After a very long delay, we are pleased to present to you our latest edition of Pummarola — the fifth since this editorial collective assumed the operations of one of the too-few journals of arts, politics, and culture devoted to the people of the Italian diaspora. We continue to publish, despite some ongoing obstacles, because we see the urgent need to activate the community of Italians across the globe who are the children of our transnationally migrating forbearers. Like them, we hold dear a vision of an international solidarity of all peoples who struggle under the yoke of oppression and exploitation. We, too, hold that vision as sacred, and see our modest online magazine as one small light contributing to a global beacon for change.
Most of our contributions predate recent violence in Palestine and Israel, yet we find a timeliness to the works curated for this issue that may be owed to a bit of stregheria but also, sadly, to the ongoing state of the world. Calls for peace, justice, solidarity, freedom, and understanding never seem out of place, in part, because they are perpetually necessary. May the day come when an essay calling for mutual understanding is passed over for something else because we are all in communion with one another.
We deplore the violence in Palestine and Israel. We grieve for the Palestinian people who have been enduring continual oppression, dispossession, violations of international law, and violence for generations — at the hands of a state whose actions have been funded and shielded from accountability for decades by our own government in the United States. At the same time, we recognize the humanity of the Jewish people and condemn the deplorable violence of antisemitism, both historically and in the present.. We insist on emphasizing the connections between all forms of oppression, including Islamophobia, antisemitism, and anti-Arab racism. These forms of hate loom large in our shared histories and contemporary political and social realities in Italy and the diaspora. We recognize the impossible situation of all of these people who share a common condition, also known to our people, of displacement — and the insecurity and danger which comes from the loss of home. Ending all forms of dehumanization is central to the work that we are doing together in Pummarola and is what motivates us to platform voices against fascism, violence, and oppression.
Friends such as Freida J. Jacques from Onondaga Nation and Anthony Julian Tamburri from the Calandra Institute share their insights in this issue regarding peace and justice, and we are grateful to them even as we watch the headlines in horror. Our wonderful new friend Victoria “V.K.Y” Kabeya provided us with a prescient and courageous declaration of identity in an age of intolerance well before the bombs began dropping on the eastern end of the Mediterranean. We include with her excellent essay the re-visioned map of our homeland’s sea by the artist and cartographer Sabine Réthoré — a person we are eager to interview in the near future. Her Mediterranean Without Borders project is about as timely as can be.
A little business is worth mentioning here: Due to constraints which were largely responsible for our delayed publication of this issue, we will be shifting to a rolling publication schedule for the next six months (and perhaps longer). Please continue to send in your work, and we will gladly publish as we are able, but, unfortunately, the curated issues will be suspended for the next half year while we reorganize. Thank you all for your ongoing support. You make this all worthwhile.
There are many other wonderful pieces in this issue, including essays on the twin pillars of Italian beverages: coffee and wine. Please enjoy our lighter pieces, meditate with us on the works above along with two poems from Douglass DeCandia, recall 1970s New York City, a mecca of Italians outside the homeland, and dwell a little on the history of the women of the Resistance.
We are, all of us, knit together, and the special branch of our global family that comes to our website, those among us who think about these matters of family, of history, of peace and war, and of a kinder future (to quote Freida J. Jacques) — you give us some reason to believe that we the Italian diaspora may still become a greater force for the beautiful, better world we all know is possible.
The Pummarola Editorial Collective