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Cinema, History & Politics, Literature, Photography

Oltre i bordi / Beyond the Frame

Screening and Panel Discussion

March 29, 2024
6:30 pm

Part of the series Black Italia

Oltre i bordi (Beyond the Frame)
(Documentary, Italy, 2023, 41 min.)
In ITALIAN with ENGLISH subtitles

Directed by
Simone Brioni and Matteo Sandrini

Ubah Cristina Ali Farah

The fortuitous discovery of box of photographs taken in Italian East Africa in the 1930s by a distant relative, prompts more general considerations about the colonial gaze and its legacy. In a narrative that interweaves personal reflections and collective history – shared by both colonizers and colonized – this film invites us to look what is left “beyond the frame” from colonial photography.

Followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with:
Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, author
Simone Brioni, director, Stony Brook University
Hope Campbell Gustafson, translator


Ubah Cristina Ali Farah is a Somali Italian poet, novelist, playwright and librettist. She holds a PhD from the University of Naples, L’Orientale. She is the author of three novels, Madre piccola (2007; 2022 66thand2nd) Il comandante del fiume (2014; 66thand2nd, 2022) – translated and published in English as Little Mother and Commander of the river by Indiana University press as part of the Global African Voices Series – and Le stazioni della luna (66thand2nd, 2021). She has written the ekphrasis La danza dell’orice (Juxta Press, 2020) and the collection of short stories Le ceneri della fenice (Hopefulmonster, 2022).

Simone Brioni is Associate Professor in the Department of English at Stony Brook University. His research focuses on the literary and cinematic representation and self-representation of migrants, as well as the legacy and memory of Italian colonialism. On these topics, he wrote four documentaries: The Fourth Road (2009; with/about Kaha Mohamed Aden), Aulò (2009; with/about Ribka Sibhatu), Maka (2023; with/about Geneviève Makaping) and Beyond the Frame (2023; with Ubah Cristina Ali Farah). Publications in this area also include The Somali Within (2015), Scrivere di Islam (co-authored with Shirin Ramzanali Fazel, 2020), The Horn of Africa and Italy (co-edited with Shimelis Bonsa Gulema, 2018), and L’Italia, l’altrove (2022).

Hope Campbell Gustafson has an MFA in Literary Translation from University of Iowa and a BA from Wesleyan University. Ubah Cristina Ali Farah’s Commander of the River, for which Campbell Gustafson received a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, was published in April 2023 by Indiana University Press. Her translation work can also be found in various journals, and in the books Banthology: Stories from Unwanted Nations (Comma Press/Deep Vellum) and Islands—New Islands: A Vagabond Guide to Rome (Fontanella Press). Giulia Caminito’s L’acqua del lago non è mai dolce in Campbell Gustafson’s translation is forthcoming from Spiegel & Grau. From Minneapolis, now in Brooklyn, Campbell Gustafson is Senior Program Associate for the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. 

Black Italia is a series of events (book discussions, theatrical performances, film screenings, lectures) sponsored by Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò in collaboration with NYU’s Department of Italian Studies. It aims to promote conversations on the intersections of race, identity and migration in Italy. Conceived in connection with courses taught in the Department of Italian Studies, Black Italia revisits the format launched by Casa Italiana’s Virtual Salons: Discourses on Black Italia, held virtually during the pandemic, by bringing together artists and scholars in order to address questions about race and racialization across Italian history and its multifaceted diasporic geography.


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