Ghermandi’s Stories in Performance


This collaborative study discusses the relationship between storytelling, history, resistance, and belonging in the context of the creative work of Gabriella Ghermandi, an author, musician, and performer of the spoken word with roots in the Horn of Africa and Italy. As the child of an Italian father and a mixed-race Eritrean mother, Ghermandi’s stories and performances are inspired by both her personal experience and the communal struggles of twentieth-century Afro-European politics. Ghermandi has stated that the suffering of the Ethiopian people under Italian colonial rule, and then the communist Derg, has been largely lost. In this context, we consider the ways and methods of her storytelling as a form of activism that consciously utilizes the emotional components of her words and singing to relate a historical narrative worthy of an audience’s empathy


“Resounding Memories: Gabriella Ghermandi’s Transnational Storytelling”
Co-presented with Dr. Eveljn Ferraro
American Association of Italian Studies
Zürich, Switzerland; May 2014

For more information about my collaborator Eveljn Ferraro (whose interests reside in Italian culture, literature, film, postcolonial, migration, and transnational studies), click here.


Dolp, Laura and Eveljn Ferraro. “Songs of Passage and Sacrifice: Gabriella Ghermandi’s Stories in Performance.” Edited by David J. Elliott, Marissa Silverman, and Wayne Bowman. In Artistic Citizenship: Artistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Responsibility. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016.


Songs of Passage and Sacrifice: Gabriella Ghermandi’s Stories in Performance


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