Viaggiare è raccontare - Travel is to tell

Ogni volta che si parte, si parte un po' anche per raccontare. Si va portando con sé ciò che si è visto, ciò che si è imparato, ciò che chissà potrebbe essere utile altrove. E se si parte per un viaggio musicale tornando nel proprio paese, tutto questo diventa un riflesso immediato. Torno per raccontare, per lasciar raccontare i miei compagni di viaggio. Torno per raccontare perché sono partito. E perché la distanza è solo un'invenzione di chi ci vuole divisi. In realtà, per quanto si possa andare lontani, non si andrà mai abbastanza lontani per sentirsi stranieri, quando si è cittadini del mondo.
Domani insieme ai Kara Güneş voleremo in Italia, a Milano. Comincia il tour "Dall'Eufrate al Po", o "Fırat'tan Po'ya" come si dice in Turco. Per ora 11 concerti, ma gli eventi sono in continua evoluzione. Il 29 novembre a Vicenza il primo appuntamento.

Ovunque a mio agio, ovunque fuori posto - Everywhere at ease, everywhere out of place

Con oggi sono passati 3 mesi esatti dal mio ritorno a Istanbul. Ieri scadeva anche il visto. Perciò per prolungare il mio soggiorno, mi sono dovuto adeguare alle leggi vigenti e richiedere un permesso, non senza contributo economico per le autorità turche. Così funziona: se paghi, puoi stare.
Ieri sera "L'uomo con il megafono" è stato proiettato al Napoli Film Festival, ma io non c'ero, ma tanto la sala era vuota. C'era Vittorio, non c'era Napoli. Io, si potrebbe dire che, piuttosto che tornare a Napoli, ho pagato il mio asilo alle autorità turche. Si potrebbe infatti, perché non è poi tanto lontano dalla realtà. Ho dovuto scegliere, ho scelto di restare qui. Magari un giorno tornerò a Napoli, ma ora dovevo decidere, o le pratiche dei documenti o il festival. E ho deciso senza dubbio. Perché da questa Napoli non mi aspetto più nulla. Il destino ha messo la proiezione il giorno dopo la scadenza del visto turco, come un velato invito, un po' civettuolo, a tornare. Ma ho scelto di restare qui.

Summer is over - L'estate è finita

I noticed it a few days ago. I was playing in the street with Kara Güneş along Istiklal Caddesi, when at one point passed a squad of riot police immediately followed by a Toma, an armored car. Like this, out of nowhere. I had like a shiver down my spine. The scene seemed so absurd as to be almost laughable. However I had a shiver down my spine, as in september when the first autumn breeze hits you and suddenly you realize that the next day perhaps you'd better wear something heavier.
This is how it happened. A few days later, that is 2 days ago, Ahmet Atakay, a 22 years old boy, was killed in the city of Hatay by a tear gas canister pulled by the police who hit him in the head. It must be said, someone has to do something now, someone should say something now, because this is practice of killing, put in place to kill. I don't know who, but someone has to say something now or in a few days maybe we'll be here crying new victims.

Risposta ad una lettera aperta di una cittadina siriana sulla questione dell'intervento armato

In questi giorni mi sono imbattuto in una lettera aperta scritta da Eva Ziedan, cittadina siriana, indirizzata ai "pacifisti" italiani sul sito "". Ho letto perché mi riconosco nella definizione, anche se non sempre mi riconosco nel movimento pacifista italiano. Più volte ne ho criticato le scelte e gli atteggiamenti, non direi per semplice spirito di polemica, ma proprio con scelte professionali ed esistenziali drastiche.
Vorrei rispondere a questa lettera aperta, perché la trovo interessante per quanto discutibile. E vorrei rispondere perché mi sento, nel mio piccolo, destinatario di questa lettera.
Ne riporterò ampi stralci per coloro che non hanno avuto modo di leggerla.
<<Vorrei rivolgermi a voi direttamente. A voi che siete "i pacifisti", voi che "non volete le guerre", voi chi siete contro "il complotto americano".
Come mai voi festeggiate la liberazione dell'Italia? Non vi siete liberati come Gandhi! Vorrei veramente cantare con voi la mia canzone italiana preferita, "Bella ciao", oppure "Siamo ribelli della montagna"! Magari vi ricordate che anche voi avete avuto le brigate partigiane, anche voi avete chiesto l'aiuto dall'esterno, anche le vostre brigate hanno sbagliato, commettendo fatti di sangue e a volte giustizie sommarie!
Però questo era il prezzo della vostra libertà, che ora vivete.
Perché voi sì e noi no? Perché sempre noi abbiamo contro i "complotti globali"?>>.

The vigil - La veglia

I don't believe that god exists. Therefore I don't think there is a possibility to appeal to god. Whatever happens, god, or whatever, can not be something that can respond to a request, to an appeal. Therefore the word "prayer" for me has no meaning. It's an empty word. But the other day I experienced something that may respond to the same need that prayer is intended to satisfy. We could call it a "vigil". After all it took place in the middle of the night. Not by chance. But because of the magic of those hours that led us to that experience. It has created an energy between different people who were together, at home, who decided at some point to pick up musical instruments and start to play.

O dulces comitum valete coetus!

Today is the first day in the new house in Istanbul. Not far from the old house where I was living a few years ago, in a part of town called "Kuledibi", or "under the tower", the Galata tower. I'm in Istanbul for 6 weeks but only now I feel really back here. "The seasons have passed", says Özgür in his latest album "Mevsimler geçti". Yes, it is true, especially when you are 39 since a few days.
Someone is gone, someone has gone. Someone is here but who knows where. Many others have gone, but then they came back. We gathered here, as in the old Catullo's lines "o dulces comitum, valete coetus, longe quos simul a domo profectos diversae variae viae reportant". And it was like finding out that getting lost is only, in fact, another season. Which, according to nature, is followed by the season of meeting again. I don't know what strange nature chemistry have synchronized our time of life, but since a few weeks it looks like we're taking appointment. There is such a desire to meet, to rediscover, to rediscover that deep down we are still the same ones. Our skin is a bit tougher, but we're all still here, even those that are currently missing.
It is in this atmosphere that the meetings follow one another and the interlacements are strengthened, the sap flowing and maybe soon we will see even fruits.

Brides and passers-by get the point - Spose e passanti ci arrivano

Yet something is not quite right. Last saturday I was called by Serkan, a dear friend: "Hey, come to Taksim for 7, there will be the wedding of 2 young people who met at Gezi Park during the protests. Bring the video camera, we will do the shooting". Well, I was on time at 7 pm at the entrance to Taksim Square. In the meantime, waiting to meet up with Serkan, hundreds of protestors gathered at the intersection of Istiklal street and Taksim. From now on they began to sing the typical slogans of the protest. So much so that I asked myself, meanwhile Serkan was coming, to which group they belonged and why were demonstrating. As soon as I reconnect with Serkan, at around 7.20 pm, and no time to say "hi" to him that the police, lurking just around the corner in Taksim Square, decides to intervene.

Before being washed away - Awareness before solutions.

Hard times. The daily management can have its setbacks, but when the world around you is going crazy, is like being dragged by a flood without any rocks to cling.
And it certainly doesn't reassure you to see the scales tick on the skin of someone who is swept away like you, because usually those who get transformed, become sharks, tuna almost never. I think we are entering a time of great confusion, hence the uncertainty. The big question these days is whether someone is piloting this or if simply a series of historical factors that can not be calculated has produced this particular time. Already knowing it, it would make a difference. Surely, however, someone is trying to take advantage of it.
I think these are not times in which to find solutions. I would say that it would be so much already be aware of what is happening, why, and what the future holds.
I do not know. I'm trying with difficulty to make myself aware. But I am aware of the fact that certain things I do not like. Luckily I still have a good nose not for exchange solutions for an escape into a beautiful trap for tuna fishes.
For example. Now I'm here in Istanbul. If we want, there's an advantage there. I can be a spectator. Phrases like "you're not from here", "you do not understand", "you then one day you will go" they were never welcome as today. If someone wants to insist on these phrases, it can only do me a favor. Lighten the burden of responsibility is an advantage, although not required.

Istanbul: Smelling the rat - Puzza di bruciato

Today is the day. Today is time to plant the flag of victory in Gezi Park.
2 day ago a turkish court ruled against the development project in the park. Everything will remain like before, like it is now. Therefore yesterday a demonstration was proclaimed for today, saturday July 6, 7 pm.
It's still not clear how police will react. Surely, after the sentence of the court, protestors who were forced by the police to leave the park after 18 days of occupation, are decided to get back into the park. At the moment barriers and tape block the entry in the park. Here and there some lazy policemen finding shelter under some shadow. But tomorrow it will be completely different.
<<Why it should be dangerous? The decision was taken by the court, there's nothing to do. They should let the people get into the park>>, I said today to a friend. He said:
<<Don't think. They need all the excuses now to make us pay for our victory>>.

I am here, my darling

Finally back again on the Bosphorus' banks. Since a few days I am in Istanbul. I planned this trip a few months ago. However, just a month ago the protest in Gezi Park broke out. So, I don't consider myself like those who are coming to here in a kind of documental tourism, easy preys of voyeurism and, in this case, orientalism. I just came because part of my life is here and the time to come back was just come. Nevertheless I am curious now about this situation. When yesterday a dear friend of mine, Özgür from the band "Kara Güneş", told me: "Nobody was expecting such a reaction from the people", I could reply: "Come on, it's not true. You should have expected all of this, after all the pushing on you and hundred thousands people did here in the last years. It was a wave that had to come over as soon as it had met a rock on its way". He looked at me and then: "Well, yes, you are right".
Well actually I was shocked also by other 2 words my friend told me: "When I was resisting at Gezi Park among the trees I said to myself that for no reason I would have left that place, I was even ready to welcome my death. I had no hope and no fear at that point. Never felt something like that".
Impressive how since almost 2 years I am coming across these 2 words: hopeless and fearless. It's like something is guiding me on this road.

Lobna is still dreaming

On January 07 2009 I wrote a post called "Mind guerrillas", taken by a John Lennon song: "Mind games". I wrote it from Istanbul. At that time I had just moved there since a couple of months. Despite the difficulties of those months, in those days all my efforts were spent by following the criminal Israeli intervention on Gaza called "Cast Lead" and mobilizing everything possible to stop the bombings. That's why with some turkish friends we started the "Chain hunger strike for Gaza". I was the first one fasting. On the website of the campaign we were contacted by a Palestinian girl grown up and living in Istanbul. She was the second person fasting after me. We got to become friends later. Her name is Lobna Al Lamii.
I want to post again what she wrote to us and I already published that day:

Miracle at Gezi Park

My dear Turkey, you're beautiful when you're angry. However, it remains to be seen whether the aesthetics is always a key to understand the facts and history.
When I moved to Istanbul in autumn 2008, the Turkish friends suggested me to rent a room in their home. They had settled recently, a few months before. The house was located in the district of Tarlabaşı, not far from the Gezi park. Tarlabaşı is a very special place. At the time of the last sultan was an European quarter populated mainly by Greeks and Italians. Then, with the agreement of 1922 between Turkey and Greece on the exchange of populations, the district went blank and in recent decades began to be populated mostly by Kurdish and Roma families, as well as by a certain population of African immigrants. But Tarlabaşı also borders Taksim Square, Istanbul's historic main square, often the scene of clashes as happened recently, from which the park Gezi begins. Tarlabaşı then takes its name from the boulevard, an avenue primarily for the use of the big city traffic, which separates the district of Tarlabaşı from the district of Galata and Istiklal Street, the most popular of the entire city, with its numerous shops, as well as bars, restaurants, nightclubs, concert halls, but also sites of associations, movements, political parties, cultural centers. And it's in fact the meeting place par excellence.

Miracolo al parco di Gezi

Mia cara Turchia, quanto sei bella quando ti arrabbi. Resta da capire se l'estetica però sia sempre una chiave di lettura per capire i fatti e la Storia. 
Quando mi sono trasferito a Istanbul nell'autunno 2008, gli amici turchi di allora mi proposero di affittare una stanza nella loro casa. Si erano insediati da poco, da qualche mese. La casa si trovava nel quartiere di Tarlabaşı, non lontano dal parco di Gezi. Tarlabaşı è un posto davvero particolare. Ai tempi dell'ultimo sultano era un quartiere europeo soprattutto di Greci e Italiani. Poi con l'accordo del 1922 tra Turchia e Grecia sullo scambio di popolazioni, il quartiere si svuotò e negli ultimi decenni cominciò ad essere popolato soprattutto da famiglie curde e rom, nonché da una buona popolazione di immigrati africani. Ma Tarlabaşı confina anche con piazza Taksim, storica piazza principale di Istanbul, spesso teatro di scontri come avvenuto recentemente, da cui si estende il parco di Gezi. Tarlabaşı poi prende il nome dall'omonimo boulevard, uno stradone essenzialmente ad uso del grande traffico cittadino, che separa il quartiere di Tarlabaşı dal quartiere di Galata e da Istiklal Caddesi, la via più famosa e frequentata di tutta la città, con i numerosi negozi, ma anche bar, ristoranti, discoteche, sale per concerti, ma anche sedi di associazioni, movimenti, partiti, circoli culturali. E' insomma il luogo dell'incontro per eccellenza. 

In risposta a Monitor, vizi e sviste napoletane

Recentemente è apparsa una recensione a "L'uomo con il megafono" sulla rivista mensile napoletana Monitor. La stessa recensione è apparsa poi ieri sulle pagine locali del quotidiano La Repubblica. Mi sono pertanto permesso di scrivere una risposta al giornalista Luca Rossomando, autore della recensione, non tanto perché indispettito dalla sua valutazione del film-documentario, peraltro tutto sommato lusinghiera, quanto piuttosto perché la visione e il giudizio che si dà di Vittorio Passeggio, il protagonista del film, e della sua esperienza di militante di base o ancora meglio di persona attiva, sono a mio avviso distorti.

Explanation of vote: between the post-ideological society and the Cumaean Sibyl

This below is what I published in Italian on this blog 2 days ago on the eve of the Italian elections. Now that we know that the result is a kind of ungovernable situation, I would like to ressure all those who don't live in Italy. This is not a so bad result, after all. Financial markets may be worried, but among those who were elected in the M5S there's a clean and responsible Italy, at least no less than those who governed until now. They can fade away from their purposals (they are perfect unknown normal citizens, no history of reliability), but if they will not, this can be an acceptable new beginning. Financial markets and Euro-gurus can relax, just is what is just and not what is necessary (for whom?). And Italy needs justice first, now.
<<Five years ago, in the last elections for the Italian Parliament, I wrote on this blog a reflection that I ventured to call "Small essay on Italy humiliated at vote". Many things have happened since then. First, in the meantime I left my country because of the muddy wave that took possession of it, I spent more than two years in Istanbul, a kind of self-imposed exile. In the meantime, then I came back to Italy for 2 years and live in Naples, a difficult city that this monetary and social crisis is paying from the forefront. And, nevertheless, at the forefront I set myself.

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