday images and objects, an unconventional convention, exhibitions, performances and workshops in schools” about Italy’s colonial history.
I had a personal interest in this project because of the history of Italian colonialism in Libya, my country of origin, and also because of the reactions I’ve had when talking about colonialism in Libya (either, “but I thought Libya was not colonised” or “It was the French, right?”).
Here’s a passage from the project:
In Italy we keep our colonial memory in institutional archives. These are frequently inaccessible to citizens and have almost never been exposed to public inquiry. But there is also an intimate memory of colonialism, kept in small private “collections”, kept inside the drawers and the attics of people who lived through that period. Our fathers, our mothers, our grandparents (often unconsciously) are the last keepers of many stories from the colonial period that the official History in Italy removed with perseverance and determination. Over time it will be increasingly difficult to recover those stories and that intimate memory. The project (Post)colonial visions wants to render visible and public this unknown and extensive archive, in order to connect the stories to the institutional History, and to understand the connections between that colonial past and our inter-cultural present.
The project had only raised 14% of the €25,000 goal on the crowdfunding platform indiegogo back in 2014, and I initially couldn’t find much about the project since, a lack of interest which seemed to confirm the problem the project aims to remedy.