Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Zine Review : GRRRL IN PRINT


Before even starting. What the hell is a zine?
By definition a zine is a self-published staple bound  magazine featuring original or appropriated art, comics, photos, poems, rants, reviews... anything creative. Usually they are run by not-for-profit collectives of people and DIYed.
I began to make some researches on zines back in 2015 when I purchased HannahPixie’s zine “The Key” in collaboration with Anastasia Tasou and many other artists from all over the world.
I later purchased some other zines but only recently I began to be interested in some activist-feminist zines.

This is why I bought from Grrrl their first paper zine.
GrrrlZine Fair is a not-for-profit organization based in the UK that puts up inclusive zine fairs and music events in order to ensure a space where everybody who doesn’t  feel accepted in the mainstream culture can find a place to have fun. Anybody is invited: women, queer, boys, gay or straight, black and white. The more diverse the more fun!


This first issue is about DIY in modern culture and how people include it in their everyday life. You can purchase it here.
When the zine arrived in the mail it was inside a recyclable plastic bag, which made me really happy just for the fact that it was recyclable. So I’d say: good plastic bag choice! (I’m not being weird. Professional bloggers review even the bags things come in … so I’m just being professional right now.  Hopefully.)


Back to the topic. Inside the RECYCLABLE bag you’ll find: an A4 magazine with some BRILLIANT comics stripes and interviews, an A5 zine with playlists, interviews, art advices, some rad photos and art pieces. Last but not least some other art pieces and poetry on an A6 format.
And if you think it’s not enough you’ll get also a stunning A3 poster too. Which has instantly gained a special place on my wall near the bed as a constant reminder that Doing It Yourself is better than not doing it at all.

Before you move on with your life, let me finish this by saying that I strongly recommend to check them out and if you feel like a nice human being you could also support them or even take part in some of their activities.

Ok. I’m done.
Check them out.
Bye.

(And no, this wasn’t sponsored.)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

FEARS


"When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starred face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love-then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink."
-John Keats 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

ROBERTO SAVIANO - incontro/meeting


This post is divided in two parts: one in italian and one in english.
Scroll down to get directly to the english part or keep reading for the italian one.

Quando ho iniziato a scrivere questo post ero appena tornata a casa da un incontro che sicuramente custodirò per il resto della mia vita con un sorriso. Martedì 11 Aprile ho avuto l’onore di ascoltare Roberto Saviano nella mia città, a Ravenna.
Non appena mi dissero che lo avrei incontrato non potevo crederci. Un grande giornalista e scrittore, di quelli che per tutta la tua vita osservi solo da lontano in tv o sul giornale sarebbe stato a due passi da me, a respirare la mia stessa aria.

Quel Martedì ho scoperto che oltre ad essere un uomo brillante ed eloquente è anche una persona appassionata e saggia. Una di quelle persone con cui mi piacerebbe prendere un caffè un pomeriggio e parlare per ore e ore di qualunque cosa, con la certezza di non annoiarmi mai. Di quelle persone che hanno il sorriso contagioso e che quando parlano sembrano aver  vissuto tanto. E lui ha vissuto tanto.
Per coloro di voi che non lo conoscono, Roberto Saviano è un giornalista e scrittore italiano diventato famoso per aver scritto diversi libri, primo fra tutti Gomorra. Lo stesso libro che ha puntato i riflettori sulla criminalità organizzata in sud Italia (e non solo lì) e lo ha costretto a vivere sotto scorta.
È proprio leggendo Gomorra che ho scoperto che il mio cognome è lo stesso di un tristemente famoso boss mafioso…


Infatti io sono di Napoli. A dire il vero io sono nata a Ravenna ma tutta la mia famiglia è di Torre del Greco. E io mi definisco napoletana.  Proprio questa vicinanza ai luoghi di cui Saviano parla mi fa sentire ancora più coinvolta nelle storie da lui raccontate. Storie di paura e omertà, di denaro sporco e droga. Di giovani ammazzati e ingiustizie taciute. E di sogni, tanti sogni spezzati e accantonati.
È grazie ai miei genitori se sono stata educata alla legalità, alla lotta per l’affermazione di ogni persona ma più di tutto alla giustizia.
Sono un’idealista per natura e incontrare una persona come Saviano, che ha lottato e ancora lotta per ciò in cui crede, mi ha commossa e ispirata molto. Per me lui è un modello da ammirare. Anche per questo ho sbiascicato solo due parole al volo per colpa dell’emozione mentre mi autografava il libro e mi diceva, sorridendo, che sembro troppo bionda per essere di origine napoletane.

Tra le cose che mi hanno colpita di più durante la conferenza è stata una riflessione che ha fatto sull’importanza di leggere. Leggere e studiare le ha presentate come azioni necessarie per non farsi fregare nella vita di tutti i giorni. Perché leggere significa vivere tante vite non tue, dalle quali puoi imparare qualcosa di nuovo. I giovani che leggono fanno paura, ha aggiunto, perché iniziano inevitabilmente a farsi domande e a contestare. Questo fa paura ai governi perché chi fa domande non si lascia ingannare e vuole sapere le verità. Coloro alla ricerca della verità incutono timore in coloro che la verità la vogliono occultare.


Incontrare una persona come Saviano, oggi, alla mia tenera-adulta età, mi ha fatto venire ancora più voglia di uscire e lottare. Lottare per me, per voi, per tutti coloro che sono vittime di questo sistema infame dal quale sentono di non poter uscire. Voglio rendermi utile, voglio seguire le orme di chi prima di me ha cercato di cambiare qualcosa, perché credo che tutto si possa ancora cambiare in meglio.
Non voglio che noia e pigrizia prendano il sopravvento nella mia vita. Ho sempre avuto un’ansia di conoscenza, quasi un irrequietezza nel voler conoscere, come se non ci fosse abbastanza tempo, come se dovessi correre perché voglio sapere tutto e subito.
Invece Saviano ha permesso alla mia irrequietezza di calmarsi e trovare una soluzione dicendo che  noi giovani dovremmo prenderci il nostro tempo per leggere e conoscere. Oltre a conoscere il mondo, anche conoscere noi stessi. Ci ha detto che ognuno di noi ha un talento, dobbiamo trovarlo e vivere per quello. Ho condiviso in pieno quando ha detto che ormai non esiste più un lavoro che fa guadagnare sicuramente tanti soldi, pertanto è necessario che i giovani trovino ciò in cui sono bravi e si migliorino sempre di più.
Per questo voglio rendermi utile. Voglio svegliarmi la mattina ed essere fiera di ciò che ho fatto e faccio. Ma soprattutto di ciò che sono: una ragazza idealista del nord di origini napoletane.

Troppo bionda per essere meridionale.



-----


When I started to write this post I had just got home from a meeting that I’ll surely cherish for the rest of my life with a smile. On Tuesday April 11th I had the pleasure of listening to Roberto Saviano speaking in my city, Ravenna.
As soon as they told me that I would have met him I couldn’t believe it. He is a journalist and a writer, one of those that you admire for your entire life and you admire from a distance, on tv or on the newspaper. He would have been only a few steps away from me, breathing my same air.

On Tuesday I found out that he is not just a brilliant and eloquent man, but also a really passionate and wise person. One of those people I’d like to take a coffee with and talk for hours and hours about anything, being sure of never getting bored. One of those people that have a contagious smile and when they speak they seem to have got through a lot. And he got through a lot.
For those of you who don’t know him, Roberto Saviano is an Italian journalist and writer who became famous for his books, first of all Gomorrah. The same book that focused public opinion attention on organized criminality in southern Italy (and not only there) and it was after this book that he was put under  guard.
It’s by reading Gomorrah that I discovered that my surname is the same of a sadly famous mafia boss…

 In fact I am from Naples. To be honest I was born in Ravenna but my entire family is from Torre del Greco (Naples). And I define myself as Neapolitan. Because of the proximity of the places Saviano writes about in his book I feel even more involved in the stories narrated by him. Stories of fear and silence, of dirty money and drugs. Of murders of youngsters and the silent injustice. And of dreams, many broken dream.
Thanks to my parents I was educated to legality, fighting for personal accomplishment but above all to justice.
I am an idealist by nature and meeting a person like Saviano, who fought and still fights for everything he believes in, truly touched me and inspired me. To me he is a role model to admire. This is also the reason why I blabbered some few confused words while he autographed my book and told me, while smiling, that I look too blonde to be Neapolitan.

Among the things that hit me the most during the conference there was a moment when he spoke about the importance of reading. Reading and studying are the necessary things to never be fooled in everyday life. Because reading means living many lives that are not yours from which you can learn something new. A reading  young audience scares, he added, because the youngsters who read inevitably start questioning and protesting. This scares governments because who questions is not easily mocked and wants to know the truth. Those who seek the truth instill fear in those who instead want to hide it.


Meeting a person like Saviano, today, at my young-adult age, made me want to go out and fight even more. Fight for me, fight for you, for all those who are victims of this infamous system from which they feel like there’s no way out. I want to be useful, I want to follow those before me who tried to make a difference, because I believe that everything can still be changed for better.

I don’t want boredom and laziness to take over my life. I have always had this anxiety for knowledge, almost a restless feeling of wanting to know, everything and right now, as if there is no time left.
Saviano instead managed to calm my restless mind and finding a solution by saying that us, teenagers, should take our time to read and know new things. Besides knowing the world we should know ourselves. He told that everyone of us has a talent, we just have to find it and live for it. I completely agreed when he said that nowadays there are no jobs that will assure you earn many money, therefore its necessary that the young ones find something they are good at and live for that.
This is why I want to be useful. I want to wake up in the morning and be proud of what I have done and what I do. But most importantly of who I am: an idealist girl from the north with Neapolitan origins, too blonde to be southern.

Friday, April 28, 2017

SIMONA VINCI - incontro / meeting



This post is divided in two parts: one in italian and one in english.
Scroll down to get directly to the english part or keep reading for the italian one.


Sabato 8 Aprile ho avuto il piacere di ascoltare una conferenza dell’autrice Simona Vinci.
Una scrittrice italiana nata a Budrio (Bologna) che esordì nel 1997 con il romanzo “Dei bambini non si sa niente”.
I professori ci hanno preparati all’incontro facendoci leggere il suo ultimo libro “La prima verità”. Mi ricordo che non appena vidi la copertina del libro rimasi molto intrigata. Un infante che fa il gesto del silenzio con il dito. Quando poi la prof di italiano iniziò a raccontarci di ciò che parlava mi appassionai completamente.
Il libro pubblicato a fine anno scorso parla di malattia mentale. Due parole che non riescono nemmeno lontanamente a riassumere il contenuto del romanzo, che va oltre la rielaborazione di fatti realmente accaduti. Una storia, anzi, molte storie, che si intrecciano e intrappolano il lettore fino alla fine.
“La prima verità” è un libro molto difficile, richiede particolare attenzione da parte del lettore. Ma soprattutto non fa sconti a nessuno e colpisce dritto nel segno: la coscienza profonda di ognuno di noi.

Sentir parlare di persona la voce che prima ci si immaginava solo in testa mentre si leggeva è sempre un’esperienza interessante. Ma soprattutto è interessante ascoltare come l’autrice parla dei personaggi e delle storie che ha raccolto nelle pagine del libro.


Durante l’incontro l’autrice ha trattato di temi importanti, come la memoria e la malattia mentale. Ha detto che è molto facile etichettare come “malato” ciò che semplicemente è diverso da noi. La Vinci stessa ha ammesso che se fosse nata anche solo cinque anni prima della sua effettiva data di nascita avrebbe potuto essere rinchiusa in un manicomio a causa della sua irrequietezza e costante distrazione a scuola.

Successivamente qualcuno le ha fatto una domanda che l’ha portata a parlare della sua concezione personale di arte. Secondo Simona Vinci qualunque forma d’arte nasce da una ribellione, scaturita a sua volta da rabbia. Rabbia che lei conosce bene perché ha affermato di aver scritto molti suoi precedenti libri con rabbia, solo successivamente ha capito che quel sentimento non può essere solo fine a se stesso. La rabbia deve avere uno scopo.

Non potevo che essere d’accordo con tutto ciò che diceva. E più parlava più il mio sorriso si faceva grande. Una scintilla di follia e anormalità probabilmente ci accomuna, anche se io non ho neanche la metà del suo talento nello scrivere.

Parlando di stranezze, non appena finita la presentazione Simona Vinci si è resa disponibile a firmare le copie del suo libro. Così mi sono letteralmente catapultata davanti perché avevo qualcosa da dirle. Mi sono avvicinata e lei mi ha accolta con un sorriso curioso mentre provavo a dare un senso compiuto alle mie parole. Le ho allungato un disegno, che rappresenta un occhio dietro ad un muro, ma non uno qualsiasi. È il muro dove venivano rinchiusi, o meglio, lanciati, i malati più gravi, gli irrecuperabili, nell’isola di Leros (dove sono ambientate le storie). Quell’occhio blu che fissa lo spettatore da una crepa nel cemento è stata tra le immagini più forti dell’intero libro. Così, dato che l’immagine era tanto vivida nella mia testa, ho deciso di portarla su carta.
Solo qualche giorno prima mi era venuta in mente l’idea di portarle il disegno. Solitamente i miei “capolavori” li tengo in un raccoglitore poco costoso chiuso in un armadio.
Sono anche un po’ gelosa dei suddetti “capolavori” così ne avevo fatto una copia: l’originale gliel’ho data e la copia me la sono fatta autografare.


La dedica che mi ha scritto è tra le cose più belle che una persona mi abbia mai detto. La sua voce, profonda e calma, mi ha accarezzato il cuore mentre mi allontanavo dal tavolo dove era seduta. E mi sono sentita ancora più lusingata quando ho scoperto che quello stesso pomeriggio, ad un’altra conferenza, ha parlato del mio disegno di fronte alla platea di spettatori. 

Nel complesso è stata un’esperienza molto interessante e senza dubbio bellissima. Non solo l’aver letto un libro così pieno di passione e verità mi ha fatta riflettere, ma anche la possibilità di conoscere una donna come Simona Vinci mi ha dato un po’ di speranza in più per il mio futuro.




-----
Saturday the 8th of April I had the pleasure of participating to a conference held by the author Simona Vinci.
She is an Italian writer born in Budrio (Bologna) who debuted in 1997 with the novel “Dei bambini non si sa niente”.
Our teachers prepared us for the meeting by letting us read her last book “La prima verità”. I remember that as soon as I saw the cover of it I was really intrigued. It portrays a baby while doing the silence sign with the index. Then, when my Italian teacher started to tell us what the book was about I got into it completely.
The book was published at the end of last year (2016) and is about mental illnesses. Two words that cannot even remotely sum up the essence of the book, which goes over the re-elaboration of true facts happened in the past. A story, well, many stories, that link and trap the reader till the end.
“La prima verità” (literally translated means “The first truth”) is a really difficult book, particularly demanding for the reader. But above all it doesn’t spare anyone and hits right in the spot: each  human’s deep conscience.

Listening to the actual person whose voice was just an imagination in your head while you were reading is always an interesting experience. But even more interesting was listening to the author speaking about the characters and stories she collected in the book.

During the meeting the author has debated some important topics such as memory and mental illness. She stated that it’s almost too easy to label as “ill” something just different from us. The author herself admitted that maybe if she were born five years before her actual day of birth she could have been put in a sanitarium because of her restlessness and her constant distraction at school.

Subsequently someone asked her something that brought her on the topic of art and how she perceives it. To her, every form of art begins with a rebellious act, originated by anger. The same anger that she put into her first writings of previous books. Only afterwards she understood that anger couldn’t just end in itself. Anger must have a purpose.

I completely agree with what she said. And the more she spoke the bigger my smile got. A sparkle of madness and abnormality probably are the things we have in common, even though I have half of her talent when it comes to writing.

Talking about weirdness: as soon as the meeting ended Simona Vinci said she was available to sign the copies of the book. So I literally threw myself near her because I had something to tell her. I got closer and she welcomed me with a curious smile while I was trying to put the words in a full sense all together. I handed her a drawing portraying an eye behind a wall, but not a random one. The wall where the most ill were thrown into, the lost ones, in the island of Leros (where the stories take place).
That blue eye that stares at the reader for the entire book was the strongest of all the settings described in the book. So, since that image was so vivid in my head, I decided to put it on paper.
Only a couple of days before the meeting I decided to bring her the drawing. I usually keep my “piece of art” in a cheap binder hidden in my closet.
But since I’m quite jealous of the above-mentioned “pieces of art” I did a copy of it. I gave the author the original one and asked her to sign the copy.

The message she wrote for me is one of the most beautiful things a person ever  said to me. Her voice, deep and calm, caressed my heart while I walked away from the table she was sitting at. And I’ve felt even more flattered when I discovered that later that evening she showed my drawing to the audience at a conference she held.


Overall it has been a really interesting experience and without a doubt beautiful. Not only I read a book full of passion and truth but I also had the possibility to meet a woman like Simona Vinci. All of this gave me some hope for my future.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

WOODPECKER DISCO


March 26th was a day dedicated to the main museums and artistic sites in my city and surrounding.
That’s why I decided to get back to the dismissed disco ”Woodpecker” in Milano Marittima, near Ravenna.





It formerly was a disco built in 1966 by Filippo Monti, the architect that planned the building and dispositions. It was a revolutionary building at the time, divided in different pools filled with water, and a big dome covered the dance floor.
Unluckily the disco was closed in 1975 after a big fire destroyed some parts of the building.









Now it is an abandoned place. I explored it two years ago and took some crappy pictures of the amazing graffiti inside the dome, done by the great Italian street artist Blu.
I got back some weeks ago and took some better pictures.

Enjoy.




















Thursday, April 20, 2017

Trip to Bosnia - I have something to say

It seemed like a so far away place. 13 hours by Pullman are very much actually. But geographically, if I think about it, it’s a stone’s throw from the sweet and innocent Italy. So close to us that I can still hear the screams of the sentenced to death echo, those who didn’t die immediately so they begged the soldier to shoot them again.
These screams have always been here, since the late 90s they wander in the wind and bounce between the Adriatic shores. But honestly I’ve never heard of them. Maybe I confused them for some seagull complaint.


But once you see, or better, you hear those atrocities, you can’t close your eyes and plug your ears. The silence that scratches the ears, the silence of entire families swept away from the face of this earth governed by infamous men, the silence can echo too.
Beings, not humans, I didn’t see anything human there. Only the tears of the people that visited the graveyard or the pictures of those who hung themselves to escape the tortures they knew, because they knew, would have been inflicted to them.

 

The question spontaneously rises in me: why all of this? The answer still slips away and this not-answer leaves me a bitter taste in my mouth, that sometimes, when I don’t notice, it turns into anger. That anger that makes your tongue itch so much to let you spit out rash and inappropriate words.
I wasn’t, I wasn’t there those days. The days of the massacre. I wasn’t even born. And maybe my resentment sound ridicule, almost hypocritical. But if there isn’t anyone still  resentful, that clasps their fists and cry tears in front of these useless bloodsheds, then there is no purpose in talking about this either, everything is lost.
I don’t want to believe to this eventuality, I want to imagine one thousand resentful faces and one thousand tears that line just as many faces. I want to imagine one thousand people that tell other people about their tears and their resentment to another one thousand people in order to spread resentment but most importantly awareness, for what happened.

For those 8372 who now are no more.



(Those are the pictures I took during my trip to Bosnia in Srebrenica)

Friday, April 7, 2017

EYE PINS + REAPER + COLOURING BOOK –Anastasia Tasou


A black pack arrived in my mail some days ago, and today I was happy to find another one too. They were my last purchases from the awesome Anastasia.
I’ve published a post about her awesome eye t-shirt here but since then I bought some other stuff that I’ll shortly review in this post.


Firstly the pins.
Each pin was sold separately and packed in a small plastic bag, as shown in picture (this last sentence sounds like my old science book.. anyway..) apart from the eyes pins that are sold as a complete set all together.


Each packaging comes with a little note from the artist which always bring a smile on my awkward face. These last packs had also a really cute picture of Ana portrayed while drawing.
                     
               
                                       
This makes me think of how cool it is to support “small” businesses and artists. They put their heart and energies in every single project they launch and we, the clients, the fans or whatever you prefer being called, buy something that we know for a fact is unique and comes from the artist’s creativity not some big-company-brainstorming.
I feel special every time I wear something uncommon or unseen before, the same applies for other object/print/pin I buy from these artists.


Ok back to the topic.
How have I used those pins? They are now happily making my boring backpack special.

 







My other recent purchase has been the colouring book.
On the 25th March Ana did a live video of facebook where she showed us the book and actually coloured some pages. It had been a while since I wanted to but one and again that was the perfect occasion, so I did. I can’t wait to mess up all those intriguing lines and drawings, all on recycled paper of course!
The book arrived with a magic pencil (or at least this is how I used to call it when I was a kid) with four colours in it.




As always I’ll leave here all the information to follow Ana on the big web.


note: the candles where NOT included in the packaging... just to make things clear.