A short documentary created by the Museo de la Inmigración in Buenos Aires about children’s author Syria Poletti (1919-1991). Born and educated in Italy, Poletti immigrated to Argentina in 1939. Her work focuses on the difficulties faced by Italian immigrants, seen through the eyes of children.
Syria Poletti (1919-1991) was born in Pieve di Cadore, Veneto and emigrated to Argentina in 1939, where her parents and sister already lived. Between 1939 and 1944 she was director of the Dante Alighieri school in Cañada de Gómez. In 1946 she graduated as a teacher and translator, receiving a degree from the National University of Córdoba. She then began to work as a journalist, and in 1953 she started writing stories for the newspaper La Nación. In 1954 she published Veinte poemas infantiles (Twenty Children’s Poems). She also contributed short stories to the magazine Vea y Lea.
The publication of her first novel in 1961, Gente conmigo, met with great success. It received the Losada International Award and the Municipal Prize of Buenos Aires, and was adapted into a film in 1965 (screenplay by Jorge Masciángoli, directed by Jorge Darnell). The novel was translated into German, Czech, English, and Italian.
In 1965 Poletti was awarded the Doncel Prize in Madrid, for her short story book Botella al mar. For her book Historias en rojo, she again received the Municipal Prize of Buenos Aires in 1969. In addition she received the Ribbon of Honor from the Argentine Society of Writers, and the Grand Knight of the Star of Solidarity, given by the Italian government for her cultural work in Italy and Argentina.
Poletti’s work often dealt with the challenges faced by Italian immigrants in rural Argentina and in Buenos Aires. She is regarded as one of the most influential Italo-Argentine writers.