Tuesday, August 4, 2020

At the Movies: The Inivisibles

The Invisibles is a new documentary about the plight of migrant workers in Italy. (And is not to be confused with another film by the same title about Jews in Nazi Germany.)

Sylvia Poggioli at NPR reviews the film:

If you're fluent in Italian, you can also read Umanità in rivolta: La nostra lotta per il lavoro e il diritto alla felicità, a book by the labor organizer at the heart of The Inivisibles. According to Google Translate where I cut-and-pasted the Amazon description (since I don't speak Italian), here's what the book is about:

Aboubakar Soumahoro defends workers' rights. Arriving in Italy from the Ivory Coast more than twenty years ago, he got to know the pitfalls of a civilian fabric increasingly worn and unable to guarantee the minimum rights of every human being. His is a warning: perhaps behind "the jobs that Italians no longer want to do" lies the degradation of general working conditions, which those who arrive in Italy without protection and rights are forced to accept in order to survive. This explains the great return of the rhetoric of the "first Italians" and of "race": a stratagem to lower the cost of labor and drastically reduce the distance between dignity and exploitation.

This manifesto fills a void in the Italian political debate, because it says loudly and clearly that in order not to give up the right to happiness, our economic paradigm must change. A new solidarity must arise, as Albert Camus wrote, from the revolt of those who say no to an inhuman condition of slavery. Aboubakar Soumahoro knows what it means to be deprived of a right and for this reason he also knows what it means to struggle to conquer it. "We can be poor, exploited and precarious, but it doesn't matter: we will leave the corner." The loss of rights must stop. And the fight against exploitation must start again.



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