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Report Migrantes, the study of Marisa Fois: "The borders we have created have closed for us too"

Originally from Busachi, she has a doctorate from the University of Geneva. His in-depth study on mobility regarding Sardinia was included in the Report on Italians abroad
un murales di tinnura e nel riquadro marisa fois (foto concesse)
Un murales di Tinnura e, nel riquadro, Marisa Fois (foto concesse)

The fifteenth edition of the Migrantes Report on Italians abroad was presented today. The editorial and cultural project of the Italian Church that examines the data on the movements of our compatriots outside the country but also the presence of foreigners in Italy.

The migratory phenomenon, is reconfirmed, does not stop. Some of its characteristics change, for example while until a decade ago it was mainly men who left, now it is increasingly women too. Others remain unchanged: the southern regions are particularly affected by depopulation.

At Aire, the registry of Italians residing abroad, 5.5 million are registered, compared with 3.1 million in 2006. Between January and December 2019, 131 thousand Italians reached other states.

They are increasingly qualified from the point of view of the study (most of them are graduates) and are looking for a job even of a generic type.

If in 2006, according to Istat data, 68.4% of official residents abroad had a low qualification - middle or elementary school or even no qualification - 31.6% had a medium-high qualification ( diploma, degree or doctorate).

From 2006 to 2018, the training and schooling of the Italian population residing across the border grew: in 2018, in fact, 29.4% graduated or PhD and 29.5% graduated while 41.5% still have a low qualification or no qualification.

Among the approximately sixty authors who took part in the drafting of the Report of the Migrantes Foundation, there is also Marisa Fois. Originally from Busachi, she works at the University of Geneva with a doctorate covering North Africa.

His contribution, always focused on the Italy of mobility, has looked after what may be the most fragile internal geographical areas of Sardinia starting from the "old emigration", passing through the new mobility and then examining the last 15 years.

According to a study commissioned by the regional planning center in 2006, "the demographic malaise status index - explains Marisa Fois - has allowed us to highlight some of the characteristics of countries in the process of desertification". These are generally municipalities with less than 3 thousand inhabitants, quite distant from urban centers and located in the mountains or inland hills, rarely on the coasts.

The same study was then updated in 2013 and from those data other information emerged on the island: "31 countries are in danger of disappearing in the coming decades". A good part of these is found in the Oristano area. "A relatively young province, established in 1974 and then expanded in 2011, which has a high rate of old age and a strong tendency towards migration", continues Fois.

But there is more: "From 2019, the Italians in the World Report proposes the ranking of the top 25 municipalities by migratory incidence and scrolling down the list it is not surprising that, in 2020, 7 territories in the province of Oristano are in the top ten positions with a percentage higher than 43 percent. They are Bidonì, Senis, Montresta, Sagama, Sennariolo, Suni and Sorradile ".

To welcome the emigrants, as in the seventies, are mainly Germany, France, Belgium, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland. And there are also many people from Oristano who instead reach North Africa. Among the stories collected by Marisa Fois is that of Andrea Zucca, forty years old from Busachi: "During the years of his university education he traveled between Siena, Barcelona, Milan. Then for work he was in numerous countries around the world until he settled in Peru, then Venezuela, Brazil, Angola. In the meantime he married a Peruvian girl and two twins were born. At the end of this year he will return to Milan but all his experiences have not allowed him to return to Sardinia, a land with which has a very strong bond ".

His experience shows that "in the end it is not always the will that counts, with his curriculum he would have preferred to return to his land even with a lower salary but somehow he had to give up because, to simplify, he is 'too titled'" . Yet that sort of umbilical cord with Sardinia has never actually broken, "so much so that if his children are asked where they are from, even though they have never been there, they reply: 'We are Sardinians from Busachi!'. Andrea has always wanted to: give them a sense of roots ".

In the study of Marisa Fois we also talk about the reality of Asuni, a small village of just over 300 inhabitants whose face has been strongly modified by emigration. Since 2002 it has also hosted the Documentation Center of Migrant Cultures with an archive of historical emigration divided into two sections: "One from the first half of the nineteenth century to 1925, the other dedicated to the flow in Uruguay from the mid-nineteenth century to the second after the war ".

The entire documentary path followed by Fois serves to highlight some points: "For example, the fact that mobility is to be understood not only in a negative way but also as richness. The one you look for when you leave and the one you bring back when, if you succeed, you go back to make your experience available to the community also in the economic fabric ".

And in a period of coronavirus emergency, precisely the lockdown taught us something: "It made us understand the importance of freedom of movement - concludes Marisa Fois -, it showed us the erroneousness of our deep conviction, namely that our passport Italian would open many doors for us. Now we have gone to the "other side", to put it simply. Those borders that we ourselves have created have closed against us. In Switzerland, where I live, for example, for those arriving from Sardinia are 10 days of quarantine expected ". The island is in fact considered by the Swiss government one of the "red regions".

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