According to Istat (the Italian National Institute of Statistics), Prato (Italy) has the highest proportion of Chinese immigrants of any Italian province (5.38% against 0.81% of Milan). In 1989 there were only 38 Chinese residents in Prato, by 1991 there were 1009 and by the end of 2006 there were 10080 legal Chinese residents. According to the official data of the 15th population census published on December the 18th 2012 on the Gazzetta Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana, this had risen to 11882. In her book ”L’assedio cinese”, Italian journalist Silvia Pieraccini estimated there to be approximately 50000 Chinese in Prato, about 27% of the population. If this is true this would be the highest density of Chinese in relation to the native population in Europe.
In the last thirty years the Italian and Chinese communities in Prato have been forced closer together. For this reason they have developed a new identity, the “sameness of essential or generic character in different instances” (Webster Merriam Dictionary definition for “identity”). There are certainly still elements of diversity between these communities, but each year this new ‘hidden identity’ is growing. The aim of the research is to document this new ‘hidden identity’.
A video realized by our Webster students Lucas Bullens and Thoraya Binzagr.