The Diaspora Effect? The impact of emigration on the Garfagnino maggio tradition

24 October, 2013
4.15 - 5.30pm

Linda Barwick
Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Maggio is a genre of sung popular theatre (Venturelli, 1992) performed by various village-based companies in the Garfagnana valley of northwestern Tuscany (Provincia di Lucca), an area of central Italy that was amongst those most affected by emigration in the post-war period (Boncompagni, 2006; Sarti, 1985). In this presentation (drawing material from Barwick, 2012) I will argue that the strength of the nexus between paese (home town) and performance practice in the “Garfagnino Maggio” stems from the Garfagnana’s long history of emigration “Maggio genre” appear to result from, or at least be intensified by, a “diaspora effect”, that is, the effect of expatriates on their community of origin (Kilduff & Corley, 1999). I argue that to understand the themes, form, performance practice and survival of these highly localised traditions we need to take into account the transnationalism of many Garfagnini and the role of campanilismo in sustaining emigrants abroad.

Linda Barwick is Associate Dean Research at the University of Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and was foundation director of PARADISEC , the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures. With Marcello Sorce Keller, she recently coedited the volume Italy in Australia’s Musical Landscape (Melbourne, Lyrebird Press, 2012), a collection of essays on Italian music in Australia.

Location: Philosophy Room S249 Quadrangle Building

Contact:M. Cristina Mauceri
Phone: 61 2 9351 6887

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