Different cities follow one another on the same site and under the same name, writes Italo Calvino, born and dying without knowing one another, without communication among themselves. At time even the names of the inhabitants remain the same, and their voices’ accent, and also the features of the faces; but the gods who live beneath names and above places have gone off without a word and outsiders have settled in their place. It is pointless to ask whether the new gods are better or worse than the old, since there is no connection between them… We recommend you another Italian documentary movie: Edoardo Morabito and Irma Vecchio’s I fantasmi di San Berillo (2013), first prize at Torino Film Festival. The demolition of this old neighbourhood in the centre of Catania (Sicily), in 1958, was the biggest urban evisceration in post-war Italy, linked (as everything in the country) with Vatican’s Società Generale Immobiliare: 30.000 people where displaced towards the peripheries. It was the same year in which brothels were banned: prostitutes were forced to work underground, and what was left of San Berillo turned into one of the biggest “red light districts” of the Mediterranean. So the story of the neighbourhood went on for another half century, until 2001, when a new police operation evicted again prostitutes and transvestites from their houses and streets. Today many plots are still unoccupied, and some became new favelas (see this 2012 video). The documentary shifts visually from past to present, and the images are associated with the fascinating words of writer Goliarda Sapienza, born in San Berillo in 1924.
As opposed to the orientalist stereotypes depicting Kathmandu (Nepal) as a place out of time and of the world, the social reality of Nepal reveals an admirable vivacity. Artists and intellectuals participate in this debates, contributing to make it a laboratory of postsecularism and "multiple modernities".
The first chapters of Words of Women from the Egyptian Revolution are online. The independent troupe of Leil-Zahra MORTADA had been updating this series of videos whose trailers we already linked in a previous post. [caption id="attachment_3505" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Rasha Azab"][/caption] Chapter 1: Rasha Azab. 29 years old, journalist. She had been involved in social movements since 2000. In the west, she explains, they promote an image of egyptian activists as sweet and non violent: this is a strategy to calm down the protests. "No revolution happens for Twitter or Facebook. Revolutions occur when people take the streets, resist, die, sacrify important things".
"Allowing my daughter to sleep in Tahrir, of course, was a revolutionary decision. This is the effect of the revolution on our way of thinking and dealing with things".Hanan Sadek, 52, works in an oil company "I'll never forget the way that soldier looked. He wouldn't look at me, he was looking away. Deliberately trying to avoid eye-contact with me, and he was crying. Then all at a sudden they all started to shoot at the same time" Sanaa Seif, 17, student "We were living with our eyes closed. We didn't use to see what is in front of our eyes" Mona Hussein, 50, housewife Every week, the independent equipe of Leil-Zahra MORTADA uploads in "Words of Women from the Egyptian Revolution" a short video: the revolution should not be explained as dominant history always does, as virile adventures of heroes and martyrs. Herstory is the version that even revolution enthusiasts try to keep silent: because the existence of rebel arab women is too big a contradiction for the standard version of history.