Mixed Company will host the New Orleans premiere of ASMARINA: Voices & Images of a Postcolonial Heritage, a documentary by Alan Maglio and Medhin Paolos from 4 – 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, at Cafe Istanbul (2372 St. Claude). Admission to the event is free.
Based within the habesha community of Milan, ASMARINA explores the Eritrean/Ethiopian community present in Italy for at least half a century. Actively integrated into the social and cultural life of the city, ASMARINA interrogates the postcolonial heritage of Italy and Eritrea that has been little scrutinized up until now. Drawing from the collective memories of the community, photos and other documents, the film gathers together the legacy of personal stories, exploring the different shades of identity, migration and the aspirations of the people. The film explores the everyday life stories of Eritrean Italians, who have lived in the city for years and those arriving daily as refugees.
Mixed Company is proud to host the local premiere of ASMARINA in honor of Eritrean migrants and to commemorate Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. Today, Eritrean migrants are the second largest group seeking asylum in Europe and many are meeting death daily on the perilous journey through the desert and across the Mediterranean Sea. By uniting the narratives of the American descendants of enslaved Africans, Katrina survivors and Eritrean Italians, it is our hope to highlight our cultural connections and struggles across the diaspora and to further the fight for human rights in New Orleans, Louisiana.
ASMARINA is presented with support from Charitable Film Network, Cafe Istanbul and Japan Society of New Orleans.
Mixed Company is a multidisciplinary collective of artists based in New Orleans, Louisiana.