ReTurn – or never have left?

In September 2012, our troupe from ''Geronimo Carbonò'' began to film for a documentary about the Re-Turn - Central Europe Project. The goal is to analyze, through audiovisual media, the perception of migratory phenomenon in European Union, in relation to a possible return to home regions, for those European who left Central Europe to other cities inside the Union.

During a year, the troupe realized three sessions of interviews, following the three different frameworks in which this kind of migration is happening. They met coming-back migrants in Hungary; migrants in the main epicenter of migration in the continent (London); and people who decided to stay in a new city or region (Wien).


During those interviews, the target was composed by high-educated citizens. A forth session of interviews took place in Domodossola (Italy) and the topic was an inner reflection about the philosophical and political meaning of the Re-Turn Project. The troupe interviewed responsibles and partners from the Project.


Analyzing the data from interviews, it came out the need of a general reflection about the sociopolitical perspectives which built European Union, and about the real citizens' feeling to this new common space. Following this perspective, it is important to understand how a whole generation - which was the first able to move, study and work without barriers in Europe, and which was called by sociologists as "Erasmus Generation" - is now living in a sort of "suspended migration". For many of them, the self-perception as "European citizens" is bigger than for elder people. At the same time, the experience of migration is giving a kind of second life to local, regional and national identities:


As first, when I moved here, I enjoyed living here, and I didn't contact my friends as often as I do now. As longer as I'm living here, homesick is coming. So now I have to go back to Poland every 3 months, otherwise I don't feel comfortable, here. I think everybody here whom I spoke to, of course, is feeling a little bit lonely, and they feel really homesick. So best time, actually, is when I jump on a plane, and I'm back. [Izabela, 33 years, Polish in London].


Analyzing the data from interviews, the commonality in space and time between European migrations is different than migration known in the past of Europe. The creation of a new identity - the European one - is much more advanced than the political process of creation of Europe as a true political entity:


I feel, personally, not that I've emigrated, because in this sense I have that feeling that we are one Europe, I don't need to ask visa, I just could come here and live here, I'm working without need to ask any paper [Angela, 29 years, German in London]


I check German news online, I read newspapers sometimes, and I do stay in contact, I talk to German friends almost? every hour, so it doesn't feel I'm away, even because I work with Germans. [Senait, 29 years, German in London]


This can be considered a common perception which somehow deletes the experience of migration, in terms of traumatic experience which gives a new view to the world. As a consequence of this low perception of the "self as a migrant", there is no more the absence of a home, but also this feeling is lost. The sociopolitical dimension of the main Western cities, together with the day-life of young European migrants, is giving a new meaning to common space.


Facing with this reality, the troupe decided to name the documentary "ReTurn - or never have left?", following a way in which the idea of "home" for the target interviewed is not so strong in terms of time and space.

The documentary is realized by Associazione Culturale Geronimo Carbonò, directed by Sandro Bozzolo and Alessandro Ingaria.

Sandro Bozzolo, phD student in Migrations and Intercultural Processes at University of Genoa, realized the documentaries Hobohemia (2013), Amazonia 2.0 (with Maria Cecilia Reyes and Alessandro Ingaria, 2012), and Autunno Viola (with Maria Cecilia Reyes, 2011).

Alessandro Ingaria, freelance journalist, realized the documentaries Amazonia 2.0 (with Sandro Bozzolo and Maria Cecilia Reyes) and Aigua Eua Oiva Aqua - Le Voci del Tanaro (2012).

Both authors lived in their own skin the experience of migration for purposes of study and work, and the consequential return in their home region, where they founded (in Italian Alps) the Associazione Culturale Geronimo Carbonò.

Other contributors are Gianmarco Serra, film-maker and writer about anthropological subjects, Marco Lo Baido, musician and film-editor, and Maria Cecilia Reyes, journalist and film-maker from Colombia.

Return - or never have left? Is today in editing, and will be presented in March 2014.

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