Telling the Mafia. In Lamezia ‘Trame’ against “alternative” narratives, half-truths and open attempts at removal


By John

This year too, Trame is confirming itself as an attentive observatory on the infiltration of the mafiawhich take on various and different aspects: this is why, in addition to social issues, books and culture, we also talk about businesses, work, exploitation… and the environment. The ecomafia report that Legambiente will publish in a few weeks, for example, was partially anticipated during the festival, forecasting, for Calabria in particular, data that are nothing short of alarming.

The cement mafia has increased illegal construction by 20% in 2023, and as many as 42 out of 100 houses in the South are built illegally. In Calabria, then, of the 6,000 demolition orders only 9.6% are carried out, as Anna Parretta of Legambiente Calabria pointed out. The national president, Stefano Ciafani, also underlined that something has changed with the inclusion, in 2015, of new crimes against the environment in the penal code, but much remains to be done: «I am thinking of agromafias, crimes against animals, which are not yet present in the penal code and which drive large criminal interests in Italy and in the rest of the world. Calabria has always been at the top in the environmental illegality rankings, in the top 5.”

As expected, the fourth day of Trame kicked off in one of the key points of Lamezia, the railway station, where the reading was held with the artistic director of the Festival, Giovanni Tizian, and the actor Achille Iera starting from the famous book by Leonardo Sciascia «A futuro memoria» (theme of the current edition of Trame). And so the words of the Sicilian writer – who in his essay collected his articles on the most famous judicial cases of the 1980s – resonated in the small square of the S. Eufemia district, among travellers, commuters and onlookers.

There is also space for satire “made in Calabria”with Isidoro Malvarosa and Antonio Soriero from «Lo Statale Jonico», the very popular social page (160,000 followers on Facebook and 130,000 on Instagram) that for years, through memes and jokes, has ironically transfigured all the worst Calabrese emergencies, establishing itself as one of the most established social realities (on a par with the “greats” and Lercio).
Of her book “The Furnished Hell” (Blonk), the criminologist Anna Sergi, Calabrian and full professor of criminology in the United Kingdom, at the University of Essex, spoke with Pietro Comito about the “embellishments” and removals of which the ‘ndrangheta has always been an object, starting from the stories of one’s childhood when crime killed and kidnapped but didn’t make too much “noise”. The title comes from a happy expression of the sociologist Alessandro Pizzorno: «If Calabria is the hell of the ‘Ndrangheta, many Calabrians have learned to furnish hell». Sergi also spoke about the series «Mafia: history of organized crime», in 100 issues, with the Gazzetta dello Sport, with Barbara Biscotti of the University of Milan – Bicocca and Tommaso Ricciardelli (Let’s talk about Mafia).

Moment also for Spi CGIL, in a dialogue on the theme “Land and Freedom” with Tania Scacchetti (general secretary), Claudia carlino (national secretary) and the journalist Tiziana Bagnato. Lucio Luca, again, presented his latest novel «La notte dell’antimafia» (Compagnia editoriale Aliberti), about the conviction of the former judge Saguto. Paolo Biondani spoke about the decades of our history stained by black massacres, about his book «La ragazza di Gladio e altre storie nere. La trama nascosto di tutte le stragi» (Fuoriscena). The meeting «Mafia without borders» with Ruggero Scaturro (Global Initiative) and General Giuseppe Governale (former director of DIA), moderated by Anna Sergi, was very detailed and addressed issues such as the «encrypted messages» with which the mafias communicate (and the extraordinary operation with which in 2022 the French and Belgians “broke” the encrypted system, decrypting thousands of information), and therefore the way to access a great mass of information that travels, literally, throughout the world, and the incredible ability of the ‘ndrangheta to reconvert: from pizzini and coppola to world scenarios, supported by its obscure “credibility”.

Closing with “Trame Visioni” and the documentary «The boys of the escorts. I must continue” by Diana Ligorio and Alessia Arcolaci.