Living in the Shadows in Italy

Italian-Ghanaian director Fred Kuwornu follows 18 children born and raised in Italy who can't be Italian citizens

Director Fred Kuwornu is coming to UCR Feb. 9 to present his documentary film “18 Ius Soli.”

UCR’s Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages presents documentary filmmaker Fred Kujo Kuwornu and his film “18 Ius Soli” on Tuesday, Feb. 9, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in CHASS Interdisciplinary 1111.

Kuwornu is an Italian-Ghanaian activist-producer-writer-director who was born and raised in Italy. His mother is an Italian Jew, and his father is a Ghanaian surgeon who has lived in Italy since the 1960s.

“18 Ius Soli” tells the stories of 18 children born and raised in Italy whose parents are originally from African, Asian, and South American countries. Even though these children speak Italian and not the native languages of their parents, and have never visited the homelands of their parents, they cannot become Italian citizens until they are 18. To attain Italian citizenship, they must go through a lengthy and complicated application process, one that does not always end well for them.

Kuwornu holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and media studies from the University of Bologna. He has worked as a writer for RAI TV in Rome and on the production crew of Spike Lee’s “Miracle at St. Anna,” and produced the award-winning documentary “Inside Buffalo,” an account of the 92nd Infantry Division, the African American combat unit that fought in World War II. He currently is based in Brooklyn, New York.

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