Raphaël Cuomo
and Maria Iorio

The work of Raphaël Cuomo and Maria Iorio is part of the recent interest the visual arts have taken in the construction of memory narratives. The artists draw their inspiration notably from “microhistory,” a genre that focuses on, for example, the life of an individual in order to expose the particularities of the community in which the person lives.

Through their film Appunti del passaggio, (Passage Notes) Cuomo and Iorio recreate different traumatic episodes punctuating the lives of Italian guest workers who came to work in Switzerland in the 1960s, including passing the cross-border zone in the Alps, the health inspection, even the abandoning of villages in Southern Italy by their inhabitants.

Featuring personal accounts performed by actors, commentary on archival material, and sites that are revisited by the filmmakers, their film breaks free of strictly historical discourse by developing a way of sharing that leads down the paths of fiction and interpretation.