This paper focuses on the social and discursive construction of emotion in the artistic work and biography of an Italian singer of Liberian descent, Karima 2G ̶ a second-generation migrant who questions a white-only view of Italianness, and on the pragmatic meaning of this ‘emotion talk’. Karima’s songs (particularly her debut album), widely shared as videos, have strong affective overtones, and communication in these videos is embodied, involving visual and audible semiosis. So, affective information is located in more than one « channel ». The investigation, currently still at the initial stage, relies on an « anthropology of the person », referring to Karima’s biographical data, so that her songs make sense within her personal life story. Drawing on biographical fragments allows for triangulation, which in turn makes it possible to discern Karima’s complex self-identification, constructed at the intersection of several communities and values. Karima’s biography and the events that characterise it, together with her artistic production, would appear to inscribe this individual within the characteristics of the cross-cultural identity dimension increasingly characterising Italian society but which fits into a planetary process. These new post-modern identities result from an acrobatic feat that sees the subject balancing along a line without a centre or periphery in continuous redefinition.
Emilia Di Martino
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