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.




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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.

Monday, April 3, 2017

SELF AWARENESS



Do I need to wait till Thanksgiving to start enumerating the things I’m thankful for? Which, by the way, it’s not even a thing that we are used to do in Italy. I mean Thanksgiving day, not actually being thankful.
Again I went off the tangent.


My point for today’s purposeless blog post takes inspiration from something really weird (but extremely interesting) that happened to me some days ago.
I don’t remember why I was looking at some art pictures on the web but I suddenly felt this warm, calming and relaxing feeling inside my heart (or my brain maybe, it depends on how romantic you are).
I was finding comfort only by looking at those pictures, from my phone screen. The weird-factor in all this story is that I was aware of that extreme calm that was growing within myself. It felt like if I was detached from myself for just the necessary amount of time to be aware of my happiness.

Most of the times we are so eager to “enjoy the moment” that we actually forget about the moment itself. While I was, instead, being a part of that moment. This may sound weird but to me that moment was precious.
This feeling occurs also when I look at some old pictures or when I take a walk and look at the sky. The awareness of being such a small point in this beautiful beautiful world makes me happy.


Before I get too cheesy I’d like to take a moment to let you know that you are probably doing well in the game of life because if you are reading this it means that you are alive and that’s a big achievement itself nowadays.

Ok, old aunt Ila says goodbye to you, fellow human.
Go out and spread the weirdness among other humans.