Islands of Memory
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Islands of Memory

AEOLIAN ISLANDS – Archival photo 001, Stromboli and Panarea islands (view from Portella archeological site of Salina), 2021.


Islands of Memory is an ongoing artistic and research project that focuses on the peculiar territory of the Aeolian archipelago and the phenomenon of emigration concerning its islands. This survey focuses on the Aeolian Islands’ mapping and traces in relation to migratory processes, memory formation, and diaspora. The Aeolian Islands are seven islands in the Mediterranean Sea and North-East of the Sicilian coast, and together, they compose an archipelago of volcanic formation located at the bottom of the Italian peninsula. These islands are named after the Greek god of wind, Aeolus, who, it is told, made the islands his home while teaching the natives to recognize and foresee meteorological phenomena. Due to its particular nature and inconvenient geographical position, the territory is simultaneously open to others and closed off to the rest of the world. 

In collaboration with the Aeolian curator and researcher Elettra Bottazzi and the Project Anywhere program 2023/2024, the research developed from Masini’s long-term project Islands of Time, started in 2019 and still ongoing worldwide in areas most impacted by the migration phenomenon. The project re-acknowledges the epistemological reasoning behind the understanding of the migrant, imagining its comprehension as a shifting phenomenon rather than a stable and predetermined resultant. Since the second half of the 20th century, the archive has been turned into a place where to assemble or relate different materials: a diverse way to reflect and display the relationship between time, memory, and history. Islands of Memory aims to make art practices a tool for interpretation, change, and critical thinking with research and the gathering of interdisciplinary materials. During the various phases of research, the project will attempt to trace the memories of migrants from the Aeolian Islands in the countries where they settled (United States, Argentina, and Australia), beginning with the New York State and Ellis Island area. In each case study, the research will attempt to track sequences of events to identify shifting meanings and connotations associated with physical ‘places of memory’—be they temporary settlements, connection points, crossing paths, or bridges. Moreover, it analyzes how traveling memories are in contact with disparate, sometimes desperate, perceptions made of historical legacies, circulation of narratives, images, models of remembrance, and exploitation.

Further info:



Aeolian Islands – Carta Generale Del Regno Di Napoli(detail). Rizzi Zannoni and Giovanni Antonio (1736-1814)

 Inventario nº 695 A/R_ Archibo general de la nacion / Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1_Società Stella Salina at Hotel Towers and Membership medal of the Mutual Aid Society /Island of Salina, New York, USA.2_Aeolian first-generation family immigrants, California (USA).3_Extract from the Article “Edward Domenico Re, the Aeolian that Italianized America(USA),” Published in 1995._Archivio Cervellera