Black Italians and Digital Culture in Contemporary Italy

February 26, 2021

Fred Kuwornu

Friday, February 26, 5:30PM–7:00PM PST, Via Zoom Webinar (Registration Required)

Organized by SFU's Institute for the Humanities & co-sponsored by SFU's Vancity Office for Community Engagement

Register HERE

In recent years social media have become the main platform where new artistic talents but also black activists are imposing themselves in Italian culture. This multi-media lecture explores the role of Black girls in Italy and their contribution in a variety of fields including the world-renowned Italian fashion and beauty industries, the role of Black artists in the music and entertainment industry. Social Media Entrepreneurship has emerged as an important strategy for Afro-Italians seeking to advance new narratives about Blackness and its inclusion within the material and symbolic boundaries of Italy. At the same time, Afro-Italian entrepreneurship is transforming Italian material culture, and, by extension, the meanings of Italianness itself.


Fred Kudjo Kuwornu is a filmmaker activist-producer-educator, born and raised in Italy and based in Brooklyn. His mother is an Italian Jew, and his father is a Ghanaian surgeon who lived in Italy since the early 60’s. Fred Kuwornu holds a Master of Arts in Political Science at the University of Bologna, Italy with a focus on sociology and mass communication studies.Kuwornu produced and directed the Award-winning documentary Inside Buffalo (“Best Documentary” at the Black Berlin International Cinema Festival). Inside Buffalo had viewings at the Pentagon, the Library of Congress and it received a letter of congratulations by President Barack Obama. In 2016, he released Blaxploitalian 100 Years of Black in Italian Cinema, a diasporic, hybrid, historical, critical, dimensional and cosmopolitan documentary about actors of African descent in Italian cinema. He is developing the project Blaq IT (the Black Italians Timeline). In 2020, he was the voice over for the Italian version of the Netflix educational show Bookmarks-Celebrating Black Voices. Kuwornu believes using film and other art forms are essential tools for building a more inclusive society. For more details on Fred Kuwornu’s biography, please visit