Negotiating Amnesia

HD video, 2015, 30 minutes


Negotiating Amnesia is an essay film based on research conducted at the Alinari Archive and the National Library in Florence. It focuses on the Ethiopian War of 1935-36 and the legacy of the fascist, imperial drive in Italy.  Through interviews, archival images and the analysis of high-school textbooks employed in Italy since 1946, the film shifts through different historical and personal anecdotes, modes and technologies of representation.


Organised in four chapters, (Heritage vs Memory; Photography vs Memory; Monuments vs Memory; Education vs Memory) it aims to reveal the controversial memory and racist politics characteristic of this historical period and its aftermath, while exposing public and personal strategies of remembering. The film is intended as a performance of a process of self-teaching, becoming aware of the manipulations and silences intrinsic in this history - in order to reflect on personal and collective accountability towards colonial violence.

Read more (Italian only): 

Negotiating Amnesia: forme di attivazione e traduzione dell'archivio fotografico coloniale italiano - a cura di InteRGRace, University of Padua Press

Negotiating Amnesia was presented at the latest edition of the Festival dei Popoli, International Documentary Film Festival (Nov-Dec 2015, Florence) as a collateral exhibition that took place at  P.A.C. Le Murate (Florence). The final exhibition consisted of an installation within which the film was showcased. Titled Notes on Historical Amnesia, the installation displayed the research process behind the film and it was conceived as a 'work-in-progress' activated and transformed by a series of workshops with high school students.