Asmarina film

Asmarina film

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
12:00 PM 1:30 PM

This film is a documentary of “voices and images of a postcolonial heritage,” about the Eritrean and Ethiopian communities in Milan, Italy.  

Lunch will be provided, RSVP to

Medhin Paolos is filmmaker, photographer, musician and social justice activist. Her first film Asmarina (2015), which she co-directed with Alan Maglio, depicts the presence of the habesha community in the city of Milan through the collective memories of the community recorded in personal archives through photograph, music and stories. For ten years (1999-2009) Paolos was part of the folk-electronic band Fiamma Fumana. Paolos is the co-founder of the Milano chapter of Rete G2 (Second Generation Network), a national organization that promotes the human and civic rights of children of immigrant in Italy. Currently, she is conceptualizing an educational platform for bringing forth a plurality voices, histories, and cultures to the forefront through media artistic interventions.

Voices and images of a postcolonial heritage Alan Maglio and Medhin Paolos present their documentary “Asmarina”, based within the habesha community of Milan. The Eritrean/Ethiopian community has been present in Italy for at least half a century and it has been actively integrated into the social and cultural life of the city. Starting from the collective memories of the community, on the ground of photo documents, the film gathers together the legacy of personal stories, exploring the different shades of identity, migration and the aspirations of the people.
The result of our research is a collective tale which brings to light a postcolonial heritage that has been little scrutinized up to now: the everyday life stories of those who have lived in the city
for years, those who were born in Italy and the daycare of the refugees who have just arrived.
The film makers approach this reality empathically and get involved in it, patiently trying to create a relationship with the protagonists. The research and the filming of “Asmarina” lasted one year and a half and are based on direct witness accounts and the survey of audiovisual material taken from personal and institutional archives.
Asmarina has screened at the Human Right Film Festival, at the San Francisco – Museum of African Diaspora, at the Palladium in Rome, at the Harvard Art Museum, at the Sole Luna Film
Festival in Treviso, at the Museum Suriname in Amsterdam, at Loving Festival in New Orleans, at the Etnofilmfest – Monselice among many others. It is the recipient of the Borderscapes Film
Award and the Festival Africano Award in Milano and the Premio Abba.