Meet your Translator: introducing Rosanna O’Keeffe

Who's behind the great NRW's Translators Team? We want to thank the group of people who are spreading our website to a broader community, and let you discover their stories.


Ago 16, 2021

Every week, our Translators Team propose to you an English version of our news, interviews or stories,spreading our project to a broader audience, allowing NRW’s English-speaking readership to know about incredibly talented musicians from different backgrounds, brilliant second-generation entrepreneurs, professionals living with enthusiasm bicultural lives, but also the challenges (if not the abuses) that refugees and migrants suffered during the pandemic.

This summer NRW wants to thank this incredible group of people and let you discover their stories, presenting to you one translator every week.

Please, introduce yourself.

“Rosanna O’Keeffe, senior (haha). I was born in East Yorkshire (England) where I spent my first 18 years. Since then have lived in London, Turin, Rome and Sorrento. My base is now in Turin. I worked for many years in International organisations and also in tourism. I am now semi-retired. I read extensively and love jazz dance which have continued to follow for many years at amateur level. I’m Anglo Italian with Italian mother & English father of Irish origin. In order to obtain Italian nationality through my mother, ius sanguinis, I had to go through the Italian courts. It took three years.

Her Italian nationality was automatically taken away when she married my father just after the Second World War. At that time female Italians were unable to retain their Italian nationality if they married foreigners (due to a Giolitti law n.555 dating back to 1912)

I believe this law still remains, although a number of resolutions have been made periodically over the decades, stating the law to be unconstitutional. I studied with Open University while working and obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Open) in English Language Studies”.

How did you come to know about Nuove Radici World?

“I first became acquainted with Nuove Radici World through Costanza de Toma at a meeting on Brexit organised by the ‘British in Italy’ group in Turin in January 2019. The meeting was set up to organize one of the Protest Marches against Brexit which took place in London in March 2019. I was thinking that human beings should never give up hope and that once again the world was taking a backward turn with Brexiters in the lead!”

What do you like the most about the idea that is behind the website?

“It is against discrimination in all forms. The world is full of human beings. There is only one race, the human race. Imagine by John Lennon is self explanatory. Never give up.”

Why did you accept to be part of it?

“I entered into the team in June 2020 through contact with Costanza de Toma. Over the years, I’ve always enjoyed translating and editing. And the subject of these translations is fundamental to my beliefs and origins.”

What’s the first story you translated, what’s the last story you translated, and what’s the story that resonated the most with you, and why?

“The first story translated  was about Francesco Taskayal, an Italian-Turk pianist and composer based in Latina. The last story I translated was on the “Abbas Case”. It was about Saman Abbas. A young female teenager of Pakistani origin who disappeared in April 2021. It’s also the story that resonated the most with me. The progress and regression of women’s  rights,  emancipation over the decades. How different traditions detrimental towards women still exist,  including forced marriages. No female in this day and age wherever they live should be subjected to such treatment.”

What do you think about, when you think about the Italian word “radici”, or roots?

“The word ‘roots’  immediately  brings to mind plants. Roots can be planted firmly in soil but can also be dug up and replanted elsewhere.  Given time, they will generally readapt to their new environment. The word may also refer to human beings, their place of birth and  family tree. Human beings are one big family!”

What’s your hope, for the future?

“Unfortunately,  I agree that intolerance is again rising all over the world. Probably globalisation in its present form  has not always helped. However, I believe that history goes backwards to go forwards and so on.  Luckily there are also many the world over who are contributing to make a better world. Although I feel that a thin veil of hostility still exists towards ‘ foreigners’ in general wherever. Having worked in UN organisations for a large part of my working life the objective was  to work towards the world as one, in as far as possible!  Even though we seem to be moving backwards as far as ‘different roots’ are concerned,  my motto is never give up on human kind…”

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