Nathasha Fernando joins discussion panel at the London Migration Film Festival

4 December 2019

Nathasha Fernando, a CAMRI Doctoral Researcher, last week joined the discussion panel following the film Bangla at the London Migration Film Festival. The discussion, which also included Kavinda Navaratne and Golam Maula Tipu, drew upon themes relating to Italian citizenship rights, the implications of living as a ‘second-generation-migrant’ in Italy and discrimination. These issues have seen many leave Italy to look for better opportunities elsewhere in Europe, mainly the UK. The sense of Otherness, liminality and voicelessness that ‘immigrati’ living in Italy have to face were all addressed during the discussion also through the speakers’ first-hand experiences.  These are also themes explored through Fernando’s doctoral research project, which also examines the impact of the ‘migration crisis’ on the established migrant communities in Milan.

Bangla itself is a witty romantic comedy which follws the life of a young Italian young man, whose parents are from Bangladesh. He lives with his mom, dad and sister in a house in Rome. The film traces the ups and downs of juggling a job as a Museum warden, a family adhering to cultural traditions, a religion with strict principles, and a brand-new girlfriend. All this helps to explore the life of second-generation immigrants in Italy.

The London Migration Film Festival was held over a number of venues between 28th November to 2nd December. The Festival aims to portray the diversity, nuance and subjective experience within migration – including and beyond the refugee experience – in order to restore the dignity and humanity inherent within it. Furthermore, the festival aims to bring to the screen films that  challenge the rhetoric that overwhelmingly reduces migrants to simplistic categories: enemies or victims, passive or active.

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