Milano Città Mondo #02 - CINA

The Museum of Cultures with Networks and Cultural Cooperation Office of the Municipality of Milan, in collaboration with the Forum of the World City, annually dedicate a focus to one of the several international communities living in Milan, with the aim of documenting history, presence, integration and citizenship of the various international communities living in the city, even through the connection with the heritage of the museum objects.
Between the end of 2016 and the first months of 2017, the subject of investigation will be China and the Chinese in Milan. The Chinese are the most numerous immigrant communities of the, as well as the first in order of time among the many who have gradually settled in the city area.

For this purpose, in collaboration with the Confucius Institute of the University of Milan, with Docucity and with the support of associations representing the Chinese community in Milan, MUDEC has prepared a schedule of activities, conferences, exhibitions, films, special guided tours of the Chinese collections of Mudec, laboratories - from calligraphy to ceramics, the kitchen - which will run over six months, to end then with the exhibition "Chinamen - a century of Chinese in Milan" which will be held at the Museum from 15th March 2017.

The exhibition is the result of a participatory research conducted by sinologist Brigadoi Daniele Cologna in family archives of the old Italo-Chinese families in Milan and in public archives. The research involves young students in a rediscovery and enhancement of Sino-Italian heritage of the city: they will collect testimonies and documents that tell the story of the Chinese in Milan starting from their origins, placing the emphasis on the period between 1906 and 1946, not forgetting the vicissitudes of the war and the start of the second migration dynamics, from 1980 to the present day.

The work also will be used for the production and presentation of a documentary in cartoons of the same name, Chinamen, created by the artist Matteo Demonte (with Ciaj Rocchi already author of the hit graphic novel "Spring and Autumn"). Exhibition and documentary have a particular historiographical value because they face an important period of the social history of Milan that made possible the successive migrations and the ranks of transnational family relationships that over time never stopped. This is a period of the Italian history neither very well known not researched until now. The documentary tell this story which will move its beginnings from the participation of original Chinese merchants of Qingtian district, in the Zhejiang region, to the International Exhibition of 1906 held in Sempione Park. It will make account of the transnational dimensions of the migratory flow that began to connect some European contexts (primarily France, Holland and Italy) with some villages and some valleys of the emigrants in China territory of origin, especially since the end of the first World war.

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