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′′Memory Day′′: “Stories to History: Jewish. ve. ve. s Sephardades, Memories and Practices”, Roundtable, with the participation of Emanuela Trevisan (Università di Ca ‘ Foscari, Venezia), Yolande Cohen (Université du Québec à Montréal), Valentina Gaddi (Université de Montréal), Théo-Mario Coppola and Alessio Mazzaro. (#IICMONTREALWEBINARSERIES)

What is ′′Holocaust Memory Day”? January 27, 1945 marks the opening day of the Auschwitz camp barriers. Thus, as stated in article 1 of the Law of 20 July 2000, n. 211, ′′The Italian Republic recognizes that on January 27, the day when the gates of Auschwitz were shot down, ′′ Memory Day ′′ to remember the victims of the Shoah (genocide perpetrated against the Jewish people), Racial laws, Italian persecution towards Jewish citizens, Italians who experienced deportation, imprisonment, death. In order not to forget also those who, even if they belonged to different camps and alignments, opposed the project of extermination, the risk and peril of their lives, saving many lives and protecting the persecuted”.

On the occasion of ′′Holocaust Memory Day 2021“, the Italian Institute of Culture of Montreal and the Collective Judeity (s) are pleased to present the Roundtable dedicated to the topic: ′′Stories to History ′′ : Jewish. ve. ve. Sephardades, memoirs and documentary practices“.

Monday, January 25, 2021 14 pm EST (20 pm Roma)


′′The narrative is not a truth but a collective experience of the word transmitted′′

In the exhibition La parole trasmise, which will be virtually available between February and March 2021, visual artist Alessio Mazzaro invites us to discover the Moroccan Jewish diaspora through a polyphonic path, made of narratives, dialogues, pictures and sounds. The word and narratives collected by the artist and their directing make the stories of Sephardic Jews and Jews, to the great history of migration and displacement that passes through them, between Casablanca, Paris and Montreal. As an introduction to the exhibition, this Roundtable provides an opportunity to learn and explore the historical and socio-anthropological issues of the Moroccan Jewish diaspora, which has an important presence in Montreal, and to return to the course and the artist’s approach through a reflection of documentary practice as a way to listen and represent a community, its stories and its history. Through the red thread of speech, narrative and memory, and their connection to space and time, social science and artistic approach meet at this meeting, thanks to the presence of sociologist Emanuela Trevisan Semi (Universit à Ca ‘ Foscari, Venezia), historian Yolande Cohen (Univerity of Quebec in Montreal), curator of exposition Theo-Mario Coppola and artist Alessio Mazzaro. Francesco D’Arelli, Director of the Italian Institute of Culture in Montreal, presents the Roundtable and Valentina Gaddi (Université de Montréal) is the moderator of the meeting.

Emanuela Trevisan is senior researcher in Modern Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. She has been until 2017 coordinator of the European Master Crossing the Mediterranean of the EACEA financed project EU-MES (Sustainability between people and territory in the Mediterranean). Her research interests are on Jews in Morocco, Karaites and Ethiopian Jews, and marginality in Israeli Society. Her last books are “Taamrat Emmanuel, an Ethiopian Jewish Intellectuals between colonized and colonizers”, CPL editions, Primo Levi Center New York, 2018; and (with Hanane Sekkat Hatimi) “Mémoire et représentations des juifs au Maroc: les voisins absents de Meknès“, Paris, Publisud, 2011. Her last edited books are “Conversioni all’ebraismo”, Roma, Bonanno, 2016 and (with Dario Miccoli, Tudor Parfitt) “Memory and Ethnicity, Ethnic Museums in Israel and the Diaspora”, Cambridge, Cambridge Scholars Publishers, 2013.

Yolande Cohen is a full professor at the Department of History of the Université du Québec à Montréal and directs the research team assembled in the group ′′History, Women, Gender and Migration′′ ( She is the author of many studies on the Jews from Morocco during the post-colonial period and in Quebec. She directed the collective work ′′Les Sepharades du Québec Route d’exiles North Africans′′ (Montreal, Del Busso Editeur, 2017).

Théo-Mario Coppola is a curator and arts writer. At the intersection of empathy and activism, his curatorial practice engages with research-based, experimental, narrative and political forms. Théo-Mario founded and curated “Hotel Europa”, an annual series of exhibitions and programmes (Vilnius, Lithuania in 2017, Brussels, Belgium in 2018, and Tbilisi, Georgia in 2019). In 2018, he curated the third edition of the Nuit Blanche arts festival at Villa Medici in Rome, Italy. Théo-Mario has been appointed curator of the 11th edition of the Momentum biennale that will take place in 2021 in Moss, Norway.

Alessio Mazzaro is an artist, environmental engineer and story seeker. Winner of the ECF Courageous Citizens fellowship, he was an artist-in-residence at the Cité internationale des Arts (Paris, 2017), Residencia Artistica Faap and Pivo (Sao Paulo, 2019 and 2020). He collaborated with Center for Global Migration Studies and Max Plack Institute for Ethnic and Religious Diversity in G öttingen (DE). He served as assistant to Petrit Halilaj and Flaka Haliti at the Venice Art Biennale. Through documentary practices and performances, he works on the boundary between performer, spectator and witness, and questions, in the public space, the citizen’s agency on reality and art.

Valentina Gaddi is a PhD in Sociology at the Université de Montréal and holds a scholarship from the IRTG-Diversity International Program. Her doctoral research explores the logic of building identity of Jewish Hasidic women, at the crossroads of gender, religion, race and class. This study is the starting point for his thoughts on pluralism, ethnic relations and the place of religion in our contemporary societies. Valentina coordinates the Judeity Collective (s), an interuniversity group of students and young researchers whose subjects of research are linked to judaity. A follower of the ethnographic approach, Yiddishophone in the future, she likes to combine artistic approach and sociological look to better communicate her research findings.

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  • Organized by: Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Montréal - Collect
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