‘Talking back’ to transnational discrimination: artistic practices of the female Calabrian-Australian diaspora.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paper


My research explores the work of two Calabrian-Australians, an artist and an author, and how they represent the first and second-generation Calabrian-Australian female diaspora. Luci Callipari-Marcuzzo is an artist and academic whose ‘multidisciplinary practice-based research explores traditional methods of “making” and “women's work”. In her blog Kindred Link Luci’s cousin, Maria Callipari, reflects on how Calabrian identity is reproduced by her family today, for example through her mother’s Calabrian foodstuffs business, and the value of this cultural preservation. My paper looks at how their work imagines and reenacts the experiences of different generations of the diaspora in artistic processes that transcend space and time to create meaning. In turn, I examine how these works challenge historic and transnational constructions of Calabrian identity as ‘backwards’ in Italy and Australia. Calabrian identity is still marginal within Italy, the result of a historic discourse of racialised ‘otherness’ and backwardness. Upon entry into Australia from the 1950s Calabrians faced racial discrimination through the ‘White Australia’ policy but today the diaspora enjoys high socio-economic status. The ultimate aim of this paper then is to delineate how and where these works ‘talk back’ to constructed Calabrian ‘backwardness’ through their ‘reimagining’ of Calabrian identity. Such exploration attempts to gauge how artistic practice is employed in a legitimising process of identity formation by diasporic subjects who are now partially removed from their marginal Calabrian identity. Furthermore, this paper examines how artistic processes rooted in the past become acts of the present, thereby creating a ‘new’, contemporary Calabrian-Australian identity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2019
EventTransnational Narratives on Migration and Exile - University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Duration: 3 Jun 20194 Jun 2019


ConferenceTransnational Narratives on Migration and Exile
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