Carnival in Gomorrah’s land, or the wish for a normal life

Scampia's carnival

Scampia's carnival parade stops along its way to send its message to citizens and invite them to join - (c) 2'012 nicoletta di tanno

I’m proud to introduce a special guest for a very special post: Nicoletta Di Tanno. She accepted to share with us her experience in Scampia, and her passion for social photography.
She is a communication specialist with more than 20 years experience in international environment, and volunteers for Shoot4change.
A child from Scampia

A child from the Scampia football school represents the school on the top of their float - (c) 2012 nicoletta di tanno

Ever since, Carnival celebrates the subversion of the ordinary. In Scampia, the neighbourhood in the outskirts of Naples described in Saviano’s best-seller ‘Gomorrah’, subverting the ordinary means that residents can occupy their territory, reclaiming their ownership.
The driving force of this carnival is the G.RI.DA.S association, meaning ‘Group for awakening from sleep’. This association, founded by a couple, Mirella and Felice Pignataro, has since decades bravely been providing a centre of social aggregation and cultural initiatives in this difficult area of Southern Italy.
For the 30th year, Scampia’s carnival proposes to schools and to the local community a parade for expressing creativity, and a day of collective re-possession of public spaces – the real Occupy Scampia! Social issues are at the heart of this carnival, denouncing inequalities and injustice as well as representing local initiatives and achievements.
In this context, different initiatives and associations, both local and from elsewhere, meet in the morning of Carnival’s Sunday in front of GRIDAS’ base, to walk the neighbourhood in parade through its streets and buildings, often off-limits on an ordinary day, using dancing, masks, protest and proposals to raise awareness among those met along the way.
This year’s theme was “Your money or your life, i.e. this is the way it goes”, around which children, citizens, boy-scouts, Roma people, musicians, relatives of convicted and many others, brought their message along with carnival floats and masks.

It was simply impossible not to be involved! The enthusiasm and commitment of all participants was overwhelming. The aspiration to live a life as much ordinary as possible, based on work, integrity and justice, shows through in every instant and in every representation. From the parade, an invitation to join was constantly addressed to the many people that from home look at the march out of their window, revealing a wish for participation that can’t be achieved.

Masks and symbols, positive and negative, coexist in the parade in a symbolic fight. At the end of the path, reaching a nearby Roma settlement, an allegoric bonfire destroys negative symbols while the positive ones are kept, and the parade is joined by the Roma community.

Being within and together the parade as a photographer was a unique experience, joyful and hopeful. One of those that heal your spirit, because they bring about solidarity and the best out of each and every one, in spite of a lieu commun that would make you think you wouldn’t find them there. A virtuous circle, where positive calls positive, and where you hope you can come back again.
Scampia's Carnival

People watching the carnival parade in Scampia from their windows -(c) 2012 nicoletta di tanno

Scampia's carnival

A child watches the carnival parade as it passes through a courtyard. He was possibly forbidden to join - (c) 2012 nicoletta di tanno

Scampia's carnival

A child from the Roma settlement joins the parade crowd with his bike - (c) 2012 nicoletta di tanno

Recommendations by a travel video maker!

Hi All!
I’m happy to introduce a new guest of my blog: Guglielmo Biason and his videos.

Guglielmo is an Italian guy who lives in London. I met him in Brazil in 2006. I was the tour leader of a group and we argued more than once because of the ‘rules’  and the travel’s organization.

After few months, I watched the first Guglielmo’s video shot in India. It was about a ‘tuk-tuk’ charity race in the South of India, and it was so funny!

Few days ago, I received an e-mail about his new “web video blog”. I immediately visited it, and I found something more than a video collection. He created a sort of travel social network …

So , I decided to ask him some questions about his great idea in order to write a post for my readers and ‘advertise’ his interesting activity

– Hi Guglielmo … would you mind introducing yourself as a ‘traveller’?

Well, more or less, difficult to define myself as a traveller when I’m not able to travel for more than 20/25 days per year due to work commitments. But yes, I like to travel a lot and this is by far my favourite passion. This means that that 20/25 days are ~100% of my holidays.

–  When we firstly met in 2006 you didn’t have any video camera. When did you decide to shoot videos and why?

Yes, this is right. I didn’t realize but it is true. When we met I didn’t had a camera. No photos, no videos. Everything changed one year later. Basically one day (it was April 2007) I watch a short video that a friend of mine did by simply putting together some photos and adding a music theme. I asked him how complicated it was and he showed me how easy is to use Windows Movie Maker, a very simple tool that is installed in any Windows PC. One week later I went to Oman and I decide to buy a camera at the airport. I did some videos during the trip but not with any real idea on what to do. A few weeks later I started playing with the videos and in a few hours I created my first, rudimental, travel video. It is the one called “Oman, route to Wadi Shab and Wahiba Sands”. Since then I did a video for every travel I did. Now I cannot even stop because my friends travelling with me require that I do a video on the trip that they can show to parents, friends, and colleagues once back

–         You started publishing your videos on different social media like YouTube, Facebook, etc. Why did you create your own ‘space’? What is your aim?

Yes, I put my first video on YouTube for the only reason to show it to my parents in Italy (I live in London). Then I sent the link to a few friends. YouTube was a powerful site but after 2 years it started to shut down my videos because I used illegal music. This is true, I use normal pop music in my videos without permission, but I do not make money on it, and my intent is only to share the video with my friends. For your info, YouTube has a software which matches the audio of your video with a database of most famous songs. When your audio match with one of the songs, YouTube mutes automatically your video. I hate to rely on others (YouTube included) and I decided to spend few hours to build up my own website. I do not have any plan to make it popular. It is simply a way which allows me to share the videos with my friends. When I upload a new video I send an email or post it on Facebook so my friends who are interested can watch it. In the future my aim is to develop the website in a way that it becomes a content box for notes, photos, suggestions, itineraries, videos and any experience related to my travels. A sort of travel memory accessible from everywhere.


–  Do you have a ‘plot’ when you start shooting or you ‘build’ your movie during the post-production process?

I have a very strange way to plan my vids. My videos are led by the music. Before the travel I select a few songs which I really like and I start imaging the scenes of the travel on the music. Of course the songs are somehow related to the place I’m visiting. E.g., in Cuba I used regaetton and latin music, in Isreael and Jordan I used Marrocan dance. In Turkey I used Turkish pop. In the Vietnam vid that I’ll soon upload I use a lot American songs of the the ‘60s and ‘70s. Basically the music drives the creation of the movies. This is the reasons I think at my videos more as videclips rather than movies. The weak part of them is that the story of the travel is barely explained, like in a normal music clip.

–   A couple of suggestions for lonely travellers ….

I have understood in these years that what can make the difference in your travel are the unexpected things. If in a travel everything goes right it will not be a good one. It means that you did not exit from the “usual tourist routes”. I enjoyed a lot the travel where something went wrong (i.e. getting stucked in the desert, broken the car in the middle of the countryside, get lost in the slums etc.). This allowed me to get in touch with locals in a way that would not have been otherwise possible. That’s the reason why I try to get myself in little troubles. In my last trip I have been motorcycling in Vietnam. Note that I never drove a motorbike (and neither a scooter) in my life before. We get lost in the traffic of Saigon, I lost the silencer (and I had to buy it back from the locals), we drove in the mountains with no lights etc. Ok, maybe this is not a suggestion that I recommend to everyone, but hope you understand the rationale. The other things that I learnt is that the funny is to organize everything on my own. Do not rely on travel agencies. They will probably plan a better travel than what you can do (more efficient timing, better hotels, better commuting, etc.) but at the end of the day if you are guided by a guide you feel to have seen the country as from behind a screen. I prefer to see half of the things a place has to offer but to conquer these things with my own, with no travel agencies in the middle. It’s much more fun and personal reward

Enjoy your watching at http://www.guglielmobiason.webs.com/

Earthquake. The sound of Silence

. Zucchi - Insidefoto - All rights reserved

. Zucchi - Insidefoto - All rights reserved

The night between Sunday and Monday,I was awoken by my husband’s shout and I realized that everything was shaking.

I saw the time on my alarm-clock: 3.34 am. The earthquake. Just few minutes for us, as we live in Rome, 120 km far from L’Aquila.

Immediately on Facebook and Twitter, you could find people updating their status, with news about parents, earthquake, calls for help.

It was five days ago, but the earth there is still shaking. 289 dead till now. Today here in Italy is national mourning.

Again, I have to admit that there are two opposite sides of my country.

On one hand, new buildings felt down like sandcastles, because somebody didn’t respect rules and laws.

On the other hand, hundreds of people are helping each other, working together. Hundreds of volunteers

Many people by using social networks are creating something more than virtual contacts.

This my country, this is Italy… We’ll talk about this.

But today there is only silence …

How Technology can help the Environment

Italy and France signed an agreement for the construction in Italy of four nuclear plants by 2020. This decision replaces that one expressed by referendum in 1986.

As you probably know, in Italy there are many problems related to collecting and recycling garbage. I’m just wondering how we are going to deal with nuclear waste… (More info at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7908434.stm)

On the other side, President Obama announced his investments program about energy: “…But to truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy.  So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America.  And to support that innovation, we will invest fifteen billion dollars a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks built right here in America…” (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-of-President-Barack-Obama-Address-to-Joint-Session-of-Congress/)

I strongly believe that the future of our planet is in renewable energy, and nuclear power represents a short term solution.

—————-

logo_youimpact1Talking about green best practices, I’ve just found out a new Italian eco-tech social network: www.youimpact.it

According to Web 2.0 guidelines, the main goal is to spread environmental culture in a no-conventional way.

The community is invited to express its creativity, by publishing images, videos, audio files. Obviously, the subject is environment.

Moreover, for every uploaded image, video or audio, it will be created one square metre of new forest.

Together with some useful information about ‘green’ lifestyle, there are some interesting contests, which aim is to share green IT experiences and their ‘green effects’. There are many important IT companies involved in these projects:  CiscoIBM, etc.

Do you know any other green social network?  I’d really like to create a world map of these experiences …

Welcome to my World!

Hi All,

this is my first blog experience, and I hope we enjoy together. I’m from Italy, but at the moment I’m living in San Diego, CA.

I have travelled a lot all over the world, but this trip is a special one, as I decided to temporarily leave my job and my family for starting my studies again. It’s never too late!

I’d like to share with you my love for travelling all around the world, and last but not the least, my ‘new’ life in San Diego.

In my spare time I’m a “no-professional” tour guide, but I let you know more in my next post!

Enjoy your travel in my blog!