Author: Alessandro Albano

Language: English

A remarkable trip through images and words inside the heart of Italy

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Aliano, Matera, Italy.A tired and desolated island, where the present and the modernity have been refused by the entire community. Italy, in terms of political institution, has never come here. Europe has never dared to push so far. Nobody goes to Aliano. Nobody listens to its lamenting silence. The ravines that surround the area are resigned, forgotten and bypassed by history. The author and painter Carlo Levi, who firstly brought this land to public interest in the late 40’s with his masterpiece “Cristo si è fermato ad Eboli”, wrote: “Il paese non è in regola con la modernità. La modernità non è in regola col paese”. The meaning is cruel and simple: life has never been a part of this land.

In the footsteps of Carlo Levi, Franco Arminio‘s idea is to revalue and reveal the area of Aliano and surrounding territories, through the interrelationships between arts and local traditions.

La Luna e i Calanchi: Festa della Paesologia” is a multicultural art event that combines traditions and local cultures with artistic forms, such as music, art, poetry and film. Therefore, poetry and arts contribute to disclose and show the arcane nature of these places; hence, art is seen as a way of discovering.

However, the key word in this festival is meeting. The meeting between visitors and the local isolated civilisation. The visitors are not simply visitors, they are also spectators; spectators, viewers of a sort of holy society that has to be safeguarded, touched respectfully and not violated. Conversely, all the Aliano citizenship has the opportunity to meet and discover different cultures; spectators are kindly seen as something new, out of their world. Aliano is not hostile to innovations, if they are respectful and reverent.

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Since 2012 “La Luna i Calanchi” has been taking part in the village the last week of August. It has been representing a rare portrait of meeting between different cultures; it could be seen as a european lesson of civilization and democracy, especially if we consider that Matera and its province will be European Capital of Culture in 2019. As Franco Arminio and the staff said: “We believe that poetry and arts, may have an active role in the community. It is not a music, literature or film festival, but a temporary community that links the citizens of Aliano with the staff and the spectators together. For six days and six nights we dance, we sing and we play. It is a criticism to the “choral autism”. The future belongs to who believes in the sacredness of this land and the land in general; it does not belong to those who want to destroy it. This festival is a political and poetic militancy”.

Photo credits: http://www.ziguline.com/ ; Giovanni Rimondi.