100 Years of Migration

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The Clerkenwell Italian Procession, Clerkenwell Road, London, 2007

© Alan Denny

When you move to a new country everything is different, you’re surrounded by people who don’t look like you and don’t think like you. You can’t tell who will help you, who will ignore you and who might be hostile. You wonder if leaving home was a mistake. Sometimes you’re not sure who you are, would your parents recognise you? It feels like you’re on your own. For some people, practicing the religion of their parents together with other uprooted people is a way of giving and getting support. The Italian Procession with its floats of saints and biblical tableaux gives the community a chance to proudly show off its Italian roots.

Even though I’m anti-clerical, atheist and only 50% Italian I still love the Procession for its wall-to-wall Italians, porchetta, focaccia, watermelon and Peroni: it feels good to be out on the street with so many Italians.