Christmas eCards - of a Radical Italian American Kind

Laura E. Ruberto (December 17, 2015)
Imagining, creating and sharing alternative Italian American Christmas eCards
In 2009 I wrote a Christmas-related blog post prompted by a holiday card I saw for sale that used a Tina Modotti photograph of a close-up of a woman’s full breast and a baby nursing as an evocative alternative image to the traditional Holy Family. Thinking then about Modotti, an unsung feminist heroine of Italian radical immigrant history, led me to look for other signs of progressive politics within Italian American Christmas traditions.
In the spirit of that post, I playfully created a series of Radical Italian American Christmas eCards this year. The cards illuminate real historical Italian American men and women who in a variety of ways lived, worked, or otherwise participated in a radical rethinking of cultural politics and creative potentials.
These cards don’t tell their stories, but their experiences have been documented (and continue to be) by a number of scholars, authors, and artists.



You can find Holiday eCards (click on image to open) with:

Angela Bambace                                     Ralph Fasanella


 James Groppi                                        Tina Modotti




Maria Roda                                               Vito Russo


Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti


Mario Savio                                              Carlo Tresca



Click on the images above to get each eCard or go here to see them all together.
The individuals in these cards, and many others, remind us that political agency can support social change, that art makes and encourages new directions of thinking, and that beliefs are not constrained by institutional structures and traditional boundaries but instead can transcend those in the name of the disenfranchised, the exploited, and the under-represented. In the era of Antonin Scalias and Joe Arpaios, it's particularly relevant to recall and take note of such alternative possibilities.

And what better time then Christmas to highlight progressive actions, actions that connect with some of the associations the holidays have—generosity, community, and hope.

So, take this small gesture of joy in the spirit of the season. Please freely post, email, share on FB, tweet, send, download or print them out.

Buone feste!





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