Italy is one of the epicenters of migration towards Europe. Crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach the Italian Southern islands from North Africa is one of the deadliest migratory paths. Nevertheless, Italian mass media and political discourses have increasingly depicted the arrival of these persons as an emergency threatening Italian political stability, identity, and future. In contrast, contemporary Italian documentary film has produced a significant body of work “of migration”: documentaries that narrate recent migrations moving to, across, and within Italy, engaging with the complexity of human mobility. Erik Scaltriti analyzes how these documentaries represent and discuss human mobility beyond the ubiquitous concept of emergency. These films articulate a post-national reflection on migration beyond the oversimplified political and mainstream media representations. They offer their Italian and international audiences narratives that intersect new voices and an original experience in non-fiction digital production and circulation.
Erik Scaltriti is a filmmaker and has a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from the Ohio State University. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Miami University where he teaches Italian language, culture, and film classes. His research focuses on the intersections between Film Studies, Postcolonial Theory, and Migration Studies. He has published the video essay “Visuality and Migration: Two Crises in Gianfranco Rosi’s Documentary Fire at Sea (2016)” for the Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies, In-Transition.