“Italy has had enough; they’ve deceived us, and we are poorer”
Concita De Gregorio, and the exhibition by Giuliana Traverso, inaugurated the third festival of women's literature, “SI”.
“What will happen in Italy, in 20 years’ time? Nobody’s thinking about it. And those who should, are only thinking about the next 20 months. Or if we’re lucky, about the next 20 days …”
The words of journalist Concita De Gregorio were resolute, but a little downhearted, when she opened the third festival of women’s literature SI on Friday afternoon, at Villa Montevecchio, in Samarate, presenting her book “Io vi maledico” (“I damn you”), published by Einaudi. Anger, fear and fragility are the main themes in this collection of stories, which she heard in streets around Italy, the transcription of people’s voices. “I damn you” is something we all say (or would like to say). Reports of expressions of anger spill from the pages of our newspapers, the level of angry tension today is taken for granted, it has become normal.
“The new generations do not know what sharing is,” says the journalist of La Repubblica. “The Italy of ‘we’ has given way just to “I”, which was born, politically and culturally, from the Italy of the 1980s, with successful businessmen and stock brokers.
And what about now? Something has changed, there is a new wealth, a great abundance, even overabundance; but it is only apparent, because, in fact, we lack the most important goods. Our country is full of people doing the right thing, or at least they intend to; then, there are the ruling class, who calibrate everything according to convenience, and never act for the common good.
The word “politics” has become a dirty word, we find it disgusting; the noblest of all arts has been reduced, almost to an instrument of fear. And the result is our fragility and lack of means, preventing us from turning our anger into strength, in a constructive rebellion.
When Marco Giovannelli asked how memory could influence a change for the future, Concita de Gregorio, a mother of four, responded with a marketing lesson. “Anything that has no cost, has no worth. And since it costs our daughters nothing to go and vote, they don’t go! But we must tell them about the history of the last 50 years, in detail: they must be told what it meant to be a woman in the 1940’s, the 1960’s, the 1980’s, even the 2000’s. They must understand what it means to want to enrol in medicine, but not be able to.” And they must find the courage to say “Damn you!”, not just to get it off their chest, but to start doing something.