April 25 commemorates Italy's liberation from Nazi occupation in World War II -- this year it was celebrated in a video with the voices of migrants who continue to work on the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic. In the video, inspired by the Italian Resistance song "Bella Ciao", the migrants say they "aren't heroes, but aren't invaders either".
In the video, inspired by the Italian Resistance song "Bella Ciao", migrants say they "aren't heroes, but aren't invaders either."
The objective behind the clip made by the non-profit COSPE and the Carta Association of Rome is to celebrate Italian Liberation Day, April 25, through the voices of migrants who continue to work in Italy and for Italy, despite the coronavirus emergency.
With a text inspired by the Italian Resistance song "Bella Ciao", the video, directed by journalist Valerio Cataldi and with music by Alaa Arsheed and Isaac De Martin, gives a voice to first and second generation migrants who are working on the front lines in at-risk situations in the country's hospitals, supermarkets, fields, nursing homes (RSAs), and home deliveries.
The migrants in the video -- Henry, Lela, Ajay, Marwa, Andi, Luisa, Yvan, Yiftalem, Mercy and Ana Lou -- come from various countries, including Peru, India, China, and Ethiopia, as well as others.
The text of the video
"One morning you woke up and you found the invader. He came from far away, he made your streets unsafe, he took your job, he forced you to stay at home, he threatens to infect you. But it's not me," say the migrants in the video.
"Today you aren't scared of me; you call me a hero. I defend you from illnesses, I harvest your fields, I take care of your grandparents, I restock your supermarket, I bring you medicines, I bring you groceries, I work for your safety. We are a community, don't forget it," they say.
"When this is all over, we will have to roll up our sleeves, rebuild our world and learn to live together, to help each other, to support each other. Learn to be free".
An anthem to freedom from prejudices
Anni Meli of COSPE said this year "we won't be able to be in the squares for Liberation Day".
"This year the invader has the inconsistent appearance of a virus. This year it is particularly clear to us that we are all vulnerable and we are all part of the same community. And that only together we will be able to overcome this dark time. That is why we thought of celebrating this holiday recalling that among those who we are today calling 'heroes', the men and women working on the front lines, are people who were defined as 'invaders' not so long ago. We hope that at least this rhetoric will be swept away by this emergency that has hit us," Meli said.
Valerio Cataldi, president of the Carta Association of Rome, said that the paradox is "we really realized the need we have for 'foreigners' only when the threat of an unknown illness terrorised us, forced us to shut ourselves in at home, took our jobs away, made our streets unsafe."
"These voices are a claim to existence by people who were ignored until recently, many of whom are still being exploited. It's really true that this crisis is changing perspectives and we have to learn to be free. April 25 is the right day to start. Bella Ciao is the perfect anthem," Cataldi said.