Monday, January 16, 2012

THE STILLNESS OF WAITING



I know that light very well. So hard to explain with words, so easy to recognize with native eyes as mine.
I’m talking about the Italian light, the one that colours a seaside sunshine as well as a flat airstrip.
Please accept my apoligies, if levelling a romantic landscape with an airport location could seem unfairly unpoetical, but this is my personal perception. So many time I have left Italy flying somewhere and I’ve landed back noticing the same light, one that makes you warm and thinking about all you can do with it. That light allows a population to enjoy a sunny morning, although the day would be busy at work, it helps in healthy food farming and, without exaggerations, creates a smile on people’s faces cos, let’s be objective, that sunny light improves life quality.
Unfortunately, Italy is not just the country of delicious food and relaxing vacations in the blue sea of Sardinia. Italy is a paradox itself. The sunny light is very likely clouded by what seems to be a pretty radical darkness and so, it is easy to find an impressive injustice’s demostration next to the cult of a beauty that is no more a moral guide (if it had never been so).

Again, I saw that light in Centro di Permanenza Temporanea (Centre of Temporary Permanence). It’s a five minutes movie by Adrian Paci. The artist’s nationality is Albanian but he has been living in Italy since years, when he arrived in Milan in order to study art, helped by a scholarship.
Initially only the airstrip is filmed. Some engine’s noises in the background and the stairs to go on board the plane.
There are just the stairs at the very beginning, people arrive a bit later and they populate it standing one after the other.
They are all immigrants, a human category mostly not so well seen by the main Italian authorities. It’s useless saying how fast prejudices grow in one’s stupidity that lacks of concrete experiences.
People who decided or even were obliged to leave their country, instead of having found a fair and civilized place to live in, are forced to face uncertainty if not blind refusals.
As on the stairs, these people live a life in between (in the best case).
Adrian Paci has chosen real men and women and he mainly filmed their eyes and facial expressions. Some of them are serious, obviously thinking about their present instability that shapes nothing but doubts. Some are a sort of smiling, as they probably want to exorcize a future with an apotropaic attitude.
They are all waiting.
The sadness of all this is represented by the plane they are waiting for. Taking a plane implies your moving to another place, possibly going back home or to a new destination, better than the previous one.
This is the italian situation at the present time. A weak and broken country which for so many years hasn’t been able to keep and stimulate human activities and creativities. Not even the native ones.
Italy as the country of paradox par excellence, where it’s so easy to be suspicious with each other. Italy as the place where the diversity is contemplated as a negative factor and replaced by a deadly stillness that nothing has to do with a life giving light.
Fortunately the wind has changed a bit lately and it would be nice to convert these final sentences into question marks answered in a negative way.

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