Piccola Italia’s visions in Melbourne26 Apr 2016, by Home in
Taken in Carton, Melbourne’s Italian cultural precinct around Lygon Street, these photographs bear testimony of a number of symbolic items that sit side by side in this Australian urban location. A Ferrari club, a museum, food imported from Italy, cafes, Aboriginal signs and souvenir shops. These constitute part of an ongoing reflection on the Italian presence in Australia, where different semiotic constructions of Italianness share energy fields with international branding, local political issues and broader practices of re-signification. They all find their place in a small area of approximately one square kilometre, nested in a zone where Italian migrants built different forms of familiar sites. Some have chosen the suburb as a dwelling site, some others as a gathering place, others simply as a driver for their business ideas. In this sense the domesticity engendered by proximity is intertwined with mutual help among Italians as well as common practices of consumption. These images point towards the mapping of these complementary lines of action and signification.