Ciao a tutti!
SO yesterday I went to another great lecture as part of the British Institute’s centenary year cultural programme. The talk was for Black History Month Florence, taken by Maria Stella Rognoni who is a lecturer at the University of Florence. Her talk focused on how African’s used literature as a powerful tool to rewrite THEIR history from their perspective. The movement was to reclaim black history and give an accurate, personal account of their past, as opposed to the factual and objective stance taken in European historical texts.
Dr. Stella Rognino thoroughly encouraged the discovery of African culture and history through native literature and her passion for this genre was evident. In particular, she recommended Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The novel was published in 1958 and focuses on pre- and post- colonial Nigerian life in the 1800s; it’s a personal story drawing upon the author’s family history and experience of British colonialism in Nigeria.
At the end of her lecture, Dr. Stella Rognino played a captivating Ted talk by Nigerian contemporary novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The talk title is The Danger of a Single Story as Adichie explains how media, literature and film heavily influence our perception of other cultures in a harmful manner. I REALLY recommend this talk so here’s the link: The Danger of a Single Story
ALSO for anyone wondering what Black History Month Florence is all about, it’s a initiative founded by Justin Randolph Thompson and Andre Halyard in 2016 to promote and widen our knowledge of African culture and history. The month is dedicated to the expat African communities in Florence and wider Italy as an opportunity for others to enrich their understanding their culture; there’s a strong focus on art, literature, music and theatre. Below is a picture of Janine Gaelle Dieudji, who works closely with the two founders, giving a brief overview last night at the Library of what happens during Black History Month Florence and why it’s important.
Today’s idiom is just a fun little phrase everyone should try to integrate into their everyday vocab…
Che figata! which translates to What a fig! but it basically used to say How cool!