Wednesday, 28 April
**CANCELLED** Ciao Ousmane: The Hidden Exploitation of Italy's Migrant Workers, with Hsiao-Hung Pai and Liz Fekete [online event]
Please note: due to unforeseen circumstances this event has been cancelled. Ticket holders will be refunded and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Italy’s migrant workers are the dehumanised Other—the people hidden behind foods and goods branded ‘Made in Italy’. Ciao Ousmane is the story of this subordinated class.
In 2013 Ousmane Diallo, a 26-year-old Senegalese olive harvester, lost his life when a gas canister exploded in a Sicilian field. Neither the events of Ousmane’s life nor his tragic death are uncommon.
Author and journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai and Liz Fekete, director of the Institute of Race Relations, will be online at Housmans to discuss Hsiao-Hung’s new book Ciao Ousmane: The Hidden Exploitation of Italy’s Migrant Workers, a searing exposé of the netherworld of exploited migrant labour that holds Europe aloft.
Having fled home countries devastated by colonialism and global capitalism, those who survive the journey across the Mediterranean find themselves systematically segregated and exploited. They have been subject to anti-migrant policies over decades, from administrations across the political spectrum.
Through the lives and stories of Italy’s migrant workers, Hsiao-Hung Pai exposes the open secret of how state and society create ‘necessary outcasts’. This is a bitter, frank and moving tale of racial capitalism, against which workers constantly find new ways to organise and fight back.
Liz Fekete is the Director of the Institute of Race Relations and head of its European Research Programme. She has worked at the IRR since 1982. She writes and speaks extensively on aspects of contemporary racism and fascism, refugee rights, EU counter-radicalisation and anti-terrorism policies and Islamophobia across Europe, and is author of A suitable enemy: racism, migration and Islamophobia in Europe (Pluto press, 2009) and Europe’s Fault Lines: racism and the rise of the Right (Verso, 2018). Liz was part of the CARF Collective, and an expert witness at the Basso Permanent People’s Tribunal on asylum and the World Tribunal on Iraq. She is currently an associate of the International State Crime Initiative at Queen Mary University of London, and the Border Crossing Observatory at Monash University, Australia.
Hsiao-Hung Pai is a UK-based journalist and the author of Chinese Whispers: The True Story Behind Britain’s Hidden Army of Labour, which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize; Scattered Sand, winner of the 2013 Bread and Roses Award; Invisible; Angry White People; and Bordered Lives.