Identity Builds Respect: Taobuk Rewards Art That Breaks Down Walls and Barriers


By John

“The ability to be someone else has never been more important than it is now in history”: the words of the American author Jonathan Safran Foer resound loudly at the ancient theater of Taormina, during the Taobuk Awards delivery ceremony. This year’s fourteenth edition of the festival focused on the theme of identity and outlined its meaning on the international scene which sees conflicts and sovereignism often due precisely to a conception of identity as a terrain on which to build trenches. Or, in a more everyday dimension, as a terrain on which to make diversity a reason for discrimination. The identity relaunched in Taormina is instead a plural identity, capable of breaking down walls and barriers and building respect for every person.

The event in a packed ancient theater was conducted, together with the journalist Massimiliano Ossini, by Antonella Ferraracreator and artistic director of the festival, which celebrated 14 years once again with great names, all alternating on stage, making Taormina a “capital” of literature and culture that unites. The evening will then be broadcast on Rai 1 on Wednesday 3 July.

The Taobuk Award for Literary Excellence was presented to the Norwegian Jon Fosse2023 Nobel Prize for Literature and the American Jonathan Safran Foerwho “in Everything is Illuminated reveals to the reader the search for his own roots, along a biographical path in which pain and love, past and present continually intersect”. The Spaniard Fernando Aramburu will receive the award on Sunday 23 June. The Taobuk Award will also go to the writer and playwright Alessandro Baricco, who will be at the ancient theatre on the 23rd with his work “Thucydides. Athens against Melo”.

For the visual arts, the prize went to the performing artist of Serbian origins Marina Abramovićwho identified awareness of identity in the ability and willingness to rely on each other, in an interaction that is a continuous rediscovery of oneself, as in the famous performances Rest Energy, Imponderabilia, The artist is present and Rhythm 0.

For cinema, Taobuk Award to directors Paolo Sorrentino and Ferzan Özpetek and to the actress Kasia Smutniak. For the information of the journalist Elvira TerranovaAdnKronos. For the music to the tenor Richard Massi and to the singer Naomi. For the star dance at the Teatro alla Scala Nicoletta Manniand to the choreographer and dancer Moses Pendletondirector and founder of Momix and revolutionary innovator of contemporary dance. During the evening the TaoTIM Award was delivered, as part of the consolidated partnership that links Taobuk to TIM – Main Partner.

The evening was enlivened by the soundtrack entrusted in several editions to the award-winning Orchestra of the Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania, musical co-producer of the Gala, directed by the teacher Gianna Fratta, newly appointed artistic director of the Taormina Arte Foundation. A moving remembrance was addressed to the memory of Franco Di Marethe journalist of the “frontiers”, a committed intellectual and lover of Belles Lettres, president of the scientific committee of the festival from 2011 to 2016.