After its first edition last year, the European Green Poetry Festival, sponsored by Saperenetwork, is soon to be started again. The project has won a public notice called Contemporaneamente Roma 2020-2021-2022 and is part of ROMARAMA2020, the cultural program Municipality of Rome has sponsored together with SIAE.
The festival, which will also benefit from the scientific contribution of cultural magazines such as Sapereambiente and Insula europea, will be livestreamed from December 9th to December 12th, from three locations that are considered to be the icons of Roman popular culture: Biblioteca Quarticciolo, Teatro Quarticciolo and Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove. These are located in the 5th Municipality of Rome that overlooks the eastern suburbs of the town. People will be able to attend livestreamed events on www.festivalpoesiambientale.eu, www.sapereambiente.it and www.insulaeuropea.eu.
The festival is aimed at developing knowledge of and awareness about environmental topics through poetry, by enhancing our country’s enormous literary heritage and the role the town of Rome has had in the creation of an environmental movement, with the foundation of the well-known Club of Rome in 1968 and the presentation of the report I limiti della crescita (The limits of growth), which, in 1972, prompted the very first discussion about the future of humanity.
“The critical phase we are going through, which makes it necessary also for our festival to take place on line, demands in-depth evaluation of how we as human beings can reconcile with nature, by re-establishing global balances that are at the basis of the climate and the health of our entire planet and by protecting its biodiversity that is indeed the best antidote to the spreading of pandemics.”, explained Angiola Codacci Pisanelli, Marco Fratoddi and Carlo Pulsoni, the Festival’s scientific directors. “Whenever rational instances prove useless, poetical language can succeed in raising people’s awareness about the environment being our common heritage, the patrimony of our interiority, which we must protect with our individual choices.”.
FOUR DAYS OF MEETINGS, READINGS AND PERFORMANCES
Between December 9th and December 12th, 10 poets from Italy and other European Countries will take part in the festival’s events, together with academics, analysts and intellectuals. Together, they will discuss about and explore in depth the features and the aims of the green poetry, stretching beyond the term’s actual meaning. Respectful of all measures to prevent Covid-19 infection, some events will include other territories, with live videos and projections, thereby transforming the environment itself into poetic language.
On Wednesday 9th, at 10am, the Festival will start with a conversation with Serenella Iovino, one of the most acclaimed international experts of ecocriticism, former president of the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture, and Environment (EASLCE) and professor of Italian Studies and Environmental Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in the United States. The Festival will thus come alive with several different events that will be livestreamed at different hours of the day, and then made available on demand.
There are several different programmed events, starting with the eco-reading taking place on Thursday 10th, at 6.30pm, which will involve Antonella Anedda (Italy), Mariangela Gualtieri (Italy), José Manuel Lucía Megías (Spain), Eliza Macadan (Romania), Valerio Magrelli (Italy) and Jarosław Mikołajewski (Poland) in real time. Six different voices from four different countries will interact and become one to send out a message focused on the need to protect our shared home, the planet Earth that we are all called to defend. Between 11.30am and 1pm, interviews and readings will take place with Eleonora Rimolo (on Wednesday 9th), Maria Grazia Calandrone (on Thursday 10th), Giuseppe Bellosi (on Friday 11th) and Laure Gauthier (on Saturday 12th). Meetings will be moderated by Angiola Codacci Pisanelli, a journalist from Espresso who writes columns on culture and literature, and Ilaria Dinale, a popularizer investigating the relationship between poetry and social networks.
A few works of video-poetry will be shown in live streaming and, wherever possible, given current health emergency, on site, in the places where the Festival will actually take place. A video produced by Saperenetwork will be premiered, where actor, writer and mountain lover Giuseppe Cederna, directed by Simone Corallini, will explore the public spaces, and far more, of Quarticciolo neighbourhood. The video will also propose reflections and short conversations with the residents, thus, creating a poetical dialogue including the architecture and the people of the suburb that was built in the 1940s and that, today, is a crossroad of cultures. Also, a miscellaneous of video-acoustic performances by Laure Gauthier will be shown after her interview, to end the Festival (on Saturday 12th, at 6.30pm). These will be projected onto the walls of MAAM, the Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove, and extraordinary space of local identity and creativity that was created in 2009 from the conversion of Fiorucci’s former factory. The museum has become the symbol of a possible town, in the light of human and artistic contaminations, where green poetry mingles with permanent installations. Moreover, an unreleased video, Di tutto un Pò (A bit of Everything) (on Thursday 10th, at 4pm), will be shown where Andrea Satta, vocalist of the band Têtes de Bois, always committed to the social and environmental safeguard, will lead us on a two-wheel journey from Monviso to the Adriatic sea, along rivers’ banks, meeting friends, families and children, with sudden encounters, a moon eclipse and old people waiting for the evening on the backdrop… Readings and songs will help us dive into an environment where biodiversity and literary reminiscences become one single movement at the rhythm of the singer’s bicycle’s pedals.
The European Green Poetry Festival is also a unique opportunity for education and in-depth literary study. For instance, a special section will be dedicated to the Italian writer Gianni Rodari to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth, with readings addressed to the young by actress Stefania Chinzari, where the environment will be part of the story, and a conversation between Stefania Chinzari, a journalist and a pedagogist, and Tania Convertini, professor of Italian language and culture at Dartmouth College (in the United States). The conversation will focus on the relationship between Rodari and nature. A conference arranged by Tito Vezio Viola, a librarian and expert in youth literature, will follow which will investigate the relationship between the writer who was born in Omegna, but who also loved Rome, where he lived for 30 years, and science. The debate will be introduced by journalist Michele D’Amico.
Every year, the Festival also selects a writer from European literary tradition to investigate his or her works. This year, Giorgio Caproni, a poet from Livorno, has been chosen with his Versetti quasi ecologici (Almost ecological verses). In his last work, the poet drew his attention to actual places, first to Tuscany landscapes, then to the landscapes of the town where he chose to live, Genoa, with the surrounding valleys, which moulded his poetry. Luca Zuliani, professor of Italian linguistic at the University of Padua, and one of the greatest scholars of Caproni’s work, will dialogue with the readers of Quarticciolo’s library (on Friday 11th, at 4pm). Within the same section, Niccolò Scaffai, professor of comparative literatures at the University of Siena, and one of the most acclaimed experts of environmental literature and author of Letteratura e ecologia, Forme e temi di una relazione narrativa (Literature and Ecology, Forms and Themes of a narrative relationship.), will be interviewed by journalist Valentina Gentile on the main topic of the Festival, meaning the specificity of green poetry (on Friday 11th, at 10.30am). And, to conclude, a reasoned anthology of readings dating back to the 1900s will be presented by Giannermete Romani, an environmental educator who uses poetry to structure his studies about the landscape and its evolution. He, together with Sarah De Marchi, an actress and an educator, through poetry, will explore the relationship between that which is human and that which is natural.