Waiting for the mules

Tonight Bandista played their last concert. At least for a while. Çağdaş moved to Paris. All the others decided to have a break. Haymatlos, the concert place, was crowded and all the axes of the floor were shaking under the feet of a dancing crowd. A concert of Bandista is like to say something you can not miss. There has not been any month since february without a concert of Bandista in Istanbul. So, how to imagine our future without Bandista? How imagine the future now when only 20 months ago I met for the first time these guys just playing guitars on the sofa at home? And cause of the warmth of their friendship since then I started to think to move here. And by the way, in 9 days will be 1 year (I said: 1 year) since I moved here.
Things are changing. People went, people came. Weeks just passed by. I worked like a dog, as we say. But officially the shootings are over, now. Tomorrow I will start the last music recordings, it means that I will need a good star over me. It's something written in the drops that are now falling down from the gutter. It's something written in the gusts that blow around the Galata tower, this cold Lodos. It's something written in the notes that a bass line is playing coming from who knows where, now, in the night. A good star, that's all what I need.
Then on saturday I will fly to Berlin for a few days and then a short visit back to Italy, 6 months later. 

Lo suficiente

Today should be a happy day. I usually try to be happy when someone who was a great man or a great woman dies. Because it's like the last stroke of the artist on his or her greatest masterpiece. Usually when I cry, I cry because I am happy for him or for her, because they were able be great untill their last day.
Today Mercedes Sosa died. In Buenos Aires, Argentina. I already cried for her today. I should be happy. In one song called "Sólo le pido a Dios" ("Just I ask God.."), she sings: <<Que la reseca muerte no me encuentre, vacío y solo sin haber hecho lo suficiente>> ("Just I ask God that pain is not indifferent to me, that dry death not find me empty and alone without having done enough"). What is enough in the life of a human being? I am more than convinced that Mercedes Sosa made much more than enough in her life full of sorrow, troubles, but also hope, resistance and joy.
Mercedes Sosa always gives me the strenght to go on anytime I heard her magnificent voice. There are some persons who were born just to give strenght to everybody else. Mercedes Sosa was one of these persons. A person who teaches in all of her songs to not give up, to carry on the struggle.

I hate September freedom fighters

I hate September. But I love October. I do not know, maybe it's the summer come to an end. Perhaps I would like to be already a step forward and instead take the first step is the thing that costs more.
Many things I should tell of these last 2 weeks. Anyway I am still here and I am still working hardly. That's enough to know.
Today (all right, today is already October, but the campaign lasted throughout September) in Italy there was a demonstration for the freedom of press. It's not something that excites me. I mean, I don't need to be informed by anybody now that in Italy there's a problem of freedom of press. I already know how it works. Since I am living here now, after 4 years working for the Italian tv, it means that my time in that system was expired. But I don't feel to be an activist in this movement for freedom of press.
First: I don't recognize that to be a journalist in Italy you must pass an exam to get the inscription in their own register. Any citizen is a media. Any citizen is a journalist. Otherwise we have to admit that there are citizens who make opinions and citizens who follow opinions. Citizens who decide what is important to know and citizens who never know things that for somebody else are not important. Any citizen is responsible of the culture he carries and of the news he knows. It's his duty to be a media. Always.

On the move

After 36 years my parents moved. My mother has traveled the 870 km back and is again in her hometown. Welcome back to "Terronia". Land of mafia and corruption, but also a land of brigands and sailors, poets and courageous people. The same distance from Bari, more or less, is to Istanbul, if they had continued the double, would arrive here. This moving is a legendary epic, a little great our family's page.
Meanwhile here the Ramadan is over and we are survivors of floods and of the first grazing cold of autumn, which can cut even friendships.
Indeed, even here in Istanbul there was a move. I left the neighborhood Tarlabaşı, with regret and many puzzles unsolved, but also with the desire to hasten the pace and be in the center of myself.
Bernardo, my brother, pointed out to me that these days I made another move. I moved some things from the daily mind troubles to the archieve of memory. I wrote a short story that I will publish in Italian on the website in the coming days.

Territorial pissings

Sometimes words come, but you do not want to say. Because as long as the word is not  pronuonced, you still doubt. But when you say the word, you magically open another world. And sometimes in the new world you do not want to enter. And then you can delay until pronouncing the word that you're thinking. So gone are the days and I have not had the courage to write a word, to write this word. But even to say it to myself. Now I want to write. From now onwards I will enter into another world. And leave the world before. These words are actually 2: territorial pissing.
For those accustomed to travel, the concept is clear. For those accustomed to travel and take pictures or movies, the concept is even more clear. But, in truth, there are thousands of ways and circumstances in which you might encounter these "territorial pissings".
If someone until yesterday pissed on my feet, in solidarity I mean, I thought it was because of the wind. These days I realized that was not the wind, he purposely pissed on my feet to make me understand that this was his territory.
I did not take it. Piss on the feet of someone else is sometimes the only way of communicating that people can express. Needless to blame. I step back, then 3 steps to the side and 2 forwards. And let's see if he still will piss on my feet.

Under the same moon

Finally the detention center on the island of Lesbos "Pagani" has been emptied. This morning there were whole families of Afghans and Somalis who were bathing on the beach. The Greek authorities have seemed more than amenable, perhaps surprised by such an action in European-anarchist style, or maybe just not at ease with the profession of torturers and in the end they set them free. In fact it was the Prefecture to decide to release migrants detained in the center, then it should be said that it was also a political choice of the greek government.
WATCH HERE the film "Noborder action in Lesvos" I shot and edited. 
However, the center was in inhumane conditions. As has been amply documented by the activity of the media group of the "NoBorder Camp". WATCH HERE the history of these days, videos and photos.
I tried long to wonder myself and the comrades how nobody has thought to make any action in Lampedusa. The answer was: we have no connections there. Yes, understandable. Only 5 thousand pepole live there. But, my friends, watch out. The greek situation, if compared, seems a resort. Anyway.. It's a long way to make people realize it.

New beginning

I saved a turtle. These days I always got up at 4.30 in the morning. A quick shower and I went out with the dark on a bike, reached the beach and walked. Forbidden to use the torches, because it would harm the eyes of small turtles, "caretta caretta". So armed only with the light of phone and with the very first light of dawn, I went to check the nests.
Most children of turtle leave the nest in the sand at night, between 1 and 4. But there is always someone who has problems. Usually because in the crowd they reverse and remain with their legs upward on the shell.
So yesterday, as I checked the nests, one by one throughout the beach, at the very first light of dawn, I found a little turtle with the legs upward. It is not easy to see them, are so small! The nests are reported by some metal structures, and fortunately this was still inside the perimeter of the nest. But it was still dark and I could not understand what it was. The light from the phone, however, was enough to understand that it was a small turtle reversed. Was still, I thought he was dead. Maybe he was in that position for a couple of hours and had exhausted all his strength in the impossible attempt to turn over. Perhaps he was resigned.

The loss of the Chimera

I left Istanbul to retire in a quiet place to meditate and write. I am in the old land of Lycia. I was placed in a bungalow on the Mediterranean Sea. Everything here seems wonderful. There is a long and semi-deserted beach, at night the turtles "caretta caretta" are born leaving the shells on the beach. Nearby are the ruins of the valley of Olympos, and the mountain of Chimera with its will-o'-the-wisp. This was a well known and attended place by all the Mediterranean civilizations, Phoenicians, Greeks, Venetians.

Bir İtalyan sürgün

Pending a transfer to the sea to retire in peace to design the next few months, a few days ago was released the latest issue of "Express", a monthly magazine led by some dear turkish friends. Today is contained an article I wrote about Italy. Here's below the full version of the article in English, that is the original language in which it was written.
In the introduction I am defined as an "Italian exile who lives in Istanbul". I have to admit that I have suggested this definition, because I believe it contains the meaning of my stay on the shores of the Bosphorus. However today I recalled a phrase of Seneca, one who was very familiar with the exile. In a work which I believe was "De consolatione ad Helviam matrem", Seneca said: "nullum exilium inveniri potest" (= there is no exile).
His thought is that there is no exile for the wise man, because he is always in close contact with things that believes and therefore always knows how to feel at home wherever he goes. But I must say that here in Istanbul, is not so difficult to feel at home.

No one should forget

It took almost a week to recover myself after the visit of a bacterium got during the past travel through Turkey. As soon as I was fine again, I enjoyed myself showing the city (and its secrets) to some friends: Barbora and Pavel from Czech Republic, Ursula and Alex from Switzerland and Raffaele and Sara from Naples in Italy.
But what pushes me to write right now is the last usual unberable statement of the leader of "Lega Nord" (Northern League), italian party, Umberto Bossi. I am sick and tired of his statements, right? We are forced to listen to his idiocy since more than 20 years ago. But while everybody is paying attention to the misadventures of Berlusconi, he is the one who is once for all demolishing the country. And I wonder whether a country still exists on the opposite side of the Adriatic sea.
This is the Bossi's last statement (actually he is keeping on repeating it since more than 20 years ago):
<<No one should forget that in history the North has always given money to the South>>.

Rondo alla Turca

Here we are, back on the Bosphorus. Today is my birthday: 35. "Eyvallah", as they say here when you got something. The day is not finished yet and I don't remember many messages like today. Thank you all, my friends. Something really meaningful for me. And the turkish tribe is so kind and large!! But the italian one didn't forget about me. Not to speak about the international tribe...
In fact there is also another anniversary that I will celebrate in 5 days, but that I would like to mention today: on the 10th of August it will be 9 months since I moved to Istanbul. It was a narrow slit to get it, at the beginning. Moreover, at a certain point, I felt stuck, unable to go forward, unable to go backward. But, pushing and pushing I was out of this narrow slit and I could stand up in the middle of the cave. What amazing things I can see now!! One day it will be no easy to get out of the cave, but for the moment I am still fully amazed by the cave and I am just standing watching the internal walls with the nose upwards.
My turkish is improving, significantly in this last month. I experienced it in this last trip around Turkey. With a little dictionary i can communicate with whoever on whatever. It's something...
Arkadaşlar, şimdi biraz Türkçe biliyorum. O zaman, dikkatli ol. Ne söyleyorsunuz anlayabilirim... ;-)
Sorry, a little warning for the Turkish friends...

Fragments on the border

5 days have passed since the last page of the diary. The first part of the journey was almost completed, the second part was about to begin. On July 27 we went to Imranlı, rather: in a small village on the mountains called "Karataş" (black stone) almost 2 thousand meters above sea level. In fact, we wore all that we had to resist the cold. We were in an area of Turkey where is a strong minority of Alevi, from where a large number of people have emigrated in the past decades mainly to Germany. Often, to escape poverty, most often to escape a repressive and unbearable social conflict. The Alevi seem to bring the guilt of not being "enough" Muslims and even the reputation of being refractory to any coercive power.
On 28 we got up at dawn to take the sheep out to pasture after a night passed under thick blankets. In the day Fabrizio and I left Tunc who flew to Istanbul. We continued by bus to Malatya and finally Diyarbakır where we met two other traveling companions: Aygül arrived from Mersin, and Ulus from Istanbul. For us in a few hours there was a bump of 1500 meters of altitude and about 25 degrees in temperature.

Turkish eternal waits

Half a day waiting for the train. We moved early this morning from Göreme, we took a bus to Kayseri convinced to take a train at 2 pm hour. Once at the station the man informed us that the informations found on internet were wrong. The train was at 4 pm, but the stationmaster-conductor-factotum warned us: <<But perhaps it arrives at 6 pm, who knows...>>. Through that station only 4 trains pass a day and it is not a remote village, it is an important town in the heart of Turkey. Tunç told us that Atatürk had built the railways in Turkey, but after the Second World War the Americans have demanded that the investments were diverted from rail to the roads, in order to sell cars and oil to Turkey. An old story, isn't it?
Indeed, the train arrived at 6 pm, that means more than 5 hours waiting for the train. But train is a very cheap mean of transport in Turkey, we paid only 5 "lira" per head, that means less than € 3. On the train we did spectacular shootings, for our movie and for a videoclip for a Tunç's song. The work was great partly because the scenery was very beautiful, amazing sunset and then because there was a very particular atmosphere on that train. People greeted us from the countryside, all seemed happy. Seemed a miracle that the trains still was rattling in the wilderness as if we were traveling through time on a single railway track.

40 years after Pasolini

Today was the day of Göreme. Yesterday we arrived late and the day was over. Even today, to tell the truth, has had a hard start. We woke up late and we had trouble recovering a file that we needed for the day.
In the end, rented 3 bikes, we left to the valleys of Cappadocia. We have not visited any of the official churches buried in the rock. We have however found one, a little one, by accident, outside the official process of the 7 churches in the open air museum under UNESCO protection since 1985. To protect this church there was a man of 50 years. Really are few those who go there. The church is called "Church of the mirror". We ventured to the tunnels, some passages were very narrow and steep. We did a little lesson of applied speleology. In this valley, and in these rock formations, found refuge first Christians. It is said that the name "Göreme" means "what you do not see" from "görmek", "to see", and "me", the negation. A sort of valley of the catacombs. Telling the truth, I felt much more the christian soul of Turkey here than in Istanbul, niether in Aya Sofia. 
But we were not very interested in the churches, but rather in the landscape and the magic of the place. Look just a while at this picture, tells you nothing?

A moment of happiness

The first day's journey was very beautiful: relaxation, beautiful pictures and shootings, sightseeing, the show of whirling dervishes...
The trio, however, is already shining: Fabrizio and Tunç together are special!
Tomorrow we go to Göreme...
But here's a poem by Mevlana:
<<A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden's beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land>>.

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