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La camera immersiva realizzata da ETT per il MEI a Buenos Aies, la rima tappa sudamericana

“MEI Experience Room – My roots are here”

The MEI international communication campaign is underway. This immersive box presenting Italian emigration will follow the Amerigo Vespucci worldwide tour.

Genoa, 18 March 2024 – On Wednesday 20 March, the “MEI Experience Room – My roots are here” was inaugurated at the Centro Cultural Kirchner in Buenos Aires. This immersive multimedia experience on Italian emigration was conceived and created by the MEI Foundation – National Museum of Italian Emigration, for the worldwide tour of the sailing ship Amerigo Vespucci. The MEI Experience was curated by ETT, a Genoese company, part of the SCAI Group, that designs and produces international multimedia setups for culture, tourism, and events.

The month-long exhibition at the first stop in Argentina is organised in collaboration with the Italian Consulate in Buenos Aires.

This immersive box not only wishes to narrate Italian emigration stories but also to support the “Italian System”, thanks to the engagement by MEI with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Rai Italia, ITA Airways, Foreign Chambers of Commerce, Liguria Region, Municipality of Genoa, and numerous football clubs. The initiative is under the patronage of the Genoa Cricket and Football Club.

Depending on the country involved, content will be elaborated for each stage, highlighting distinctive features, stories, and unusual characteristics. After Argentina, the MEI Experience Room aims to follow the Amerigo Vespucci ship on its other South American stop-overs and then to Los Angeles. A special stop is planned in Brazil for the 150th anniversary of Italian emigration to that country. The last leg of the journey will be to Genoa to honour the European Capital of Sport through the images stored at the MEI. Special thanks are due to the Honourable Ilaria Cavo for her intervention with the Ministry of Defence to make this project a reality.

In Argentina, the focus is on football (soccer), showcasing the history of various clubs founded by Italians in an engaging sequence of animated images in motion graphics. Eight sections of the MEI Experience Room are dedicated to enterprises and personalities that have enriched the history of Italo-Argentinian sport. Alongside the immersive projections, a series of meetings and conferences are planned. This work has been developed thanks to contributions by researchers Andrea Pedemonte and Romina Deprati.

The videos narrate the exploits of teams such as San Lorenzo, Boca Juniors, River Plate, Carboneros, Club Sportivo Italiano, Canottieri Tigre, as well as the role of the six-time Formula One World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio, and the Museo del Deporte de Santa Fe, in the city of Rosario, which brings together stories of sport in Argentina, often featuring Italian immigrants and their descendants.

The immersive projection also includes a documentary of great historical, social, and sporting value, filmed during Genoa Football Club’s first tour to Buenos Aires and Montevideo in 1923. Freshly crowned with its eighth national title, Genoa set off for Argentina and Uruguay in 1923. The enthusiasm of numerous Italian immigrants was recounted in newspaper reports of the time. The events were also documented in a film, subsequently lost but rediscovered in August 2022. The film of the tour was restored by the Fondazione Home Movies – Archivio Nazionale del Film di Famiglia ETS in Bologna, with the contribution of the Fondazione Genoa 1893, in collaboration with MEI – National Museum of Italian Emigration.

For the first time in Argentina, this historical footage can be seen and enjoyed again in a novel immersive format in the Experience Room. Alongside the content of the MEI National Museum of Italian Emigration, there is that of the MAECI (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) created for the Year of Roots Tourism and other institutional partners. Visitors can be fully immersed in often unknown stories that describe our worldwide migration.

The President of the MEI Foundation, Paolo Masini says, “To showcase MEI treasures to those who may have only heard these stories means a lot to us and, we believe, to the millions of Italian descendants who live there. It’s no coincidence that we chose to symbolically launch our communication campaign in Argentina, which will also start soon in Italy. A series of innovations will allow us to delve ever deeper into our country’s greatest folk and collective story, which we are putting together with many partners.”

Buenos Aires indeed serves as a showcase for the launch of advertising about “MEI – My roots are here”, created by Luca Vullo, a worldwide “ambassador” of Italian gestures. It is also possible for Italian descendants to send a video saying the phrase “My roots are here”. These video messages will be put together to form a large colourful puzzle inside the immersive room.

The MEI – National Museum of Italian Emigration – was founded by an agreement between the Ministry of Culture, the Liguria Region and the Municipality of Genoa, to narrate various aspects of Italian migration; from the Unification of Italy to the present day. The multimedia refurbishment can be visited in the Commenda di San Giovanni di Pré, renovated for the occasion. It is closely associated with the Mu.MA – Institution and Museum of the Sea and Migration, and the Galata Museum of the Sea. From Genoa, millions of Italians sailed on a one-way journey to the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe, leaving everything behind. The MEI exists to commemorate these migrants, narrate their stories, and delve, from a human, historical, and sociological perspective, into the reasons for their departure. It is an innovative multimedia museum where visitors can interact with spaces and objects, immersing themselves in experiences thanks to state-of-the-art technology. A place for visitors to see, listen, learn, and put themselves to the test amidst the scenic setups of one of the oldest medieval buildings in the city.

To learn more, watch the entire video.