Monday, January 31, 2011

The Italian/American Digital Project

I recently came across an astounding initiative designed to document, comment, and analyze Italian transnational worlds. It is far reaching, probing representations of Italian American identity in various forms of popular culture, folklore, and the arts. It addresses politics and culture, hybrid connections, diaspora expressions, community building, musical and visual expressions. It features reviews, commentaries, debates, and in-depth analysis.

It should give Greek American cultural producers a pause, I suggest, to imagine how a similar project could help advance Greek American letters and culture.

Here is how the founders of this Italian/American Digital Project describe its aims:

"We are a group of journalists, academics and “public intellectuals” determined to create an authoritative point of encounter, information, and debate on the Internet concerning Italy and Italian America.

In the past few months we have been discussing this idea at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, where the Eusic initiative (Empowerment of the US-Italy Community) is hosted. Eusic is promoted by the Sociology Department of the University of Rome “Sapienza” and its goal is to facilitate the creation of a journalistic and cultural bilingual web portal dedicated to the Italian/American community.

From the synergy between these projects i-Italy is born, with “Italian/American Digital Project” as its subtitle.

i-Italy will offer to our community the necessary instruments for the creation of a bilingual project on the Web which will focus on three major fields:

1) Information and discussion on current, social and cultural events: with the areas “Magazine” and “Multimedia,” in which articles, movies, photos and audio files will be published;

2) In-depth examination and cultural debate: with the areas “Op-eds” and “Specials,” in which opinions, comments, columns, analyses, and reviews will be hosted;

3) Community building/social networking: with the areas “Blog” and “Community,” in which all readers will be able to freely present their own experiences and opinions with personal pages, forums, discussion groups, mailing lists

Our project addresses three major segments of a large potential audience:

• Americans of Italian descent

• Americans with no Italian ancestry, but who have an interest in Italy and Italian lifestyle and culture.

• Italians living and working in the U.S.

It also addresses three main topics:

• Italian America: social, political and cultural events related to the Italian/American community.

• Italy in the U.S.: Italian events in America, including among others artistic, cultural, and business events;

• Italy in italy: current events in the fields of politics, society, culture and “lifestyle”, including fashion, style, cuisine, and tourism.

Finally, our project is bilingual, with English as its main language as it is spoken by the most part of our target audiences."

I highly recommend exploring their site,


  1. Yiorgos, thanks for appreciating our efforts. We would be happy to collaborate with similar initiatives from the Greek community! Let me know if you are interested.

    Ottorino Cappelli
    Vice President, The Italian/American Digital Project, Inc.
    Project Manager,
    25 West 43rd Street, New York, NY, 10036

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