Fiori Berhane

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Brown U.

Grant number

Gr. 9450

Approve Date

April 25, 2017

Project Title

Berhane, Fiori S., Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid resesarch on 'Eritrea: A Diaspora in Two Parts; Memory, Political Organizing & Refugee Experiences amongst Eritrean Exiles in Italy,' supervised by Dr. Lina Fruzzetti

FIORI S. BERHANE, then a graduate student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, was awarded a grant in April 2017 to aid research on ‘Eritrea: A Diaspora in Two Parts; Memory, Political Organizing and Refugee Experiences amongst Eritrean Exiles in Italy,’ supervised by Dr. Lina Fruzzetti. This project sought to understand how generational conflict and political polarization are expressed within the Eritrean diasporic community under conditions of protracted crisis. To answer research questions, the grantee volunteered time with Eritrea Democratica, a not-for-profit started by Eritrean opposition members; engaged in oral historical interviews with members of both the nationalist generation and the current generation of refugees; and conducted archival research at the Leolol Basso Fondazione, the Archivio Communale Storico di Bologna. The grantee also spent time with the Eritrean diaspora in bars, social centers, and weddings to understand how political conflict is expressed in intimate and communal spaces. This research investigated how the memory of nationalist organizing in Bologna has structured the terms of engagement in the Eritrean community, and the ways in which dissidents and supporters of the Eritrean regime live in incommensurable social worlds. Conducting research in Bologna allowed her to understand the long-term structural impediments to social and political integration for migrants in Italy, more broadly.