Antifascist women migrants in France. Family and
subjectivity between change and continuity
The Italian fuoriuscitismo is part of the mass migration to France taking place between the two World Wars: a popular migration of families, in which women played from the onset a central symbolic and practical role. Antifascist migration constituted a private project before a political one. Women in the antifascist and migrant families shared the same cardinal role, maintaining and establishing connections between comrades and relatives, and assuring continuity with the social environment and the communities of origin. Bringing a gender approach to this field, not only allows to uncover women’s presence, but it also sharpens our understanding of everyday private life, while bringing to light the networks on which transnational antifascism rested. The migratory condition transformed socio-cultural references, questioning gender distinctions and families’ traditional roles, including those of women and young people. The antifascist choice was a life choice, which brought with it a transformation of practices and values. Through their political engagement (and influenced by the French social context) women realized personal projects and in many cases acquired a new national conscience. Custodians of photographs and memories, women became the agents through which the antifascist transnational culture was preserved within domestic memory, pervading return migration and rendering anti-fascist families a central protagonist of the civic reconstitution of the country.