“Sunnu li me frati”: espressioni di affinità e fratellanza tra profughi/immigrati e italiani del sud nella popular music del Meridione
Not surprisingly, migration is currently perceived as an important topic in the South of Italy, a region which, due to its geographical position, has been confronted with the arrival of thousands of refugees from Africa and the Middle East, but which, due to its own long history of emigration, is also able to empathize with their plight. The popular music of Southern Italy reflects this situation in a striking way, accentuating in many cases the affinities and feelings of brotherhood with those who arrive in Italy looking for help or asylum. By analyzing a song which can be seen as paradigmatic for this attitude, “Chiui sta porta” by Sicilian singer-songwriter and artist Salvatore Tartamella, fundamental strategies will be identified (both textual and musical) that also occur in other songs by southern Italian singer-songwriters or groups, such as Enzo Avitabile, Eugenio Bennato or Almamegretta.
As will be demonstrated, most of the aesthetic strategies to be discussed (such as the recourse to one’s own tradition of popular music, often combined with African or Middle Eastern sounds, the use of dialect, or the mythification of migrants’ fates) result from the assumption that a common basis of ‘subalternity’ between refugees and parts of the Southern population exists. The theoretical frame of this discussion is based on thinkers such as Antonio Gramsci, Franco Cassano, and Iain Chambers.
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