Melanie Masterton Sherazi
Nero e Rosso: Desegregationist and Antifascist Aesthetics in Cold War Rome situates 1950s and 1960s Rome as a significant hub for postwar African American and Italian modernist innovation and collaboration. Drawing on a number of archives in Italy, the book project expands the critical conversation about black exilic culture beyond Paris to theorize the projection of Americanism abroad in these years. Melanie Masterton Sherazi argues that the collective presence in Rome of African American writers and artists including William Demby, Maya Angelou, and Barbara Chase-Riboud, and their respective collaborations with Italian writers, artists, and filmmakers as distinct as Lorenza Mazzetti, Mimmo Rotella, and Roberto Rossellini, modeled cultural processes of defascistization in Italy and desegregation in the United States that circulated through transnational media cultures. These artists crossed national and generic boundaries to reimagine postwar identities in antifascist and desegregationist terms and to generate groundbreaking aesthetic forms.