On the body of immigrants

I am back to Naples since a few days. I found a flat and since a few days I have been living there. Finally I have a place on my own. And everything looks fine and the amazing view from the window is making me in a good mood. However I can hardly find the time to make a normal life since we are in studio mixing the music of "KATIRLAR DOGURUNCA".
It's strange to find a place now, after 13 months of wandering hosted by so many people. Now that Italy is crossed by thousands of young migrants looking for a new home. But I am not an alien. My life too is affected by what is going on. For instance from my window I can see the port of Naples, where is based one of the commands of the Nato operation on Libya. 
Not only. Last sunday I went to Manduria, a small village in the countryside, 100 km south from Bari, where they set a refugee camp to put some thousand of Tunisian immigrants come to the Lampedusa island in the last weeks. I went there with my mother to see, to ask, to share, to understand and to bring some cakes and drinks for some of these guys.

'О μύθος δελοι οτι..

What happened yesterday night once I arrived in the port I think it is something worthy to be told. Europe is living in a full-blown paranoia. In these days on the Italian media they use words like "invasion", "assault on trains" (for those who are escaping going to France), "mass escape from the immigration centers", "hordes of immigrants are running around in the country". After the tunisian regime fell, tunisian citizens started shipping to Lampedusa, a small island close to Tunisia but still italian territory. During the past regime, tunisian coasts were patrolled by tunisian coast guard, but now that chaos is ruling in the country, thousands of young people are taking now this opportunity. So a few thousands young Tunisians are now on this small island and the italian government is doing nothing but pushing immigrants and italians on the island to desperation. Food and water started missing and I guess they are just waiting for the tension to be unleashed in order to criminalize immigrants and implement a kind of biblical exodus (call it "deportation") for future memory. Shall we bet?
Anyway, let me go back to Igoumenitsa, yesterday night. I walked alone with my contrabass to the port and all around in the empty dark streets, tens of young africans were roaming around the port, like desperate stray dogs. I said "hello" to somebody, they asked for coins, cigarettes and then I went.

The one who is on travel

Where are you from? Where do you live? These are usually hard questions for me. Once upon a time I decided I would have replied that my place is there where my contrabass is. That's why this time I feel like I am not in Istanbul anymore. I am in a small town on the west greek coast, just in front of Italy, waiting for a ferry to Bari. The contrabass is with me, I am bringing it back. Istanbul-Bari by land is not that terrible, I have to say, after all. One night bus to Tessaloniki and one 4 hours bus to Igoumenitsa and then waiting for a night ferry. Thinking of going back one day soon? Who can say?

Those who know, must speak now

The window is broken. Who did throw the stone? I am not saying who had the right to throw. I am saying who did throw. I am not looking for guilts or merits, I am just trying to understand who did throw, because this will make me understand what is going on. The Mediterranean area turned crazy all of a sudden and I can't distinguish between actors and spectators anymore, who is playing and who is watching, who is winning and who is losing, who is choosing and who is the choice of someone else. In other words it is like a compass altered by a coin. Given that we were going in the wrong direction until now, although the compass is indicating North, I am afraid the North is not. I can't say it for sure, cause I am not a navigator, but according to my instinct there's something wrong.

Counter-single thought

Since I wrote the post "What repair, Mr. Obama?", the way I look at the arab revolutions changed and probably never will be like before. That day I had just a few signs to make me write those things. Actually starting from the following days it has been familiar to find similar thesis in the main media, such as New York Times, Deutsche Welle, Al-Jazeera and many more. At the same time these media started bringing new evidences of what I was writing about, since mine was only a kind of logical deduction, much more than a demonstrated argumentation. However, at the same time, stronger and more radical, time by time, has become the opposition of some people that absolutely opposed to those arguments of mine, without being able to give me any valid reason to give up and change my mind, after all.

Nostalgia for Mindy

On sunday more than 1 million people were demonstrating in the squares of the main cities in Italy, joining the protest called "se non ora, quando?", that means "if not now, when?". This protest was referring to the resignation of Berlusconi expected to come and it has been organized by women movements asserting that is enough with the contempt of the idea of woman in Italy, enough with poor social policies for women, enough with gender discriminations. Things that are true. And things that are worthy to protest against. Anyway I didn't join the protest. I could have been there, I am not against these demands, on the contrary, but at the end I let myself be busy in other things. In other words, as you can understand, I was not excited by this protest.
I was not excited because I consider this protest late. Too much late. And because I think it was poorly oriented. In the protest the attention was on the inexistent policies for women but also on the offensive idea of woman in Italy diffused by the mainstream media, the advertisements, the daily behavior of influent public people. Women are one of the unluckiest victims of the 30 years long brainwashing of berlusconism on the country. Together with migrants, this is definitively proved. 
I can remember the beginning of the brainwashing, at least when I faced it.

What repair, Mr. Obama?

Italy is an exclamation mark in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. So it sounds normal that everything happens in the area, in the countries bordering this sea once called "mare nostrum", should somehow affect Italy. I always tried to imagine Italy linked to the societies of North Africa more than to Europe. And this is often true, especially for the South of Italy. Once upon a time the North Africa was only the other side of the same sea. In Roman time, those who were living in North Africa were citizens of the empire, often nothing less than the citizens of Rome "caput mundi" themselves. Then came the Arabs, came Islam, and conquered the North Africa and we Italians started thinking of us as the last bastion in defense of our civilization against theirs. I don't know who had this idea first and why this happened. Anyway I never felt son of the crusades. Because I don't believe in god, I am not racist, so why should I prevent myself from meeting those people who live on the other side of the sea? And then, meeting them, I have learnt that the things we share are incredibly more than what we can imagine, beyond any alleged ethnical or religious difference. We are just sons of the same sea, of the same sun, of the same olive trees, and many more things. 

Bernardo among jasmines

And finally we discovered that even the dictators can fall down. They just take a flight and after long years they escape abroad. And this time nobody brought democracy, people just came down in the streets and said "enough!". What kind of lesson on democracy we Europeans have to give the arab countries, I can't see. This time the lesson we have to accept. And we Italians especially must say sorry, since Italy supported Ben Ali since the beginning. So, if I am not wrong, Italy supported for 23 years a man who was finally forced to escape by his people after more than 100 dead people killed by his police. So Italy supported a bloody dictator.

Goodbye, Berlin

I farmed the hope for a long time, but everything was useless, or at least not enough. I must say goodbye to my dream. That was dream for 3 reasons: it was the natural outlet of my efforts, it was a dream itself, it was in the place I dreamed of for a long time and possibly I was about to move and live. I was about or I am about, I still don't know. I just can admit my failure. And when you fail like this, you are confused. You wonder why. You try to find any sign behind things that happen. You give a meaning to everything. And what I can collect now is that Berlin doesn't want me.

On Rome's rooftops

Since I came back to Italy I don't know what I have to write about, actually I don't know what to write. I believe in the healthy principle that if you don't have nothing to say, should be better not to speak or write. So I didn't write since a long time. Actually I also worked a lot in Naples in the last 3 weeks, up to 14 hours a day. So there was no much to say. But this week I am in Rome and I don't have much to do. 
And I am living on the roof of an old building in the center of the city in a guest room. So, as I had a lot of free time, I went to the cinema and in demonstrations. Both of these experiences gave me something to write about.

Dear Nichi, what is "Puglia Sounds" for?

The best results I have ever got in literary genres in which I have ever ventured, I got in that genre called "unanswered letters". Here below one of my latest works, in which, it's fair to say, I tried to do my best. In fact the results are that Nichi Vendola, president of region of Apulia in Italy and next candidate for the leadership of the Italian Left, never answered back (I wrote this letter more than 1 month ago from Istanbul) and "Puglia Sounds", what I am talking about in the letter, is now praised at any latitude within and outside the national boundaries. No place for blighters when the Revolution is in march?
<<Dear Nichi,
I am writing from Istanbul, where I have been living since almost 2 years. I left Italy after four years making social reportage on LA7 and RAI3, when in 2008 they asked me to make a documentary "against" Roma people.
(...)

I'm on a long, tight road

The time to leave has come. In a few hours I will take a flight to Rome. Istanbul will remain behind. I am leaving Turkey, my time here, for now, is over. I feel like I am going back to Rome not since I moved here, but since one day I just came here for a visit, a few months before moving here. Because after that trip actually the idea of moving here started growing. I remember that I was about to lose the flight and I remember I could not find the key to open my post-box where the flight ticket was (I could see it, but not take it). So I forced the lock, I rescued my ticket and I ran just in time to the airport. Sometimes I feel like this stay in Istanbul was always like forcing. Like if the lock was closed and I didn't have the key. But still I was there to see what was inside. So I forced it.
Who knows? Maybe sometimes things must simply be forced. If I think of all the traps I found on my road in these last 2 years, my friends, that's enough reasons to be happy to be alive. And still I am going on my road. The road "tight and long", "night and day I am going".
Here's a turkish song that contains one of the most amazing things I have learnt here in Turkey. I dedicate it to all those I met here in these last 23 months. Those who have gone forever, those who have just gone, those who have gone and maybe will come back, those who just came into this world 2 days ago.

Tehran stories

When you travel from Istanbul to Tehran by bus, Iran starts at the first stop on the highway. The first talking with other passengers, all Iranians. We can speak Turkish together because they are from Tabriz, a city in the north of Iran, the majority of the population is Azerbaijani so their language is similar to Turkish. "Iran is not a good country" they say. They seem not happy to go back after a few days of work or holiday in Istanbul. The worse words are spent for the president Ahmadinejad, they don't hide their hate. They are surprised:
<<Why 2 Italians are going to Iran?>>. We are going for work, we say. After all it's not false, I am invited by a film festival.
<<Oh>>, they say. <<And how it comes that you speak Turkish?>>.
<<I live in Istanbul>>, I say.
<<What? An Italian living in Istanbul, going to Tehran by bus?>>.
<<What is strange? Istanbul is a good place>>.
<<Oh, Istanbul, we love this city, we use to reach it sometimes, we have friends there, we don't need visa, we can understand the language and we can have fun. All that is forbidden in Iran is free in Istanbul>>.

Wine by the moonlight

<<Drink wine and look at the moon and think of all the civilisations the moon has seen passing by>>, is written in the "Rubaiyat" (READ HERE) by Omar Khayyám, one of the greatest persian poets. So, it means that also these satraps one day will fall and a new civilisation will have birth. I am leaving, but I am not leaving Tehran.

Landing in Tehran

Well, actually it was not a landing, in fact we came by a 2 days trip travel with a bus from Istanbul, through Turkey and North of Iran. Anyway, we could catch and see people, landscapes and stories. Now we are in Tehran, guests of the "Moqavemat International Film Festival".
"Isti'mariyah - windward between Naples and Baghdad" is in competition.
But, for the rest, it was a landing, not only because it is my first time in this country, but also because the world from here seems to be seen from another point of view. Anyway, the pace is breathless and there are many things to do. Wait for the next post. Stay tuned. 

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