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May 12, 2018
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“Giufà: escaping or traveling?”

I don’t know how to answer this question, like many others I pose in my writing: I continue to think that certain questions must be asked exactly because they do not have a single answer. Being an inner journey even before it is external, escaping, to my mind, is always a journey at the start. I run away because I do not accept my surroundings and I think that life will be better elsewhere, more acceptable: but to escape I must first dislocate myself mentally, dream of something different, new horizons … to prepare for a change. Those without imagination cannot escape, they wouldn’t understand what for. Even in the most wretched conditions, I think of today’s migrants like the Italians at the beginning of the last century, migration is the hope of a better life. And without the ability to imagine this life how can we hope to attain it? I do not say that it is easy to do: when it is imposed on us from the outside, leaving your country, your society, is very painful. This is why the ability to imagine oneself elsewhere and happy is one’s only solace. Even escaping from war to save one’s life is fantastic: according to some observers, Syrian children born in the middle of the war are incapable of imagining a different life. So would they flee? There are those who think not. Of course we must bear in mind how this fantasy is linked to the memory of a past happy life…. Working on Giufà, I start from their stories (from the imagination, that is): everybody enjoys them, they are simple and fun, and are the result of centuries of the ebb and flow of people and ideas. And then I warn those who thoughtlessly want to stop this flow: “Beware of stopping the people. We risk stopping their stories.”

“Giufà escape or journey?” The show highlights the two-sided nature of Giufa (old man-child, wise man-fool) and does not resolve the twin motivations of travel. Maybe to answer would interrupt the journey!

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