“Babel” was born from a reflection on the idea of growing immigrant communities that have emerged over the past few years in Italian cities. Despite not being able to fully integrate with local realities, these groups have been able to develop and expand in their own commercial activity.
This research, which began in Florence, highlights a two year period of consistent growth in various foreign-owned small businesses; each of which as unique and diverse as the merchants themselves.
The Indian, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigerian and Filipino groups are just a few of the many whose silk shops, china stores and mini markets take over blocks of the city's center. And although these people are very closed off to the native locals, together they have been able to live side by side, creating a new thread in the urban cloth.
They have proved that despite all cultural differences, the coexistence among unlike cultures is in fact possible.
Somehow the social concept of multi-cultural coalescence seems to be more easily confronted as a norm by these minorities living in Italy than by the Italian themselves. Regardless of this societal crisis, we become conscious of a cultural blend, a popular melting pot, that has established a new Italian reality.