Child displacement in cold-war Italy: silence and lived experience
(University of St Andrews)
Paper short abstract:
Focusing on natural disasters in 1950s Calabria that led to mass child displacement, this paper makes connections between silence, memory and lived experience. Silence should be understood as a nonpathological transmission of knowledge associated to historical macro-silences of the cold-war past.
Paper long abstract:
This paper aims to make connections between silence, memory and lived experience in Reggio Calabria, South Italy. The story I tell addresses events that took place at the beginning of the 1950s when Reggio Calabria was hit by catastrophic landslides that left thousands of people homeless, leading to mass child displacement. Initiated by the political left and the then Demo-Christian government, child displacement has become emblematic of a silenced history in Reggio Calabria. Arguing that silence should be understood as a nonpathological transmission of the past, child-displacement is directly associated with historical macro-silences and the lack of systematic ethnological studies on the events that took place during the cold-war period in Italy.
Europe and its silences