Temple University Rome as a study abroad campus is committed to create proactively a more inclusive and diverse community. These efforts include the connecting students to members to Rome's local activists, professors, and associations of African descents.
For the second year, throughout the month of February 2021, Temple Rome is hosting a series of events for Black History Month in order to build cross-cultural understanding regarding issues of social justice, identity, and global blackness through university-sponsored events.
All events will be held virtually via Zoom. See below for the full program and how to register for each event.
RACE IN ITALY
Monday, February 1 @ 8 PM CET/2 PM ET
As part of the Culture and Identity Envoy Program, we kick off Black History Month with an insightful conversation about race, individual experiences, activism, and more with Daphne Di Cinto and Tommaso Vitali from Black Lives Matter Roma.
ANTI-RACISM WORK IN ITALY
Monday, February 8 @ 8 PM CET/2 PM ET
We ask ourselves what progress Italy has made in terms of its attitude towards race, and how we can be better as a whole. What work has been done and what is there still to improve? Angelica Pesarini and Marie Moïse from Razzismo Brutta Storia Associated Experts will give their insight about their role in anti-racist work being done in Italy.
IMAGERY AS ACTIVISM: Blacks in Italy and the Art of Taking Space
Tuesday, February 9 @ 8 PM CET/2 PM ET
Countless distant and recent injustices and atrocities against the Black psyche and form that have been documented, filmed and disseminated to the world have given rise to the largest civil rights movement in history. As multicultural groups continue to gather globally and take to the streets in support of “Black Lives Matter", Italy, too, must reconcile with its complicated history with race. Art holds a powerful and unique role in highlighting and changing antiquated and erroneous images and narratives that are often attributed and assigned to Black people in Italian art, literature, and society. What role does the art children see in books have in the awakening, evolution, and progress of racial dynamics and justice in today’s Italian society?
What happens when children see themselves, and others, depicted accurately and beautifully in illustrations?
High art oil paintings by Elena Tommasi Ferroni prove that what we've all heard could quite possibly be true: a picture is worth more than a thousand words. It is high time for the stories that are told, both verbally and visually, to reflect all of the beauty, brilliance and bounty that the Black experience and form truly is.
About the Author/Curator
Dr. Tamara Pizzoli is an author, curator, producer and publisher who has written twenty-five published books. Originally from Texas, Dr. Pizzoli has resided in Rome for over a decade and a mother of four children who often inspire her creative ideas. As a former kindergarten teacher, education, literacy, and authentic diverse titles are subjects of importance to her.
Dr. Pizzoli's most notable work of fiction, Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO, has been optioned to be made into a live-action film produced by Gabrielle Union.
For more information, visit theenglishschoolhouse.com.
About the Artist
Elena Tommasi Ferroni is a master painter who was born in Pietrasanta, Tuscany but has lived in Rome for decades. She is from a notable artistic family and continued her bloodline's tradition of high art in her own captivating style featuring flights and fancy and colorful curiosities rendered realistically in oils. Tommasi Ferroni's work has been exhibited worldwide in numerous galleries and museums.
To learn more, visit elenatommasiferroni.com
SOUNDS OF BLACK AMERICA
Wednesday, February 10 @ 8 PM CET/2 PM ET
This evening will feature a live music performance by Charles "BLVK SamuRaI" Burchell, a multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, educator, and diplomat.
2020 FROM A BLACK ARTIST LENS
Tuesday, February 23 @ 8 PM CET/2 PM ET
Get a peek into artist Boris Akeem Aka's work, focusing on the African Diaspora in Italy and its comparison to the Black American Experience. Boris is an Ivorian artist based in Rome, Italy with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from The American University of Rome and a Master's Degree in Graphic Art from Tor Vergata.
Drawing is my favorite form of visual art, but I have an interest in painting and photography. Mostly, My work radiates the meanings of words and emotion. Growing up, I learned four different languages and traveled to other countries due to my father's job, which gave me a particular interest in interpretation and meaning. In my art, I illustrate the concept of 'states of mind', 'way of saying', and the 'emotional state' by utilizing people around me or those I admire as my role models.
In the past year, I developed a particular interest in exploring more into my roots, which led me to focus my works on African heritage and Pan-African which opened the area of research that I'm pleased to have found.
My daily tools are pen, ink, and watercolors. I do almost everything with them, and 90% of my work is created on plain or colored paper; some may call me traditional.
I selected most of my works representing my skills and work style, but I would invite you to visit my Instagram profile (@akeemakart) if you are interested in more details about my techniques and different creations.