Inoculated City

I couldn’t think of a better expression of Italy’s anxiety about its increasingly multicultural character than this bus advert for designer jeans. Shot in front of our apartment building in Milan last week, it’s also featured as the main photo on Zeek‘s landing page today. I wanted an image that would speak to Wednesday’s feature, Mya Guarnieri’s  We’re Not White Trash. We’re Jews.

The same logic applies to this picture, which we ran on Monday. Published in conjunction with Bruce Wilson’s Their Religion is Hatred, I was hoping the photo would help capture, however indirectly, the stress felt by Arab migrants, like this woman, standing in front of Lega Nord campaign posters, already condemned by an elections campaign monitor. (See “Manifesto Abusivo.”)

Though this photo has already expired (replaced today by the bus advert photo), its caption read “War in the ghetto,” since the shot was taken on Via Padova, the symbolic heart of Milan’s immigrant community. The bus picture, similarly, bears the caption “Dreaming of Multiculturalism,” as a means of explaining what it reflects, rather than what it intends to express. Everything is documentary.