What is AMM?
AMM (Archive of Migrant Memories) is an organization that aims to open a critical debate, change the perspective on the issue of migrants and educate younger generations on the subject of transnational mobility through the use of documentary cinema and other forms of self-narratives.
AMM brings together a group of migrant and non-migrant volunteers, researchers, and media operators committed to a participatory method in recording current migratory processes and registering their traces in the collective heritage of national and transnational memory. AMM operates at two main levels: research, aimed at documenting and archiving written and oral testimonies, and audiovisuals, aimed at producing audio and video documentaries .
AMM aims to produce witnesses, collect and archive oral and written narratives, sound material and documentary audio and video, and to involve migrants, refugees and asylum seekers personally in the definition of criteria for the collection, archiving and sharing their stories through research channels and diffusion media (film festivals, social networks, educational institutions, events, advocacy).
“If you have no experience with migration, you have to be very careful when trying to capture migrants’ stories. It is impossible to talk about migration, but it is possible to tell the stories of the migrants.”
What we have done together
lettera27 sustains AMM activities, since its beginning in 2012, with a financial and a strategic contribution. Pensiero, the documentary by Dagmawi Yimer and AMM that tells two racist attacks that took place in Milan and Florence, crossed Italy and Europe during the 2014 with public screenings and meetings. It has been presented at Cinema Studies Dept – Tisch – NYU of New York and
UCSD Faculty Club, San Diego. It also took part in festivals and won awards and recognitions: winner of the E’XTRA section of the Festival del cinema Africano, d’Asia e America Latina, special mention of the Salento International Film Festival and the Sole Luna Festival of Treviso, winner of the prize awarded by the student jury of the Sole Luna Festival of Palermo and the Mediterraneo Film Festival of Carbonia.
A new initiative related to the film is dedicated to kids and schools: an educational kit, created by AMM and Giunti Scuola, was presented in December 2014 during the XVIII Meeting of human rights of the Mandela Forum for schools, organized by Regione Toscana in Florence. The kit was launched in 2015 in Lombardia and Tuscany, with sample surveys in selected schools of Rome and Naples.
Each kit is divided into three teaching units and different chapters corresponding to the various themes addressed in the film. For example, colonialism and slavery (which are presented through Mohamed Ba’s show), clichés, stereotypes, etc. Each section of the film addresses a different topic, so the film can either be seen in full or according to thematic chapters. The kit includes a handbook and is designed to be easily and autonomously used by teachers.
“Before changing the world we have to change the narrative of the world”
Gabriele Del Grande
On the Bride’s Side is a documentary film based on a political idea shared among an independent journalist, an Italian film director and a Palestinian poet. They depart from Milan in November 2013, ‘accompanying’ five Palestinian and Syrian refugees to Sweden, crossing EU country members’ borders and evading immigration laws, thanks to the staging of a wedding procession. The documentary is not only a film but also a project with a strong political, collective and social identity; this, together with a sound strategic approach and a strong communication plan are the main reasons why it has given rise to the most successful Italian crowdfunding campaign till date.
The strategy to activate a community around the project was based on 4 key activities:
1. Implementing the social media channels activities, following an editorial plan focused on maximizing news from the mainstream media, events and presentations and other key communication opportunities.
2. Building an identity for the project capable to survive and keep growing at the end of the campaign itself.
3. Soliciting the community to produce offline fundraising events.
4. Running a constant monitoring and evaluation activity through the whole duration of the campaign.
Soon the crowdfunding campaign went beyond its economic goal and #onthebrideside as an awareness campaign raised a lot of critical debate and active participation: increased donations from one side and a large following through spontaneous funding events and selfies on the other.
Once finished, the documentary got selected for the Festival Internazionale del Cinema di Venezia (out of competition) where it received three prizes. It has also been invited to a number of international film festivals including IDFA, International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam, Dubai Film Festival, etc. The international premiers were scheduled for Brasil, Switzerland, Belgium, Jordan. In 2014 the film has gathered more than 70.000 viewers and has been shown in cinema halls in Italy for 9 consecutive weeks.
lettera27 also sustains the yearly Premio Mutti AMM, the only public grant given to migrant film directors residents in Italy.
AMM Program Manager Contact
OSF – Open Society Foundations
Progetti FEI Università di Torino
Università di Napoli L’Orientale
Amici di Giana/Cineteca di Bologna/Fondazione Pianoterra
Cortona On the Move