Migration Museum

Migration Museum
Adelaide, Australia

This cartoon has been drawn on one side of a piece of thick, yellowish drawing paper, using black pen and ink, and coloured pencils. It depicts two characters in Commedia dell'Arte-style theatrical costume, with buildings for torsos. The character on the left has blue and yellow tights, red sleeves, a green fez-style hat, and a long-necked guitar. The other character has blue and red striped tights, green sleeves, a red pointed cap with a large feather, and is carrying a sword. In the background between the characters is a soccer goal. At the bottom of the page, also between the characters, has been written an Italian sentence in black ink.


  • Title: Cartoon
  • Date Created: 1940-01-01/1949-12-31
  • Provenance: There is no indication of the artist's name, but the cartoon was donated by Mr Antonio Giordano. It was drawn in No 9 Loveday Internment camp during World War II, and probably depicts some of the activities a number of the internees undertook to amuse themselves while in the camp. Mr Giordano and a number of others organised a amateur dramatic society for which they built a large theatre out of brushwood with chaff bags stitched together for a curtain, and cleared an area for a soccer field. Mr Giordano was born in 1907 at Naples, Italy, and migrated to Australia in 1924, aged 17. Prior to the outbreak of the war, he worked variously as a labourer in Victoria and NSW, in catering, in radio and as a journalist for 'Il Giornale' and the 'Italo Australiano'. He mainly wrote feature articles for the Italo Australiano, and also had his own column, in which he often expressed opinions hopeful of Italy not entering the war. When this did happen in 1940, Mr Giordano was arrested as an 'enemy alien' at his Potts Point flat in NSW. While getting dressed the police searched his flat and took a few things of apparent interest to them. He was told the rest of his possessions would be taken care of, but apart from a few clothes and books, he never saw any of his possessions again. Most importantly, he lost the draft of a book he was working on. Mr Giordano was to spend the next 4 years in internment camps at Orange, Hay (both in NSW), and Loveday (SA). During that time, he believed that out of some 25,000 Italians in Australia, no more than 20 or so were true Fascists, and thus a serious threat to Australia's war-time security. After being released at the end of the war, Mr Giordano was initially sent to Morgan, South Australia, as a timber-cutter. Eventually, he continued his work in journalism, as well as working as an interpreter, a restauranter, and in Italian-Australian commerce, club soccer, and migrant welfare. He also wrote and contributed to several books on early Italian naval explorers who travelled through the Asia-Pacific region. Mr Giordana died in 1984, highly respected by those both part of and outside the Italian community in Australia.
  • Subject Keywords: Sport
  • Rights: History Trust of South Australia, CC-0

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