The Archive of Migrant Memories began as a repository for stories, narratives and testimonies collected in a school set up by the NGO “Asinitas” to teach Italian to refugees and migrants in connection with therapeutic experiments carried out by a group of volunteers cooperating with “Doctors against Torture”. The collection of stories and narratives began in 2004 among foreign squatters occupying the Tiburtina warehouse, a huge space taken over by several hundred asylum seekers and refugees from Dar Fur and regions of the Horn of Africa, forcibly evicted by the Rome Municipality in 2005.
It was here, in what had been Rome’s first self-made migrant community, amidst the clothes and photographs the bulldozers had failed to destroy, that we began to think about how we could preserve the traces, stories and testimonies of the migrants’ journeys and arrivals in order to keep a record of the complex reception conditions of Tiburtina’s foreign ‘guests’. The founding of the Asinitas school was part of this legacy. The migrants’ stories, expressed hesitantly in scanty Italian, were used as teaching material, providing migrants living in the province of Rome with traces of memory that could foster recognition of their cultural identity and improve their knowledge of Italian.
The experience of working at the Asinitas school in via Ostiense in Rome marked the first stage of the Archive’s activities of developing and experimenting projects for the collection and diffusion of audiovisual testimonies, carried out in collaboration with educators and volunteers. Initially (2005-2006), the activities of both the School and the Archive were supported by the Archivio Audiovisivo del Movimento Operaio e Democratico (Audiovisual Archive of the Democratic Workers Movement), sponsored by Unicredit, and later (2007-2012) by the lettera27 foundation[LINK].
In January 2012 AMM was registered as an Association for Social Promotion, moving from its original location in the Circolo Gianni Bosio to the Casa della Memoria e della Storia (Home of Memory and History) and developing its own independent research activities and in the production of audio-video materials.
AMM is registered in the Registro delle Associazioni di promozione sociale of Lazio (n. 1729 del 9/03/2015) (Registry of social promotion associations); and in the UNAR Registro delle Associazioni e degli Enti che svolgono attività nel campo della lotta alle discriminazioni (n. 480 del 24/10/2016) (Registry of associations and organizations involved in anti-discrimination activities).
Alessandro Triulzi (chair); Dagmawi Yimer (deputy chair); Zakaria Mohamed Ali (deputy chair); Gianluca Gatta (secretary); Giusy Muzzopappa (treasurer); Livia Apa; Monica Bandella; Raya Cohen; Susanna Guerini.
Djarah Akan (Emmanuela Peace Boamah Osei); Mahamed Aman Said; Livia Apa; Mario Badagliacca; Monica Bandella; Giulio Cederna; Raya Cohen; Hevi Dilara (Bengin Aksu); Carmela di Noi; Gobena Sintayehu Eshetu; Giulia Falzea; Gianluca Gatta; Enrico Grammaroli; Susanna Guerini; Gabriella Guido; Irene Iacuitto; Abubakar Jokof; Francesca Locatelli; Monica Massari; Mara Matta; Zakaria Mohamed Ali; Giusy Muzzopappa; Walter Paradiso; Maria Luisa Peliti; Gaia Reale; Cinzia Sarto; Giulia Sbaffi; Paola Splendore; Guido Stanco; Alessandro Triulzi; Federico Triulzi; Gabriel Tzeggai; Ester Vigilante; Dagmawi Yimer.
On our journey we ran into other instructors, researchers, writers, fellow travellers to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for their contributions and for sharing their different opinions and knowledge with us. They include (in alphabetical order): Thomas Büsch, Piero Cavallari, Iain Chambers, Marzia Coronati, Roberta Derosas, Antonella Fischetti, Roman Herzog, Karina Horsti, Ruth Iyob, Paolo Jedlowski, Sabine Küper-Büsch, Tahar Lamri, Angelia Leitung, Fiorella Leone, Federica Mazzara, Maaza Mengiste, Sara Modigliani, Virginia Monteforte, John Muruiri, Luisa Passerini and the researchers of the “Bodies Across Borders” Project (European University Institute), Elise Pisani, Massimo Pistacchi, Sandro Portelli, Omerita Ranalli, Lorenzo Romito, Nando Sigona, Marco Stefanelli, Jane Wilkinson, Simona Wright.