Cristina Ali Farah

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Ubah Cristina Ali Farah
BornCristina Ali Farah
Verona, Italy
Occupationnovelist, essayist
Alma materLa Sapienza University
Subjectimmigration, colonialism, feminism
Notable worksMadre piccola (2007)

Ubah Cristina Ali Farah (born 1973 in Verona, Italy) is an Italian writer of Somali and Italian origin.


Born in Italy to a Somali father and an Italian mother, Farah grew up in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. She attended an Italian school there until the Somalia Civil War broke out in 1991.

Farah and her family subsequently relocated to Pécs, Hungary, but then later moved back to her birthplace, Verona, Italy. There, she obtained an Italian Lettere University degree at La Sapienza University in Rome, since 2013 she resides in Brussels (Belgium).[1]

Literary career[edit]

Ubah Cristina Ali Farah is a Somali Italian poet, novelist, playwright, librettist and oral performer. She has published three novels, Madre piccola (Little mother); Il comandante del fiume (The commander of the river); and Le stazioni della luna (The stations of the moon).[2][3][4] In 2011, Indiana University Press published Madre piccola, translated by Giovanna Bellesia.[5] She holds a Ph.D. in African Studies and has been invited to present her work in numerous countries worldwide. She is the recipient of the Lingua Madre and Vittorini Prizes.[6][7] She participated in the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (2017), in the MEET (Maison des Écrivains Étrangers et des Traducteurs) and Art Omi Residencies (2018). She has been a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellow and La Marelle Writer in residence in 2019. Recently she worked on a rewriting of the Antigone and on a libretto taken from found stories in Matera. She has just taken up an artist-in-residence fellowship at Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies for the first semester 2020.[citation needed]

In addition to her fictional works, Farah has also published a book on the history, rise, and common themes of Somali folk theatre from 1940 to 1990.[8]

In November 2020 Meet Editions will publish a bilingual (French and Italian) collection of her short stories. She is working with Belgian artist and illustrator Goele Dewanckel on a Serigraphic book to be published next year by Else Edizioni.[citation needed]

She is currently a UNDP consultant  for a project on Oral Historiography for Peace Building in Somalia.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Imperfect Post Colonialism: Rapping from the Land of Punt". Villa La Pietra. Retrieved 2021-08-27.
  2. ^ "Words Without Borders: Afro-Italian Women Writers". Publishing Perspectives. 2021-08-23. Retrieved 2021-08-27.
  3. ^ Farah, Cristina Ali (2014). Il comandante del fiume (in Italian). 66thand2nd. ISBN 978-88-96538-95-1.
  4. ^ Farah, Ubah Cristina Ali (2021). Le stazioni della luna (in Italian). 66thand2nd. ISBN 978-88-3297-181-1.
  5. ^ Farah, Cristina Ali; Bellesia, Giovanna (2011). Little Mother. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-22296-1.
  6. ^ Brioni, Simone (2016). The Somali Within: Language, Race and Belonging in 'Minor' Italian Literature. Routledge. ISBN 9780367606282.
  7. ^ Redford, Renata (2016). "Review of The Somali Within: Language, Race and Belonging in "Minor" Italian Literature". Italica. 93 (4): 849–851. ISSN 0021-3020. JSTOR 44504625.
  8. ^ Farah, Cristina Ali (2018-03-01). Il teatro popolare somalo. 1940 - 1990 (in Italian). Roma TrE-Press. ISBN 978-88-94885-71-2.


  • Ai confini del verso: Poesia della migrazione in italiano, (At the boundaries of verse. Poetry of migration) Le Lettere", Florence, 2006.[1][2][3]
  • A New Map: The poetry of Migrant Writers in Italy, texts collected by Mia Lecomte et Luigi Bonaffini, Green Integer, Los Angeles, 2007.[4][5][3][6]
  • Madre piccola ("Little Mother"), Frassinelli, 2007.[7][8][9][10]
  • Il comandante del fiume (The commander of the river), 66th and 2nd, 2014[11][12][13][14][15]
  • LATITUDE Rethinking Power Relations – for a decolonised and non-racial world, [1], 2021.
  • Simone Brioni. The Somali Within. Language, Race and Belonging in 'Minor' Italian Literature. Cambridge: Legenda 2015.

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Murua, James (2022-02-23). "Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, Khadija Abdalla Bajaber for Nairobi events". James Murua's Literature Blog. Archived from the original on 2022-12-11. Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  2. ^ "Ai confini del verso. Poesia della migrazione in Italiano - M. M. Lecomte". (in Italian). Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  3. ^ a b "Ubah Cristina Ali Farah". Kulturvermittlung Steiermark Kunstpädagogisches Institut Graz (in German). Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  4. ^ Bonaffini, Luigi. A New Map. The Poetry of Migrant Writers in Italy. A Bilingual Anthology.
  5. ^ Benelli, Elena (2013). "Luigi Bonaffini and Mia Lecomte (eds) A New Map: The Poetry of Migrant Writers in Italy". Forum Italicum: A Journal of Italian Studies. 47 (3): 691–692. doi:10.1177/0014585813499507. ISSN 0014-5858. S2CID 193060476.
  6. ^ Bonaffini, Luigi; Lecomte, Mia; Cipolla, Gaetano, eds. (2010-10-15). New Map: the Poetry of Migrant Writers in Italy. Legas.
  7. ^ Farah, Cristina Ali (2011). Little Mother. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-35610-9.
  8. ^ "African Library: Little Mother". LitNet. 30 November 2001. Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  9. ^ "An Interview with Cristina (Ubax) Ali Farah, the Author of the Novels – Madre Piccola (Little Mother) and Il Comandante del Fiume (The Commander of the River)". WardheerNews. 2015-08-07. Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  10. ^ "Madre piccola". Goodreads. Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  11. ^ "Il comandante del fiume (The River Commander), Ubah Cristina Ali Farah (66th And Second, 2014)". Literary Hub. 2016-06-01. Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  12. ^ " Il comandante del fiume (Audible Audio Edition): Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, Paolo Carenzo, Audible Studios: Audible Books & Originals". Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  13. ^ "Between Us". Nashville Review. 2019-04-01. Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  14. ^ "ALI FARAH, Ubah Cristina | The International Writing Program". Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  15. ^ Di Maio, Alessandra (2019-09-12), Toscano, Ellyn (ed.), "39. Transnational Minor Literature: Cristina Ali Farah's Somali Italian Stories", Women and Migration : Responses in Art and History, OBP collection, Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, pp. 533–553, ISBN 979-10-365-3807-0, retrieved 2022-05-29