Lamezia Terme, Trame Festival: Vito Teti’s “restanza” as a new sense of places


By John

From memory and nostalgia for the future the professor spoke. Vito Teti, professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Calabria with the journalist Giuseppe Smortoin front of an attentive and varied audience on stage at the thirteenth edition of Plots Festival. The common thread of the conversation was the concept of “remainder”, introduced for the first time by Teti in his “Pietre di pane. An anthropology of remaining” (2011): the choice to remain or return to the South – in an era characterized by youth emigration, among whose contributing causes there is undoubtedly the presence of organized crime – must be accompanied by the right internal attitude, which must translate into social, political and civil commitment. “Those who remain – according to Teti – must make the effort to feel like foreigners in the place where they are, to feel in opposition to the established order, to go against the current, to create a new world that also speaks of the future, otherwise staying becomes an act of laziness and immobility that serves no purpose”.

The protagonists focused on the emblematic experience of remaining Mimmo Lucano: “Mimmo Lucano’s stay had a great revolutionary meaning”, explained Teti, due to the impact that his actions had on a global level, defining a new model of hospitality that proved not only achievable, but also sustainable . Lucano’s experience makes clear the importance of “finding people, administrators, scholars, organizers and intellectuals who become protagonists of the processes of change”.

The topic of discussion then moved on todifferentiated autonomy, with Teti’s reflection which highlighted how the relevant DDL is part of a process of separation that began in the nineties, when the League exploded as a political and cultural phenomenon of anti-Southern origin. Even in the face of the false stereotypes promoted by this phenomenon, the South has not managed to effectively counteract it. Indeed, the South has sometimes responded with a patronage and mafia system, as well as with a development model that would appear to be that of catastrophe: a model in which the ruling classes, rather than acting preventively to secure structures and landscapes, prefer intervene after the occurrence of a calamity or disaster. In a country where there is too little indignation and taking to the streets, the issue of differentiated autonomy could, however, represent a common ground for aggregation; own “around the problem of belonging, of true autonomy, of roots and of the future – continued Teti – we could reconstruct a southernist movement capable of thinking about the south of the world in the era of great transformations”. The internal reflection that arises from this meeting concerns the way of being present in places and within communities. How am I in this place? How much care do I have for this place? How do I treat it? “You need to be present in the place where you live (both the place of origin and the place of arrival), try to establish a harmonious relationship with the people and take care of that place,” replied Teti.