In Reggio a day in honor of Vito Teti, the Master of Restanza

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By John

«Today more than yesterday we must remember what remains alive of our Calabria; the stories of our families, because children leave as if it were a natural destiny, when what drives them away is the lack of structures, services, libraries, cultural and social centres, theatres. The ethical, civil and political responsibility is to ask ourselves where the world, Calabria and the South are going.” Thus, the famous Calabrian anthropologist Vito Teti, internationally renowned scholar, “father” of the theoretical construct of «restanza», during the meeting organized in the “Elle Interni” space by Manuela Bassetta from “Restate in Strada”, with the contribution of the Zavattini cinema club, the Ace Solidarity Medicine Centre, the Touring Club section of Reggio Calabria.

The event was preceded by a visit to the Park of Knowledge and Wellbeing of San Filippo di Pellaro, demonstrating the vitality and vastness of a network that has gathered around the work and thought of the anthropologist, to launch this message: «Stay, build a different present. Vito Teti demonstrates that it is possible.”

There were many moments: the screening of two short films and the «Homeland» photographic exhibition by Teti and Salvatore Piermarini; the award ceremony for the winners of the «Restanza ed erranza» photography competition (in order, Nadia Lucisano, Francesco Truglia and Vincenzo Penna, special mention). There were also many rumors that followed: Ornella De Stefano for the Zavattini club; Nino Mallamaci with the commentary on «Ararat», the docu which is «a journey on acceptance and on remaining» by Eugenio Lijoialso present, and Vito Teti.

«With Vito Teti the language of staying changes; the connection with one’s land takes on new meaning”, he underlines Saverio Pazzano, in dialogue with the anthropologist who reiterates: «Leaving and staying are the two poles of the history of humanity; many ask me what is better; certainly the return represents a big problem if livable conditions are not found”, inviting us to give a new meaning to ancient words: pain, pity, mercy, charity and welcome.

«Remainance means feeling anchored and at the same time disoriented in a place to be protected and at the same time to be radically regenerated. I don’t understand how this national political class doesn’t realize the big problem which is the depopulation of internal areas which undermines the civil and social fabric, the relationships that are the heart of a community… ». And again: «To affirm a policy of remainder, an overall vision is needed; words like trust, knowledge of the past, memory are needed and here intellectuals play an important role: photographing, writing, painting and composing poetry is that beauty that can help this land to open up.”
The common thread is that of the “clouds of Calabria” with the contributions to the narrative coming from Anna Mallamo, Giuseppe Smorto, Fabio Domenico Palumbo, Domenico Minuto, Alfonso Picone Chiodo, Anna Foti, Maria Teresa Iannelli, Salvino Nucera, Dario Nunnari, Antonio Campolo, Emanuele Minniti, Nino Mallamaciand by the Zavattini Cinema club.

«I became aware of the existence of clouds at the age of 32; before for me they were a completely natural landscape; then the relationship became disturbing, because those sometimes rich colors are not a sign of beauty but of nature which is expanding and speaking to us; those fiery sunsets are beautiful but they are also the result of major climate changes.” And here the clouds become another way of wondering what will happen to the world. «The problem is here and now: what do we do in this moment to make life more livable and all this is the landscape we look at, it is the hands we extend to those who are ill. The clouds start from below, right where there is emptiness and instead there could be fullness, and they show us the way: to fill these empty spaces that disturb us with beautiful things.”
And we end with this final testimony from the prof. Domenico Minuto: «Vito Teti gave us a lesson in life and hope».