#axum

  • Rapid Response : Decolonizing Italian Cities

    Anti-racism is a battle for memory. Enzo Traverso well underlined how statues brought down in the last year show “the contrast between the status of blacks and postcolonial subjects as stigmatised and brutalised minorities and the symbolic place given in the public space to their oppressors”.

    Material traces of colonialism are in almost every city in Italy, but finally streets, squares, monuments are giving us the chance to start a public debate on a silenced colonial history.

    Igiaba Scego, Italian writer and journalist of Somali origins, is well aware of the racist and sexist violence of Italian colonialism and she points out the lack of knowledge on colonial history.

    “No one tells Italian girls and boys about the squad massacres in Addis Ababa, the concentration camps in Somalia, the gases used by Mussolini against defenseless populations. There is no mention of Italian apartheid (…), segregation was applied in the cities under Italian control. In Asmara the inhabitants of the village of Beit Mekae, who occupied the highest hill of the city, were chased away to create the fenced field, or the first nucleus of the colonial city, an area off-limits to Eritreans. An area only for whites. How many know about Italian apartheid?” (Scego 2014, p. 105).

    In her book, Roma negata. Percorsi postcoloniali nella città (2014), she invites us to visually represent the historical connections between Europe and Africa, in creative ways; for instance, she worked with photographer Rino Bianchi to portray Afro-descendants in places marked by fascism such as Cinema Impero, Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana and Dogali’s stele in Rome.

    Inspired by her book, we decided to go further, giving life to ‘Decolonizing the city. Visual Dialogues in Padova’. Our goal was to question ourselves statues and street names in order to challenge the worldviews and social hierarchies that have made it possible to celebrate/forget the racist and sexist violence of colonialism. The colonial streets of Padova have been re-appropriated by the bodies, voices and gazes of six Italian Afro-descendants who took part in a participatory video, taking urban traces of colonialism out of insignificance and re-signifying them in a creative way.

    Wissal Houbabi, artist “daughter of the diaspora and the sea in between“, moves with the soundtrack by Amir Issa Non respiro (2020), leaving her poetry scattered between Via Cirenaica and Via Libia.

    “The past is here, insidious in our minds, and the future may have passed.

    The past is here, even if you forget it, even if you ignore it, even if you do everything to deny the squalor of what it was, the State that preserves the status of frontiers and jus sanguinis.

    If my people wanted to be free one day, even destiny would have to bend”.

    Cadigia Hassan shares the photos of her Italian-Somali family with a friend of hers and then goes to via Somalia, where she meets a resident living there who has never understood the reason behind the name of that street. That’s why Cadigia has returned to via Somalia: she wants to leave traces of herself, of her family history, of historical intertwining and to make visible the important connections that exist between the two countries.

    Ilaria Zorzan questions the colonial past through her Italo-Eritrean family photographic archive. The Italians in Eritrea made space, building roads, cableways, railways, buildings… And her grandfather worked as a driver and transporter, while her Eritrean grandmother, before marrying her grandfather, had been his maid. Ilaria conceals her face behind old photographs to reveal herself in Via Asmara through a mirror.

    Emmanuel M’bayo Mertens is an activist of the Arising Africans association. In the video we see him conducting a tour in the historic center of Padova, in Piazza Antenore, formerly Piazza 9 Maggio. Emmanuel cites the resolution by which the municipality of Padova dedicated the square to the day of the “proclamation of the empire” by Mussolini (1936). According to Emmanuel, fascism has never completely disappeared, as the Italian citizenship law mainly based on jus sanguinis shows in the racist idea of ​​Italianness transmitted ‘by blood’. Instead, Italy is built upon migration processes, as the story of Antenor, Padova’s legendary founder and refugee, clearly shows.

    Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfau’ questions the colonial map in Piazza delle Erbe where Libya, Albania, Ethiopia and Eritrea are marked as part of a white empire. She says that if people ignore this map it is because Italy’s colonial history is ignored. Moreover, today these same countries, marked in white on the map, are part of the Sub-saharan and Mediterranean migrant routes. Referring then to the bilateral agreements between Italy and Libya to prevent “irregular migrants” from reaching Europe, she argues that neocolonialism is alive. Quoting Aimé Césaire, she declares that “Europe is indefensible”.

    The video ends with Viviana Zorzato, a painter of Eritrean origin. Her house, full of paintings inspired by Ethiopian iconography, overlooks Via Amba Aradam. Viviana tells us about the ‘Portrait of a N-word Woman’, which she has repainted numerous times over the years. Doing so meant taking care of herself, an Afro-descendant Italian woman. Reflecting on the colonial streets she crosses daily, she argues that it is important to know the history but also to remember the beauty. Amba Alagi or Amba Aradam cannot be reduced to colonial violence, they are also names of mountains, and Viviana possesses a free gaze that sees beauty. Like Giorgio Marincola, Viviana will continue to “feel her homeland as a culture” and she will have no flags to bow her head to.

    The way in which Italy lost the colonies – that is with the fall of fascism instead of going through a formal decolonization process – prevented Italy from being aware of the role it played during colonialism. Alessandra Ferrini, in her ‘Negotiating amnesia‘,refers to an ideological collective amnesia: the sentiment of an unjust defeat fostered a sense of self-victimisation for Italians, removing the responsibility from them as they portrayed themselves as “brava gente” (good people). This fact, as scholars such as Nicola Labanca have explained, has erased the colonial period from the collective memory and public sphere, leaving colonial and racist culture in school textbooks, as the historian Gianluca Gabrielli (2015) has shown.

    This difficulty in coming to terms with the colonial past was clearly visible in the way several white journalists and politicians reacted to antiracist and feminist movements’ request to remove the statue of journalist Indro Montanelli in Milan throughout the BLM wave. During the African campaign, Montanelli bought the young 12-year-old-girl “Destà” under colonial concubinage (the so‑called madamato), boasting about it even after being accused by feminist Elvira Banotti of being a rapist. The issue of Montanelli’s highlights Italy’s need to think critically over not only colonial but also race and gender violence which are embedded in it.

    Despite this repressed colonial past, in the last decade Italy has witnessed a renewed interest stemming from bottom-up local movements dealing with colonial legacy in the urban space. Two examples are worth mentioning: Resistenze in Cirenaica (Resistances in Cyrenaica) in Bologna and the project “W Menilicchi!” (Long live Menilicchi) in Palermo. These instances, along with other contributions were collected in the Roots§Routes 2020 spring issue, “Even statues die”.

    Resistenze in Cirenaica has been working in the Cyrenaica neighbourhood, named so in the past due to the high presence of colonial roads. In the aftermath of the second world war the city council decided unanimously to rename the roads carrying fascist and colonial street signs (except for via Libya, left as a memorial marker) with partisans’ names, honouring the city at the centre of the resistance movement during the fascist and Nazi occupation. Since 2015, the collective has made this place the centre of an ongoing laboratory including urban walks, readings and storytelling aiming to “deprovincialize resistances”, considering the battles in the ex-colonies as well as in Europe, against the nazi-fascist forces, as antiracist struggles. The publishing of Quaderni di Cirene (Cyrene’s notebooks) brought together local and overseas stories of people who resisted fascist and colonial occupation, with the fourth book addressing the lives of fighter and partisan women through a gender lens.

    In October 2018, thanks to the confluence of Wu Ming 2, writer and storyteller from Resistenze in Cirenaica, and the Sicilian Fare Ala collective, a public urban walk across several parts of the city was organized, with the name “Viva Menilicchi!”. The itinerary (19 kms long) reached several spots carrying names of Italian colonial figures and battles, explaining them through short readings and theatrical sketches, adding road signs including stories of those who have been marginalized and exploited. Significantly, W Menilicchi! refers to Palermitan socialists and communists’ battle cry supporting king Menelik II who defeated the Italian troops in Aduwa in 1896, thus establishing a transnational bond among people subjected to Italian invasion (as Jane Schneider explores in Italy’s ‘Southern Question’: Orientalism in One Country, South Italy underwent a socio-economic occupation driven by imperial/colonial logics by the north-based Kingdom of Italy) . Furthermore, the urban walk drew attention to the linkage of racist violence perpetrated by Italians during colonialism with the killings of African migrants in the streets of Palermo, denouncing the white superiority on which Italy thrived since its birth (which run parallel with the invasion of Africa).

    These experiences of “odonomastic guerrillas” (street-name activists) have found creative ways of decolonising Italian history inscribed in cities, being aware that a structural change requires not only time but also a wide bottom-up involvement of inhabitants willing to deal with the past. New alliances are developing as different groups network and coordinate in view of several upcoming dates, such as February 19th, which marks the anniversary of the massacre of Addis Ababa which occurred in 1937 at the hands of Italian viceroy Rodolfo Graziani.

    References:
    Gabrielli G. (2015), Il curriculo “razziale”: la costruzione dell’alterità di “razza” e coloniale nella scuola italiana (1860-1950), Macerata: Edizioni Università di Macerata.
    Labanca, N. (2002) Oltremare. Storia dell’espansione coloniale italiana, Bologna: Il Mulino.
    Scego, I. (2014) Roma negata. Percorsi postcoloniali nella città, Roma: Ediesse.
    Schneider J (ed.) (1998) Italy’s ‘Southern Question’: Orientalism in One Country, London: Routledge.

    https://archive.discoversociety.org/2021/02/06/rapid-response-decolonizing-italian-cities

    #décolonisation #décolonial #colonialisme #traces_coloniales #Italie #Italie_coloniale #colonialisme_italien #statues #Padova #Padoue #afro-descendants #Cadigia_Hassan #via_Somalia #Ilaria_Zorzan #Emmanuel_M’bayo_Mertens #Mackda_Ghebremariam_Tesfau #Piazza_delle_erbe #Viviana_Zorzato #Via_Amba_Aradam #Giorgio_Marincola #Alessandra_Ferrini

    ping @postcolonial @cede

    –—

    ajouté à la métaliste sur l’Italie coloniale :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/871953

    • #Negotiating_Amnesia

      Negotiating Amnesia is an essay film based on research conducted at the Alinari Archive and the National Library in Florence. It focuses on the Ethiopian War of 1935-36 and the legacy of the fascist, imperial drive in Italy. Through interviews, archival images and the analysis of high-school textbooks employed in Italy since 1946, the film shifts through different historical and personal anecdotes, modes and technologies of representation.

      https://vimeo.com/429591146?embedded=true&source=vimeo_logo&owner=3319920



      https://www.alessandraferrini.info/negotiating-amnesia

      En un coup d’oeil, l’expansion coloniale italienne :

      #amnésie #film #fascisme #impérialisme #Mussolini #Benito_Mussolini #déni #héritage #mémoire #guerre #guerre_d'Ethiopie #violence #Istrie #photographie #askaris #askari #campagna_d'Africa #Tito_Pittana #Mariano_Pittana #mémoire #prostitution #madamato #madamisme #monuments #Romano_Romanelli #commémoration #mémoriel #Siracusa #Syracuse #nostalgie #célébration #Axum #obélisque #Nuovo_Impero_Romano #Affile #Rodolfo_Graziani #Pietro_Badoglio #Uomo_Nuovo #manuels_scolaires #un_posto_al_sole #colonialismo_straccione #italiani_brava_gente #armes_chimiques #armes_bactériologiques #idéologie

    • My Heritage ?

      My Heritage? (2020) is a site-specific intervention within the vestibule of the former Casa d’Italia in Marseille, inaugurated in 1935 and now housing the Italian Cultural Institute. The installation focuses on the historical and ideological context that the building incarnates: the intensification of Fascist imperial aspirations that culminated in the fascistization of the Italian diaspora and the establishment of the Empire in 1936, as a result of the occupation of Ethiopia. As the League of Nations failed to intervene in a war involving two of its members, the so-called Abyssinian Crisis gave rise to a series of conflicts that eventually led to the WW2: a ‘cascade effect’. On the other hand, the attack on the ‘black man’s last citadel’ (Ras Makonnen), together with the brutality of Italian warfare, caused widespread protests and support to the Ethiopian resistance, especially from Pan-African movements.

      Placed by the entrance of the exhibition Rue d’Alger, it includes a prominent and inescapable sound piece featuring collaged extracts from texts by members of the London-based Pan-African association International African Friends of Ethiopia - CLR James, Ras Makonnen, Amy Ashwood Garvey - intertwined with those of British suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst and Italian anarchist Silvio Corio, founders of the newspaper New Times and Ethiopian News in London.

      Through handwritten notes and the use of my own voice, the installation is a personal musing on heritage as historical responsibility, based on a self-reflective process. My voice is used to highlight such personal process, its arbitrary choice of sources (related to my position as Italian migrant in London), almost appropriated here as an act of thinking aloud and thinking with these militant voices. Heritage is therefore intended as a choice, questioning its nationalist uses and the everlasting and catastrophic effects of Fascist foreign politics. With its loudness and placement, it wishes to affect the visitors, confronting them with the systemic violence that this Fascist architecture outside Italy embodies and to inhibit the possibility of being seduced by its aesthetic.



      https://www.alessandraferrini.info/my-heritage

      #héritage

    • "Decolonizziamo le città": il progetto per una riflessione collettiva sulla storia coloniale italiana

      Un video dal basso in cui ogni partecipante produce una riflessione attraverso forme artistiche differenti, come l’arte figurativa, la slam poetry, interrogando questi luoghi e con essi “noi” e la storia italiana

      Via Eritrea, Viale Somalia, Via Amba Aradam, via Tembien, via Adua, via Agordat. Sono nomi di strade presenti in molte città italiane che rimandano al colonialismo italiano nel Corno d’Africa. Ci passiamo davanti molto spesso senza sapere il significato di quei nomi.

      A Padova è nato un progetto che vuole «decolonizzare la città». L’idea è quella di realizzare un video partecipativo in cui ogni partecipante produca una riflessione attraverso forme artistiche differenti, come l’arte figurativa, la slam poetry, interrogando questi luoghi e con essi “noi” e la storia italiana. Saranno coinvolti gli studenti del laboratorio “Visual Research Methods”, nel corso di laurea magistrale “Culture, formazione e società globale” dell’Università di Padova e artisti e attivisti afrodiscendenti, legati alla diaspora delle ex-colonie italiane e non.

      «Stavamo preparando questo laboratorio da marzo», racconta Elisabetta Campagni, che si è laureata in Sociologia a marzo 2020 e sta organizzando il progetto insieme alla sua ex relatrice del corso di Sociologia Visuale Annalisa Frisina, «già molto prima che il movimento Black Lives Matter riportasse l’attenzione su questi temi».

      Riscrivere la storia insieme

      «Il dibattito sul passato coloniale italiano è stato ampiamente ignorato nei dibattiti pubblici e troppo poco trattato nei luoghi di formazione ed educazione civica come le scuole», si legge nella presentazione del laboratorio, che sarà realizzato a partire dall’autunno 2020. «C’è una rimozione grandissima nella nostra storia di quello che ricordano questi nomi, battaglie, persone che hanno partecipato a massacri nelle ex colonie italiane. Pochi lo sanno. Ma per le persone che arrivano da questi paesi questi nomi sono offensivi».

      Da qui l’idea di riscrivere una storia negata, di «rinarrare delle vicende che nascondono deportazioni e uccisioni di massa, luoghi di dolore, per costruire narrazioni dove i protagonisti e le protagoniste sono coloro che tradizionalmente sono stati messi a tacere o sono rimasti inascoltati», affermano le organizzatrici.

      Le strade «rinarrate»

      I luoghi del video a Padova saranno soprattutto nella zona del quartiere Palestro, dove c’è una grande concentrazione di strade con nomi che rimandano al colonialismo. Si andrà in via Amba Aradam, il cui nome riporta all’altipiano etiope dove nel febbraio 1936 venne combattuta una battaglia coloniale dove gli etiopi vennero massacrati e in via Amba Alagi.

      Una tappa sarà nell’ex piazza Pietro Toselli, ora dedicata ai caduti della resistenza, che ci interroga sul legame tra le forme di resistenza al fascismo e al razzismo, che unisce le ex-colonie all’Italia. In Italia il dibattito si è concentrato sulla statua a Indro Montanelli, ma la toponomastica che ricorda il colonialismo è molta e varia. Oltre alle strade, sarà oggetto di discussione la mappa dell’impero coloniale italiano situata proprio nel cuore della città, in Piazza delle Erbe, ma che passa spesso inosservata.

      Da un’idea di Igiaba Scego

      Come ci spiega Elisabetta Campagni, l’idea nasce da un libro di Igiaba Scego che anni fa ha pubblicato alcune foto con afrodiscendenti che posano davanti ai luoghi che celebrano il colonialismo a Roma come la stele di Dogali, vicino alla stazione Termini, in viale Luigi Einaudi.

      Non è il primo progetto di questo tipo: il collettivo Wu Ming ha lanciato la guerriglia odonomastica, con azioni e performance per reintitolare dal basso vie e piazze delle città o aggiungere informazioni ai loro nomi per cambiare senso all’intitolazione. La guerriglia è iniziata a Bologna nel quartiere della Cirenaica e il progetto è stato poi realizzato anche a Palermo. Un esempio per il laboratorio «Decolonizzare la città» è stato anche «Berlin post colonial», l’iniziativa nata da anni per rititolare le strade e creare percorsi di turismo consapevole.

      Il progetto «Decolonizzare la città» sta raccogliendo i voti sulla piattaforma Zaalab (https://cinemavivo.zalab.org/progetti/decolonizzare-la-citta-dialoghi-visuali-a-padova), con l’obiettivo di raccogliere fondi per la realizzazione del laboratorio.

      https://it.mashable.com/cultura/3588/decolonizziamo-le-citta-il-progetto-per-una-riflessione-collettiva-sull

      #histoire_niée #storia_negata #récit #contre-récit

    • Decolonizzare la città. Dialoghi Visuali a Padova

      Descrizione

      Via Amba Alagi, via Tembien, via Adua, via Agordat. Via Eritrea, via Libia, via Bengasi, via Tripoli, Via Somalia, piazza Toselli… via Amba Aradam. Diversi sono i nomi di luoghi, eventi e personaggi storici del colonialismo italiano in città attraversate in modo distratto, senza prestare attenzione alle tracce di un passato che in realtà non è ancora del tutto passato. Che cosa significa la loro presenza oggi, nello spazio postcoloniale urbano? Se la loro origine affonda le radici in un misto di celebrazione coloniale e nazionalismo, per capire il significato della loro permanenza si deve guardare alla società contemporanea e alle metamorfosi del razzismo.

      Il dibattito sul passato coloniale italiano è stato ampiamente ignorato nei dibattiti pubblici e troppo poco trattato nei luoghi di formazione ed educazione civica come le scuole. L’esistenza di scritti, memorie biografiche e racconti, pur presente in Italia, non ha cambiato la narrazione dominante del colonialismo italiano nell’immaginario pubblico, dipinto come una breve parentesi storica che ha portato civiltà e miglioramenti nei territori occupati (“italiani brava gente”). Tale passato, però, è iscritto nella toponomastica delle città italiane e ciò ci spinge a confrontarci con il significato di tali vie e con la loro indiscussa presenza. Per questo vogliamo partire da questi luoghi, e in particolare da alcune strade, per costruire una narrazione dal basso che sia frutto di una ricerca partecipata e condivisa, per decolonizzare la città, per reclamare una lettura diversa e critica dello spazio urbano e resistere alle politiche che riproducono strutture (neo)coloniali di razzializzazione degli “altri”.

      Il progetto allora intende sviluppare una riflessione collettiva sulla storia coloniale italiana, il razzismo, l’antirazzismo, la resistenza di ieri e di oggi attraverso la realizzazione di un video partecipativo.

      Esso è organizzato in forma laboratoriale e vuole coinvolgere studenti/studentesse del laboratorio “Visual Research Methods” (corso di laurea magistrale “Culture, formazione e società globale”) dell’Università di Padova e gli/le artisti/e ed attivisti/e afrodiscendenti, legati alla diaspora delle ex-colonie italiane e non.

      Il progetto si propone di creare una narrazione visuale partecipata, in cui progettazione, riprese e contenuti siano discussi in maniera orizzontale e collaborativa tra i e le partecipanti. Gli/Le attivisti/e e artisti/e afrodiscendenti con i/le quali studenti e studentesse svolgeranno le riprese provengono in parte da diverse città italiane e in parte vivono a Padova, proprio nel quartiere in questione. Ognuno/a di loro produrrà insieme agli studenti e alle studentesse una riflessione attraverso forme artistiche differenti (come l’arte figurativa, la slam poetry…), interrogando tali luoghi e con essi “noi” e la storia italiana. I partecipanti intrecciano così le loro storie personali e familiari, la storia passata dell’Italia e il loro attivismo quotidiano, espresso con l’associazionismo o con diverse espressioni artistiche (Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfaù, Wissal Houbabi, Theophilus Marboah, Cadigia Hassan, Enrico e Viviana Zorzato, Ilaria Zorzan, Ada Ugo Abara ed Emanuel M’bayo Mertens di Arising Africans). I processi di discussione, scrittura, ripresa, selezione e montaggio verranno documentati attraverso l’utilizzo di foto e filmati volti a mostrare la meta-ricerca, il processo attraverso cui viene realizzato il video finale, e le scelte, di contenuto e stilistiche, negoziate tra i diversi attori. Questi materiali verranno condivisi attraverso i canali online, con il fine di portare a tutti coloro che sostengono il progetto una prima piccola restituzione che renda conto dello svolgimento del lavoro.

      Le strade sono un punto focale della narrazione: oggetto dei discorsi propagandistici di Benito Mussolini, fulcro ed emblema del presunto e mitologico progetto di civilizzazione italiana in Africa, sono proprio le strade dedicate a luoghi e alle battaglie dove si sono consumate le atrocità italiane che sono oggi presenze fisiche e allo stesso tempo continuano ad essere invisibilizzate; e i nomi che portano sono oggi largamente dei riferimenti sconosciuti. Ripercorrere questi luoghi fisici dando vita a dialoghi visuali significa riappropriarsi di una storia negata, rinarrare delle vicende che nascondono deportazioni e uccisioni di massa, luoghi di dolore, per costruire narrazioni dove i protagonisti e le protagoniste sono coloro che tradizionalmente sono stati messi a tacere o sono rimasti inascoltati.

      La narrazione visuale partirà da alcuni luoghi – come via Amba Aradam e via lago Ascianghi – della città di Padova intitolati alla storia coloniale italiana, in cui i protagonisti e le protagoniste del progetto daranno vita a racconti e performances artistiche finalizzate a decostruire la storia egemonica coloniale, troppo spesso edulcorata e minimizzata. L’obiettivo è quello di favorire il prodursi di narrazioni dal basso, provenienti dalle soggettività in passato rese marginali e che oggi mettono in scena nuove narrazioni resistenti. La riappropriazione di tali luoghi, fisica e simbolica, è volta ad aprire una riflessione dapprima all’interno del gruppo e successivamente ad un pubblico esterno, al fine di coinvolgere enti, come scuole, associazioni e altre realtà che si occupano di questi temi sul territorio nazionale. Oltre alle strade, saranno oggetto di discussione la mappa dell’impero coloniale italiano situata proprio nel cuore della città, in Piazza delle Erbe, e l’ex piazza Toselli, ora dedicata ai caduti della resistenza, che ci interroga sul legame tra le forme di resistenza al fascismo e al razzismo, che unisce le ex-colonie all’Italia.

      Rinarrare la storia passata è un impegno civile e politico verso la società contemporanea. Se anche oggi il razzismo ha assunto nuove forme, esso affonda le sue radici nella storia nazionale e coloniale italiana. Questa storia va rielaborata criticamente per costruire nuove alleanze antirazziste e anticolonialiste.

      Il video partecipativo, ispirato al progetto “Roma Negata” della scrittrice Igiaba Scego e di Rino Bianchi, ha l’obiettivo di mostrare questi luoghi attraverso narrazioni visuali contro-egemoniche, per mettere in discussione una storia ufficiale, modi di dire e falsi miti, per contribuire a dare vita ad una memoria critica del colonialismo italiano e costruire insieme percorsi riflessivi nuovi. Se, come sostiene Scego, occupare uno spazio è un grido di esistenza, con il nostro progetto vogliamo affermare che lo spazio può essere rinarrato, riletto e riattraversato.

      Il progetto vuole porsi in continuità con quanto avvenuto sabato 20 giugno, quando a Padova, nel quartiere Palestro, si è tenuta una manifestazione organizzata dall’associazione Quadrato Meticcio a cui hanno aderito diverse realtà locali, randunatesi per affermare la necessita’ di decolonizzare il nostro sguardo. Gli interventi che si sono susseguiti hanno voluto riflettere sulla toponomastica coloniale del quartiere Palestro, problematizzandone la presenza e invitando tutti e tutte a proporre alternative possibili.

      https://cinemavivo.zalab.org/progetti/decolonizzare-la-citta-dialoghi-visuali-a-padova

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axEa6By9PIA&t=156s

  • Au #Tigré_éthiopien, la #guerre « sans pitié » du prix Nobel de la paix

    Le premier ministre éthiopien #Abyi_Ahmed oppose une fin de non-recevoir aux offres de médiation de ses pairs africains, alors que les combats entre l’armée fédérale et les forces de la province du Tigré ne cessent de prendre de l’ampleur.

    Le gouvernement d’Addis Abéba continue de parler d’une simple opération de police contre une province récalcitrante ; mais c’est une véritable guerre, avec blindés, aviation, et des dizaines de milliers de combattants, qui oppose l’armée fédérale éthiopienne aux forces de la province du Tigré, dans le nord du pays.

    Trois semaines de combats ont déjà provoqué l’afflux de 30 000 #réfugiés au #Soudan voisin, et ce nombre pourrait rapidement grimper après l’ultimatum lancé hier soir par le gouvernement aux rebelles : 72 heures pour se rendre. L’#armée demande aussi à la population de la capitale tigréenne, #Makelle, de se « libérer » des dirigeants du #Front_de_libération_du_peuple_du_Tigré, au pouvoir dans la province ; en cas contraire, a-t-elle prévenu, « il n’y aura aucune pitié ».

    Cette escalade rapide et, en effet, sans pitié, s’accompagne d’une position inflexible du premier ministre éthiopien, Abyi Ahmed, vis-à-vis de toute médiation, y compris celle de ses pairs africains. Addis Abéba a opposé une fin de non-recevoir aux tentatives de médiation, celle des voisins de l’Éthiopie, ou celle du Président en exercice de l’Union africaine, le sud-africain Cyril Ramaphosa. Ils seront poliment reçus à Addis Abéba, mais pas question de les laisser aller au Tigré ou de rencontrer les leaders du #TPLF, le front tigréen considéré comme des « bandits ».

    Pourquoi cette position inflexible ? La réponse se trouve à la fois dans l’histoire particulièrement violente de l’Éthiopie depuis des décennies, et dans la personnalité ambivalente d’Abyi Ahmed, le chef du gouvernement et, ne l’oublions pas, prix Nobel de la paix l’an dernier.

    L’histoire nous donne des clés. Le Tigré ne représente que 6% des 100 millions d’habitants de l’Éthiopie, mais il a joué un rôle historique déterminant. C’est du Tigré qu’est partie la résistance à la sanglante dictature de Mengistu Haile Mariam, qui avait renversé l’empire d’Haile Selassie en 1974. Victorieux en 1991, le TPLF a été au pouvoir pendant 17 ans, avec à sa tête un homme fort, Meles Zenawi, réformateur d’une main de fer, qui introduira notamment le fédéralisme en Éthiopie. Sa mort subite en 2012 a marqué le début des problèmes pour les Tigréens, marginalisés après l’élection d’Abyi Ahmed en 2018, et qui l’ont très mal vécu.

    La personnalité d’Abyi Ahmed est aussi au cœur de la crise actuelle. Encensé pour ses mesures libérales, le premier ministre éthiopien est également un ancien militaire inflexible, déterminé à s’opposer aux forces centrifuges qui menacent l’unité de l’ex-empire.

    Ce contexte laisse envisager un #conflit prolongé, car le pouvoir fédéral ne renoncera pas à son offensive jusqu’à ce qu’il ait, au minimum, repris Mekelle, la capitale du Tigré. Or cette ville est à 2500 mètres d’altitude, dans une région montagneuse où les avancées d’une armée régulière sont difficiles.

    Quant au front tigréen, il a vraisemblablement envisagé une position de repli dans la guerrilla, avec des forces aguerries, dans une région qui lui est acquise.

    Reste l’attitude des pays de la région, qui risquent d’être entrainés dans cette #guerre_civile, à commencer par l’Érythrée voisine, déjà touchée par les hostilités.

    C’est une tragédie pour l’Éthiopie, mais aussi pour l’Afrique, car c’est le deuxième pays le plus peuplé du continent, siège de l’Union africaine, l’une des locomotives d’une introuvable renaissance africaine. L’Afrique doit tout faire pour mettre fin à cette guerre fratricide, aux conséquences dévastatrices.

    https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/geopolitique/geopolitique-23-novembre-2020

    #Ethiopie #Tigré #Corne_de_l'Afrique #Tigray

    • Conflict between Tigray and Eritrea – the long standing faultline in Ethiopian politics

      The missile attack by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on Eritrea in mid-November transformed an internal Ethiopian crisis into a transnational one. In the midst of escalating internal conflict between Ethiopia’s northernmost province, Tigray, and the federal government, it was a stark reminder of a historical rivalry that continues to shape and reshape Ethiopia.

      The rivalry between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and the movement which has governed Eritrea in all but name for the past 30 years – the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front – goes back several decades.

      The histories of Eritrea and Ethiopia have long been closely intertwined. This is especially true of Tigray and central Eritrea. These territories occupy the central massif of the Horn of Africa. Tigrinya-speakers are the predominant ethnic group in both Tigray and in the adjacent Eritrean highlands.

      The enmity between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front dates to the mid-1970s, when the Tigrayan front was founded in the midst of political turmoil in Ethiopia. The authoritarian Marxist regime – known as the Derg (Amharic for ‘committee’) – inflicted violence upon millions of its own citizens. It was soon confronted with a range of armed insurgencies and socio-political movements. These included Tigray and Eritrea, where the resistance was most ferocious.

      The Tigrayan front was at first close to the Eritrean front, which had been founded in 1970 to fight for independence from Ethiopia. Indeed, the Eritreans helped train some of the first Tigrayan recruits in 1975-6, in their shared struggle against Ethiopian government forces for social revolution and the right to self-determination.

      But in the midst of the war against the Derg regime, the relationship quickly soured over ethnic and national identity. There were also differences over the demarcation of borders, military tactics and ideology. The Tigrayan front eventually recognised the Eritreans’ right to self-determination, if grudgingly, and resolved to fight for the liberation of all Ethiopian peoples from the tyranny of the Derg regime.

      Each achieved seminal victories in the late 1980s. Together the Tigrayan-led Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front and the Eritrean front overthrew the Derg in May 1991. The Tigrayan-led front formed government in Addis Ababa while the Eritrean front liberated Eritrea which became an independent state.

      But this was just the start of a new phase of a deep-rooted rivalry. This continued between the governments until the recent entry of prime minister Abiy Ahmed.

      If there’s any lesson to be learnt from years of military and political manoeuvrings, it is that conflict in Tigray is unavoidably a matter of intense interest to the Eritrean leadership. And Abiy would do well to remember that conflict between Eritrea and Tigray has long represented a destabilising fault line for Ethiopia as well as for the wider region.
      Reconciliation and new beginnings

      In the early 1990s, there was much talk of reconciliation and new beginnings between Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and Isaias Afeworki of Eritrea. The two governments signed a range of agreements on economic cooperation, defence and citizenship. It seemed as though the enmity of the liberation war was behind them.

      Meles declared as much at the 1993 Eritrean independence celebrations, at which he was a notable guest.

      But deep-rooted tensions soon resurfaced. In the course of 1997, unresolved border disputes were exacerbated by Eritrea’s introduction of a new currency. This had been anticipated in a 1993 economic agreement. But in the event Tigrayan traders often refused to recognise it, and it caused a collapse in commerce.

      Full-scale war erupted over the contested border hamlet of Badme in May 1998. The fighting swiftly spread to other stretches of the shared, 1,000 km long frontier. Air strikes were launched on both sides.

      It was quickly clear, too, that this was only superficially about borders. It was more substantively about regional power and long standing antagonisms that ran along ethnic lines.

      The Eritrean government’s indignant anti-Tigray front rhetoric had its echo in the popular contempt for so-called Agame, the term Eritreans used for Tigrayan migrant labourers.

      For the Tigray front, the Eritrean front was the clearest expression of perceived Eritrean arrogance.

      As for Isaias himself, regarded as a crazed warlord who had led Eritrea down a path which defied economic and political logic, it was hubris personified.

      Ethiopia deported tens of thousands of Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean descent.

      Ethiopia’s decisive final offensive in May 2000 forced the Eritrean army to fall back deep into their own territory. Although the Ethiopians were halted, and a ceasefire put in place after bitter fighting on a number of fronts, Eritrea had been devastated by the conflict.

      The Algiers Agreement of December 2000 was followed by years of standoff, occasional skirmishes, and the periodic exchange of insults.

      During this period Ethiopia consolidated its position as a dominant power in the region. And Meles as one of the continent’s representatives on the global stage.

      For its part Eritrea retreated into a militaristic, authoritarian solipsism. Its domestic policy centred on open-ended national service for the young. Its foreign policy was largely concerned with undermining the Ethiopian government across the region. This was most obvious in Somalia, where its alleged support for al-Shabaab led to the imposition of sanctions on Asmara.

      The ‘no war-no peace’ scenario continued even after Meles’s sudden death in 2012. The situation only began to shift with the resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn against a backdrop of mounting protest across Ethiopia, especially among the Oromo and the Amhara, and the rise to power of Abiy.

      What followed was the effective overthrow of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front which had been the dominant force in the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition since 1991.

      This provided Isaias with a clear incentive to respond to Abiy’s overtures.
      Tigray’s loss, Eritrea’s gain

      A peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, was signed in July 2018 by Abiy and Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki. It formally ended their 1998-2000 war. It also sealed the marginalisation of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Many in the Tigray People’s Liberation Front were unenthusiastic about allowing Isaias in from the cold.

      Since the 1998-2000 war, in large part thanks to the astute manoeuvres of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Eritrea had been exactly where the Tigray People’s Liberation Front wanted it: an isolated pariah state with little diplomatic clout. Indeed, it is unlikely that Isaias would have been as receptive to the deal had it not involved the further sidelining of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, something which Abiy presumably understood.

      Isaias had eschewed the possibility of talks with Abiy’s predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn. But Abiy was a different matter. A political reformer, and a member of the largest but long-subjugated ethnic group in Ethiopia, the Oromo, he was determined to end the Tigray People’s Liberation Front’s domination of Ethiopian politics.

      This was effectively achieved in December 2019 when he abolished the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front and replaced it with the Prosperity Party.

      The Tigray People’s Liberation Front declined to join with the visible results of the current conflict.

      À lire aussi : Residual anger driven by the politics of power has boiled over into conflict in Ethiopia

      Every effort to engage with the Tigrayan leadership – including the Tigray People’s Liberation Front – in pursuit of a peaceful resolution must also mean keeping Eritrea out of the conflict.

      Unless Isaias is willing to play a constructive role – he does not have a good track record anywhere in the region in this regard – he must be kept at arm’s length, not least to protect the 2018 peace agreement itself.

      https://theconversation.com/conflict-between-tigray-and-eritrea-the-long-standing-faultline-in-

      #Derg #histoire #frontières #démarcation_des_frontières #monnaie #Badme #Agame #travailleurs_étrangers #Oromo #Ethiopian_People’s_Revolutionary_Democratic_Front #Prosperity_Party

      –—

      #Agame , the term Eritreans used for Tigrayan migrant labourers.

      –-> #terminologie #vocabulaire #mots
      ping @sinehebdo

    • Satellite Images Show Ethiopia Carnage as Conflict Continues
      – United Nations facility, school, clinic and homes burned down
      – UN refugee agency has had no access to the two camps

      Satellite images show the destruction of United Nations’ facilities, a health-care unit, a high school and houses at two camps sheltering Eritrean refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, belying government claims that the conflict in the dissident region is largely over.

      The eight Planet Labs Inc images are of Hitsats and the Shimelba camps. The camps hosted about 25,000 and 8,000 refugees respectively before a conflict broke out in the region two months ago, according to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

      “Recent satellite imagery indicates that structures in both camps are being intentionally targeted,” said Isaac Baker, an analyst at DX Open Network, a U.K. based human security research and analysis non-profit. “The systematic and widespread fires are consistent with an intentional campaign to deny the use of the camp.”

      DX Open Network has been following the conflict and analyzing satellite image data since Nov. 7, three days after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared war against a dissident group in the Tigray region, which dominated Ethiopian politics before Abiy came to power.

      Ethiopia’s government announced victory against the dissidents on Nov. 28 after federal forces captured the regional capital of Mekelle. Abiy spoke of the need to rebuild and return normalcy to Tigray at the time.

      Calls and messages to Redwan Hussein, spokesman for the government’s emergency task force on Tigray and the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Spokeswoman Billene Seyoum were not answered.

      In #Shimelba, images show scorched earth from apparent attacks in January. A World Food Programme storage facility and a secondary school run by the Development and Inter-Aid Church Commission have also been burned down, according to DX Open Network’s analysis. In addition, a health facility run by the Ethiopian Agency for Refugees and Returnees Affairs situated next to the WFP compound was also attacked between Jan. 5 and Jan. 8.

      In #Hitsats camp, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) away, there were at least 14 actively burning structures and 55 others were damaged or destroyed by Jan. 5. There were new fires by Jan. 8, according to DX Open Network’s analysis.

      The UN refugee agency has not had access to the camps since fighting started in early November, according to Chris Melzer, a communications officer for the agency. UNHCR has been able to reach its two other camps, Mai-Aini and Adi Harush, which are to the south, he said.

      “We also have no reliable, first-hand information about the situation in the camps or the wellbeing of the refugees,” Melzer said in reference to Hitsats and Shimelba.

      Eritrean troops have also been involved in the fighting and are accused of looting businesses and abducting refugees, according to aid workers and diplomats briefed on the situation. The governments of both Ethiopia and Eritrea have denied that Eritrean troops are involved in the conflict.

      The UN says fighting is still going on in several Tigray areas and 2.2 million people have been displaced in the past two months. Access to the region for journalists and independent analysts remains constrained, making it difficult to verify events.

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-09/satellite-images-show-destruction-of-refugee-camps-in-ethiopia?srnd=premi

      #images_satellitaires #camps_de_réfugiés #réfugiés

    • Ethiopia’s government appears to be wielding hunger as a weapon

      A rebel region is being starved into submission

      ETHIOPIA HAS suffered famines in the past. Many foreigners know this; in 1985 about one-third of the world’s population watched a pop concert to raise money for starving Ethiopians. What is less well understood is that poor harvests lead to famine only when malign rulers allow it. It was not the weather that killed perhaps 1m people in 1983-85. It was the policies of a Marxist dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam, who forced peasants at gunpoint onto collective farms. Mengistu also tried to crush an insurgency in the northern region of Tigray by burning crops, destroying grain stores and slaughtering livestock. When the head of his own government’s humanitarian agency begged him for cash to feed the starving, he dismissed him with a memorably callous phrase: “Don’t let these petty human problems...consume you.”

      https://www.economist.com/leaders/2021/01/23/ethiopias-government-appears-to-be-wielding-hunger-as-a-weapon

      #famine #faim
      #paywall

    • Amnesty International accuses Eritrean troops of killing hundreds of civilians in the holy city of #Axum

      Amnesty International has released a comprehensive, compelling report detailing the killing of hundreds of civilians in the Tigrayan city of Axum.

      This story has been carried several times by Eritrea Hub, most recently on 20th February. On 12 January this year the Axum massacre was raised in the British Parliament, by Lord David Alton.

      Gradually the picture emerging has been clarified and is now unambiguous.

      The Amnesty report makes grim reading: the details are horrifying.

      Human Rights Watch are finalising their own report, which will be published next week. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission is also publishing a report on the Axum massacre.

      The Ethiopian government appointed interim administration of Tigray is attempting to distance itself from the actions of Eritrean troops. Alula Habteab, who heads the interim administration’s construction, road and transport department, appeared to openly criticise soldiers from Eritrea, as well as the neighbouring Amhara region, for their actions during the conflict.

      “There were armies from a neighbouring country and a neighbouring region who wanted to take advantage of the war’s objective of law enforcement,” he told state media. “These forces have inflicted more damage than the war itself.”

      The full report can be found here: The Massacre in Axum – AFR 25.3730.2021. Below is the summary (https://eritreahub.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/The-Massacre-in-Axum-AFR-25.3730.2021.pdf)

      https://eritreahub.org/amnesty-international-accuses-eritrean-troops-of-killing-hundreds-of-civ

      #rapport #massacre

    • Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: How a massacre in the sacred city of #Aksum unfolded

      Eritrean troops fighting in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray killed hundreds of people in Aksum mainly over two days in November, witnesses say.

      The mass killings on 28 and 29 November may amount to a crime against humanity, Amnesty International says in a report.

      An eyewitness told the BBC how bodies remained unburied on the streets for days, with many being eaten by hyenas.

      Ethiopia and Eritrea, which both officially deny Eritrean soldiers are in Tigray, have not commented.

      The Ethiopian Human Rights commission says it is investigating the allegations.

      The conflict erupted on 4 November 2020 when Ethiopia’s government launched an offensive to oust the region’s ruling TPLF party after its fighters captured federal military bases in Tigray.

      Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, told parliament on 30 November that “not a single civilian was killed” during the operation.

      But witnesses have recounted how on that day they began burying some of the bodies of unarmed civilians killed by Eritrean soldiers - many of them boys and men shot on the streets or during house-to-house raids.

      Amnesty’s report has high-resolution satellite imagery from 13 December showing disturbed earth consistent with recent graves at two churches in Aksum, an ancient city considered sacred by Ethiopia’s Orthodox Christians.

      A communications blackout and restricted access to Tigray has meant reports of what has gone on in the conflict have been slow to emerge.

      In Aksum, electricity and phone networks reportedly stopped working on the first day of the conflict.
      How was Aksum captured?

      Shelling by Ethiopian and Eritrea forces to the west of Aksum began on Thursday 19 November, according to people in the city.

      “This attack continued for five hours, and was non-stop. People who were at churches, cafes, hotels and their residence died. There was no retaliation from any armed force in the city - it literally targeted civilians,” a civil servant in Aksum told the BBC.
      1px transparent line

      Amnesty has gathered similar and multiple testimonies describing the continuous shelling that evening of civilians.

      Once in control of the city, soldiers, generally identified as Eritrean, searched for TPLF soldiers and militias or “anyone with a gun”, Amnesty said.

      “There were a lot of... house-to-house killings,” one woman told the rights group.

      There is compelling evidence that Ethiopian and Eritrean troops carried out “multiple war crimes in their offensive to take control of Aksum”, Amnesty’s Deprose Muchena says.
      What sparked the killings?

      For the next week, the testimonies say Ethiopia troops were mainly in Aksum - the Eritreans had pushed on east to the town of Adwa.

      A witness told the BBC how the Ethiopian military looted banks in the city in that time.

      he Eritrean forces reportedly returned a week later. The fighting on Sunday 28 November was triggered by an assault of poorly armed pro-TPLF fighters, according to Amnesty’s report.

      Between 50 and 80 men from Aksum targeted an Eritrean position on a hill overlooking the city in the morning.

      A 26-year-old man who participated in the attack told Amnesty: “We wanted to protect our city so we attempted to defend it especially from Eritrean soldiers... They knew how to shoot and they had radios, communications... I didn’t have a gun, just a stick.”
      How did Eritrean troops react?

      It is unclear how long the fighting lasted, but that afternoon Eritrean trucks and tanks drove into Aksum, Amnesty reports.

      Witnesses say Eritrean soldiers went on a rampage, shooting at unarmed civilian men and boys who were out on the streets - continuing until the evening.

      A man in his 20s told Amnesty about the killings on the city’s main street: “I was on the second floor of a building and I watched, through the window, the Eritreans killing the youth on the street.”

      The soldiers, identified as Eritrean not just because of their uniform and vehicle number plates but because of the languages they spoke (Arabic and an Eritrean dialect of Tigrinya), started house-to-house searches.

      “I would say it was in retaliation,” a young man told the BBC. “They killed every man they found. If you opened your door and they found a man they killed him, if you didn’t open, they shoot your gate by force.”

      He was hiding in a nightclub and witnessed a man who was found and killed by Eritrean soldiers begging for his life: “He was telling them: ’I am a civilian, I am a banker.’”

      Another man told Amnesty that he saw six men killed, execution-style, outside his house near the Abnet Hotel the following day on 29 November.

      “They lined them up and shot them in the back from behind. Two of them I knew. They’re from my neighbourhood… They asked: ’Where is your gun’ and they answered: ’We have no guns, we are civilians.’”
      How many people were killed?

      Witnesses say at first the Eritrean soldiers would not let anyone approach the bodies on the streets - and would shoot anyone who did so.

      One woman, whose nephews aged 29 and 14 had been killed, said the roads “were full of dead bodies”.

      Amnesty says after the intervention of elders and Ethiopian soldiers, burials began over several days, with most funerals taking place on 30 November after people brought the bodies to the churches - often 10 at a time loaded on horse- or donkey-drawn carts.

      At Abnet Hotel, the civil servant who spoke to the BBC said some bodies were not removed for four days.

      "The bodies that were lying around Abnet Hotel and Seattle Cinema were eaten by hyenas. We found only bones. We buried bones.

      “I can say around 800 civilians were killed in Aksum.”

      This account is echoed by a church deacon who told the Associated Press that many bodies had been fed on by hyenas.

      He gathered victims’ identity cards and assisted with burials in mass graves and also believes about 800 people were killed that weekend.

      The 41 survivors and witnesses Amnesty interviewed provided the names of more than 200 people they knew who were killed.
      What happened after the burials?

      Witnesses say the Eritrean soldiers participated in looting, which after the massacre and as many people fled the city, became widespread and systematic.

      The university, private houses, hotels, hospitals, grain stores, garages, banks, DIY stores, supermarkets, bakeries and other shops were reportedly targeted.

      One man told Amnesty how Ethiopian soldiers failed to stop Eritreans looting his brother’s house.

      “They took the TV, a jeep, the fridge, six mattresses, all the groceries and cooking oil, butter, teff flour [Ethiopia’s staple food], the kitchen cabinets, clothes, the beers in the fridge, the water pump, and the laptop.”

      The young man who spoke to the BBC said he knew of 15 vehicles that had been stolen belonging to businessmen in the city.

      This has had a devastating impact on those left in Aksum, leaving them with little food and medicine to survive, Amnesty says.

      Witnesses say the theft of water pumps left residents having to drink from the river.
      Why is Aksum sacred?

      It is said to be the birthplace of the biblical Queen of Sheba, who travelled to Jerusalem to visit King Solomon.

      They had a son - Menelik I - who is said to have brought to Aksum the Ark of the Covenant, believed to contain the 10 commandments handed down to Moses by God.

      It is constantly under guard at the city’s Our Lady Mary of Zion Church and no-one is allowed to see it.

      A major religious celebration is usually held at the church on 30 November, drawing pilgrims from across Ethiopia and around the world, but it was cancelled last year amid the conflict.

      The civil servant interviewed by the BBC said that Eritrean troops came to the church on 3 December “terrorising the priests and forcing them to give them the gold and silver cross”.

      But he said the deacons and other young people went to protect the ark.

      “It was a huge riot. Every man and woman fought them. They fired guns and killed some, but we are happy as we did not fail to protect our treasures.”

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-56198469