It and us: The Rome presentation of the Rapporto Italiani nel Mondo junior

Jul 20, 2019 506

On Friday, June 14, 2019, the RIM Junior 2018-2019 (Rapporto Italiani nel Mondo) was presented in the Refectory Room of the Chamber of Deputies in Rome. It is a sort of "younger brother" of the extraordinary volume that is the Rapporto Italiani nel Mondo (Report on Italians in the World), with which every year the Migrantes Foundation collects, analyses and disseminates quantitative (statistical) and qualitative data on the migration phenomenon of our fellow citizens abroad.

The texts of the RIM Junior have been realized by Daniela Maniscalco, Italian who lives in Luxembourg, with the scientific coordination of Delfina Licata from Rome and the artistic direction of Mirko Notarangelo from New York. Carmela D'Enrico, on the other hand, took care of the illustrations. Present at the speakers' table were, in addition to the authors, Monsignor Guerino Di Tora, President of the Migrantes Foundation; Fucsia Nissoli Fitzgerald, MP elected in the North and Central American constituency; Gianni Lattanzio, who opened the proceedings; Viviana D'Aloiso, journalist for the magazine Avvenire; and Vinicio Ongini, coordinator of the National Observer on Interculture for the Ministry of Education.

The conference was also enriched by prestigious Skype connections with New York, which highlighted one of the main features of the RIM Junior, namely the multilocation. Francesco Genuardi, Consul General of Italy in New York; Monsignor Hilary Franco, observer at the Holy See at the UN; and Annnavaleria Guazzieri, coordinator of the Consulate's School Office, offered their contributions.

"This is the story of Italian emigration told to children and young people - explained Daniela Maniscalco. Unfortunately, this is not a topic dealt with in schools, there are no textbooks on this subject and so the Migrantes Foundation has decided to fill this gap. It is History, with a capital "H", told in a simple way, but it is also the result of many researches".

The work was structured according to the places that were most important for Italian emigration, and so there is a chapter on London, one on Paris, one on New York but also Krakow, a very important city for Italian emigration in the '400.

"And in fact the historical memory has been lost - continues Daniela. Moreover, within the RIM Junior, there are many stories about childhood and over 40 percent of them are about female characters: many are in fact the women protagonists of the history of Italians in the world, and they are very important women as queens and empresses. An example above all: Bona Sforza, who in 1518 married Sigismondo I and went to live in Poland and gave a boost of Italian spirit to the whole nation. It is no coincidence that there is a saying according to which “If Rome did not exist, it would be Krakow that would be Rome”.

The project coordinator, Delfina Licata, is very satisfied: "It's a job that takes a lot of time for study and research, because it's not easy to make a lively and readable for children book that tells the Italian mobility and its problems. We hope that it will be read and entered into schools, and that the theme of emigration will be increasingly present in school curricula. This is because, by studying history, we can also understand the topicality of our country". According to Mons. Guerino Di Tora, "Today, interculture is a prophetic phenomenon, which must look to the future because emigration is not a transitory phenomenon. The particular attention of Migrantes is especially for Italians around the world. We have 136 Italian missions all over the world. The attention that the Italian Church has towards our fellow citizens who go abroad is huge".

The RIM Junior 2018/2019 is dedicated to the cities and places of emigration of Italians: as in the 2017 edition, also this year the QR codes have been used for in-depth analysis with additional online content. Texts written in a simple and engaging language, a captivating graphic design, with bright colors that amplify the energy of a journey to be faced, an even larger number of illustrations will help even more young readers to undertake an educational and exciting virtual journey in some of the world's most representative cities for the historical and cultural presence of Italians.

During the journey, readers will discover who was our fellow citizen who taught Italian to the Queen of London in the sixteenth century; why in Amsterdam there is a street dedicated to Lombard bankers; and why everyone in Alexandria of Egypt wanted Italian nurses. But also who built the first skyscraper in Sao Paulo and why the young Italians in Sydney want to collect pumpkins for 88 days. You can read about the incredible adventures of the Shanghai spies who knew how to fly planes and the fascinating stories of the fishermen who went to Wellington, on the other side of the world, and learned English and Maori. And again, who was the model of Paris who became a painter and who was the doctor who treated all the women of Tangier; why in Krakow vegetables have Italian names, who was the man who invented the sedan and what was the "politically correct" breakfast of the children of Little Italy in New York.

"It is a beautiful project because it was born and built in a team – explained Mirko Notarangelo in connection with New York. Compared to the first, this second volume contains more illustrations that accompany the various stories that follow one another during the reading. Just from New York, where the RIM Junior will be presented soon, as reported by Fucsia Nissoli, the Italian Consul General Francesco Genuardi brought his greeting: “This city has been and is the crossroads of many Italian presences, so stratified in history and so current. All Italians who have come here in every age and even today have an extraordinary know-how, that of being Italian, which then leads them to be such a lively and important part of this city.”

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