Nalini Vidoolah Mootoosamy


Nalini Vidoolah Mootoosamy was born in Mauritius in 1979. In 1990 she immigrated to Italy. She got a PhD in French studies at University of Milan where she currently teaches French Literature and Culture. In the theatrical field, she trained and specialized in dramaturgical writing attending workshops and internships with Gabriele Vacis, Vitaliano Trevisan, Carlos Maria Alsina, Renato Gabrielli, Lucilla Giagnoni, Claudio Tolcachir and Naira Gonzalez. For two years she has been collaborating on the project “Teatro Utile” of the Accademia dei Filodrammatici, working on the theme of migration and the second generation. In 2018 she founded the Ananke Arts Association, which organizes theatrical training projects and performing events on contemporary themes. As a dramaturg, she has worked on the plays Elogio della fuga” (2017) and Elogio della lentezza (2018). Since 2018 she has been leading autobiographical writing for theatre workshops aimed at foreigners, asylum seekers and adults.

Il sorriso della scimmia

A family of Indo-Mauritian immigrants is grappling with a crucial event: the Father has to go to the Municipality for the conferral of Italian citizenship. But this festive occasion soon turns into the risk, full of tension, of a social exam that puts the whole family on the ropes. In particular his son, Raoul, is torn between the need to help his father and the frustration of knowing that he is still a “foreigner”. The physical resemblance to the Father, to whom the title of the play makes a bitter reference, symbolizes for Raoul the mark of the discomfort and servility of his family in Italy. Despite the destabilizing apparitions of the young neighbour, Vikram, and the repeated prayers of the Mother to the god Ganesh, it will be Raoul’s colleague, Laura, in spite of the distrust towards the Italians, to bring a different energy to the usually closed house. The themes of linguistic discomfort and integration difficulties are represented in the opening and closing scenes, where the metaphorical reference to the “childhood” of the family is the sign of the inferiority, helpless and naive condition, in which all members of the family feel wrapped up by fate.