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Law and the peasant: rural society and justice in Carolingian Italy
Popular Features. New Releases. Il circo della notte. Notify me. Product details Format Hardback pages Dimensions x x 40mm Other books in this series.
Il sapore dei desideri
La valle degli uomini liberi Alessandro Mondo. Add to basket. Il re. La confraternita del pugnale nero J. The plays that followed, Ordine! Per Dio. La polizia! Fo was accused of contempt for the armed forces because of the poster promoting the show Pum, Pum! The work opens with a voice stressing that what is about to be seen is not fantasy but reality. The executive is seen at work while he creates false evidence in order to accuse and incriminate the anarchists for the massacre and to conceal any involvement by government authorities and military generals in the terrorist action.
The play can be considered a pamphlet spectacle and a protest spectacle. More than thirty years have passed since the bomb explosion in Piazza Fontana, and still no one knows why this deadly terrorist attack was carried out. Late in , political differences with Avanguardia Operaia led Fo to discontinue the collaboration with La Comune. During the previous two years, La Comune had grown to a nationwide cultural organization, with about ninety seats and seven hundred thousand members, becoming a serious competitor for the associations of the same nature that operated under the control of the main Italian political parties.
On 8 March another episode had a profound effect on Fo and Rame: she was kidnapped, beaten, and raped by a gang of neofascists. Yet, only two months later she was onstage again. In the play it is suggested that the tactic used in Chile was also being used in Italy to overturn democratic practices. Fo was arrested but soon released when he tried to prevent the police from stopping the performance. Later in the year, Fo, Rame, and the members of their theater company occupied an old abandoned building in Milan called Palazzina Liberty. After completely restoring it, including its theater, they opened the new structure in with Non si paga!
The women enter the supermarket and decide at first what they feel is the right price is for each item half of what is on the price tag and later decide not to pay at all. The first play, written in only eight days just before a general election, is a work of political fantasy, being centered on the imaginary kidnapping of senator Amintore Fanfani , an historical leader of the Christian Democratic Party who had been prime minister several times.
The crime is perpetrated by gangsters hired by Giulio Andreotti , a party fellow and rival hoping to win more votes for the Christian Democratic Party with this scheme. The setting is surreal, a sort of dream dimension, and the action is a sequence of grotesque and exhilarating scenes connected to the complex political situation of the period.
Fo uses the family microcosm to present a proletarian story and to expose major and minor drug traffickers connected to organized crime and, most of all, the hypocrisy of religious and law-enforcement establishments in regard to the drug problem. The moral of the story is that the rich consume drugs, while the working class is consumed by drugs.
Toward the end of the s Fo began to write for and with Rame a series of one-act plays and monologues about the female condition. Her participation in the writing process of this play was significant: she worked for months collecting material, selecting and adapting it for the stage. The work consists of five monologues by five different women. The choice of using monologues was practical, as it allowed the spectacle to be performed easily in factories and neighborhood social centers.
Her husband often beats her saying that he does it because he loves her or uses her as a sexual object to satisfy his bestial instincts, while she does not respond and remains stiff as a statue during intercourse. What emerges is a theme often confronted by Fo and Rame in this series of works: female frigidity induced by male oppression. The segment begins with the mother hiding in a church in order to escape the police who are after her. She enters a confessional, where she explains to the priest how she gave up her life for her family.
She has disguised herself as a gypsy in order to infiltrate the environment of drug users, where she hopes to find her son. The disguise, however, has made her a new person, as she is seen in a different light. Once she is found by her son, who in the meantime has cleaned up his act, she is unable to return home to play the role of a mother again, as she has adopted a new identity. Notwithstanding this flaw, Tutta casa, letto e chiesa was staged all over Europe and in Canada and the United States as well.
Il circo della notte : Erin Morgenstern :
They invited him to tape a program, and in he accepted but demanded the recording take place at Palazzina Liberty in front of a live audience. The program Il teatro di Dario Fo, which included four plays he had written, was a hit; but when the latest version of Mistero buffo was presented, a Vatican spokesmen described it as blasphemous, and Italian right-wingers protested. The series was watched by thousands of Italians, and millions tuned in to watch Mistero buffo. Storia delta tigre depicts a soldier wounded during the Chinese Long March who is rescued by a tiger that gives him shelter in her den and takes care of him and of her cub.
The man remains with the tigers for some time, and when he departs, the animals follow him and eventually defend him and some farmhands from the repression of a tyrant. The story is based on a Chinese myth, and, as Fo explained, the play is an allegory on the necessity to never give up class struggle. The second play is also metaphorical. It is the story of the infant Jesus, the son of an immigrant southern family who is shunned and mocked by his peers, who call him Palestine.
In this story Jesus performs his first miracle, giving life to clay statues in order to have playmates. Later, he also adapted and directed operas from Giocchino Rossini. Fo could not avoid being interested in the Moro Affair, probably the most shocking political crime in the history of the Italian Republic: in March a commando of the Red Brigades a clandestine revolutionary Communist organization kidnapped Aldo Moro , premier and leader of the Christian Democratic Party. Many thought Moro had been cynically sacrificed for political reasons, but some went so far as to presume the existence of connections between state authorities and the kidnappers.
La tragedia di Aldo Moro The Tragedy of Aldo Moro , published in the periodical Quotidiano dei lavoratori in June , embraced the latter thesis; it is an intensely dramatic work, based on the letters Moro wrote from the place where he was kept. In spite of the interest of the theme and the considerable artistic value of the text, the play has never been performed publicly.
The following year he staged Il fabulazzo osceno , Obscene Fable , a play structured according to the model of Mistero buffo in which a single actor alternates fixed texts with partially improvised comments on obscenity. The point of the play is that the concept of obscenity does not coincide with transgression but rather with prohibition, in the sense that everything that is forbidden becomes obscene.
Despite worldwide acclaim, there was still trouble for Fo. In Italian censors decided that Coppia aperta translated as The Open Couple: A One-Act Comedy, , another play focusing on the female condition and male oppression even when masked as open-mindedness , should be restricted to audiences over the age of eighteen. That same year, while touring in Argentina, some performances were disturbed by right-wing and Christian conservative youths who threw stones at the theater hall windows and even threw a tear-gas grenade onto the stage.
The witch has actually been given the task to cure him from serious mental torment, as the pope is haunted by the idea of holding in his arms millions of Third World children who are starving to death. He will thus promulgate an encyclical letter in which he supports drug legalization, the use of contraceptives, and, most important, the return of the Church to its original theological poverty. Beyond the pleasures of the paradoxical, the play can be seen as a harsh criticism toward the authorities managing the centers for drug addiction , prevention, and care, and the necessity of legalizing drug use is proposed as a solution to the addiction problem.
Stiamo precipitando! We Are All Falling! The opening act is set in an asylum for the insane, where the inmates are playing war games that recall the first Gulf War operations. The patients are in fact being used as guinea pigs to test new medicines. The main character is an engineer, an erotomaniac he can never get enough sex who is quite frustrated. The patients in the asylum, following the injection of an experimental bacillus, seem to have developed AIDS immunity; as it appears that this immunity can be sexually transmitted, a therapy based on intensification of sexual activity is realized.
This play can be defined as a grotesque situation comedy, in which a concoction of themes is dealt with in a way that enhances the monstrous features of power, even if people have become accustomed to them to a point that they have become unaware of their true nature. The model is the same as Mistero buffo and Fabulazzo osceno: no theater decor, and one actor who performs a text or lectures or makes improvised digressions on recent events.
One of the main themes of the work is war, seen from the perspective of the commoner who finds himself involved by force in a situation he fears and hates. In Fo also wrote Mamma! The Sans-Culottes! Beginning with this play, Fo became more interested in problems regarding the Italian justice system, focusing particularly on the pressures exerted against judges who only wish to do their duty. On 17 July , Fo was disabled and almost lost his sight because of an attack of cerebral ischemia. He survived and recovered within a year. In the meantime, Rame continued to manage their theater company.
The theme of Il diavolo con le zinne , The Devil with Tits is again corruption and the insidious dangers threatening righteous magistrates. The protagonist is a sixteenth-century judge who, because of his exceptional moral integrity, is hated by powerful people who try to slander and frame him on alleged charges of corruption, misuse of authority, rape, and abuse of defendants.
- La vita non è grave.
- Fo, Dario (24 March 1926 - ).
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There are many references to recent events, not the least of which were the attempts on the part of some right-wing interests to deny legal status to the actions many judges were undertaking against fraudulent activities and financial crimes involving toplevel politicians. In Fo received the Nobel Prize in Literature, which caused an uproar in some intellectual circles in Italy. Aside from the controversial nature of many of his plays, opponents felt that his work was mere clowning and did not have the literary merit to deserve the prize. Fo, delighted by the uproar, turned his Nobel lecture into another performance.
Protagonisti tre volontari italiani del Comitato contro la strage di uccelli. National Geographic. Last song for migrating birds. Pubblichiamo anche il video - intervista al fotografo. Last Song for Migrating Birds From glue-covered sticks in Egypt hang two lives, and a question: How can we stop the slaughter of songbirds migrating across the Mediterranean?
But it seemed to me that the birdseller was saying something true about the problem of nature conservation in a world of human conflict, something not so easily refuted. He kissed his fingers to suggest how good the birds tasted, and I kept frowning at the cages. To a visitor from North America, where bird hunting is well regulated and only naughty farm boys shoot songbirds, the situation in the Mediterranean is appalling: Every year, from one end of it to the other, hundreds of millions of songbirds and larger migrants are killed for food, profit, sport, and general amusement.
The killing is substantially indiscriminate, with heavy impact on species already battered by destruction or fragmentation of their breeding habitat. Mediterraneans shoot cranes, storks, and large raptors for which governments to the north have multimillion-euro conservation projects. All across Europe bird populations are in steep decline, and the slaughter in the Mediterranean is one of the causes. Italian hunters and poachers are the most notorious; for much of the year, the woods and wetlands of rural Italy crackle with gunfire and songbird traps.
Songbird trapping is still widespread in parts of Spain; Maltese hunters, frustrated by a lack of native quarry, blast migrating raptors out of the sky; Cypriots harvest warblers on an industrial scale and consume them by the plateful, in defiance of the law. In the European Union, however, there are at least theoretical constraints on the killing of migratory birds.
Public opinion in the EU tends to favor conservation, and a variety of nature-protection groups are helping governments enforce the law. In Sicily, formerly a hot spot for raptor killing, poaching has been all but eliminated, and some of the former poachers have even become bird-watchers.
Where the situation for migrants is not improving is in the non-EU Mediterranean. February brought eastern Europe its coldest weather in 50 years. Geese that normally winter in the Danube Valley flew south to escape it, and some 50, of them descended on the plains of Albania, starving and exhausted. Every one of them was exterminated. Men using shotguns and old Russian Kalashnikovs mowed them down, while women and children carried the carcasses into towns for sale to restaurants. Although nobody in Albania is going hungry, the country has one of the lowest per capita incomes in Europe.
The unusual influx of saleable geese was literally a windfall for local farmers and villagers. For millennia birds making the northward journey from Africa were able to rest and refuel here before struggling on over the Dinaric Alps to their breeding grounds, and to stop here again in the fall before recrossing the Mediterranean. Under the year Marxist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, totalitarianism destroyed the fabric of Albanian society and tradition, and yet this was not a bad time for birds.
Hoxha reserved the privileges of hunting and private gun ownership for himself and a few trusted cronies. To this day the national Museum of Natural History displays bird trophies of Hoxha and other members of the politburo. Even after the rule of law was restored, Albanians kept their guns, and the country remained understandably averse to regulation of all kinds.
The economy began to grow, and one of the ways in which a generation of younger men in Tirana expressed their new freedom and prosperity was to buy expensive shotguns, by the thousands, and use them to do what formerly only the elite could do: kill birds. But being a new one, and feeling good about owning a licensed weapon, a very good powerful gun, and never having killed any birds before, it was fun at first. It was like when summer comes and you feel like jumping in the ocean. I would go out on my own and drive up into the hills for an hour. It was spontaneous. The hunter frowned.
But electoral power in Albania is narrowly balanced between two major political parties, each of which is loath to impose potentially unpopular regulation on an issue of minor concern to most voters. Bino is the deputy minister of the environment, and one morning he took me out to Divjaka-Karavasta National Park, the crown jewel of Albanian coastal preserves, a vast area of outstanding beach and wetland habitat.
It was mid-March, a time when hunting is banned throughout the country, and the park where hunting is prohibited year-round ought to have been full of wintering and migrating waterfowl and waders. Driving along the beach, we soon saw one reason why: A group of hunters had put out decoys and were shooting cormorants and godwits. We closed one area here in , and hunters showed up, shooting everything. In every case the Italians were using illegal high-quality bird-sound playback equipment and shooting as much as they wanted of whatever they wanted.
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On a second visit to Karavasta, without Bino, I saw two men in camouflage getting into a boat with guns, obviously hurrying to push off before I could speak to them. An Albanian helper of theirs, standing on the beach, told me that they were Albanians, but when I called out to them, they shouted back in Italian. They were out here from dawn to midnight yesterday. The guards? Albania was once ruled by Italy, and many Albanians still view Italians as models of sophistication and modernity.
Even in provincial villages, Albanian hunters now have MP3s of duck calls on their cell phones and iPods. Their new sophistication, coupled with an estimated , shotguns in a country of three million and a glut of other weapons that can be used opportunistically, has turned Albania into a giant sinkhole for eastern European migratory biomass: Millions of birds fly in and very few get out alive. The smart or lucky ones avoid the country.
On a beach in Velipoja I watched large flocks of garganeys fly back and forth in distress, far offshore, further exhausting themselves after crossing the Adriatic, because local hunters in well-spaced beach blinds prevented them from reaching the wetlands where they could feed. Martin Schneider-Jacoby, who was a bird specialist for the German organization EuroNatur until his death last summer, described to me how flocks of cranes, approaching Albania from the sea, divide in two by age group. They need the rest. They might still have the energy to get over the mountains, but maybe not then for successful breeding.
Spring migration, always awe-inspiring, had never seemed to me more so. Hunting bans are the only thing that seems to work right now. People will come to Karavasta to see the resting cranes. Many new hunters seem aware that something has to change; better environmental education and the coming growth of foreign tourism may increase demand for unspoiled natural areas; and bird populations will rebound quickly if the government enforces the law in protected areas. Farther south, hope is harder to come by. As in Albania, history and politics in Egypt militate against conservation.
The country is nominally a signatory to several international conventions regulating bird hunting, but long-standing resentment of European colonialism, compounded by the conflict between traditional Muslim culture and the destabilizing freedoms of the West, disincline the Egyptian government to abide by them.
The new president, Mohamed Morsi, could ill afford to enforce regulations overzealously; he had a lot more urgent worries than wildlife. In northeastern Africa, unlike in the Balkans, there is also an ancient, rich, and continuous tradition of harvesting migratory birds of all sizes. The miraculous provision of meat accompanying the manna from heaven that saved the Israelites in the Sinai is thought to have been migrating quail. As long as the practice was pursued by traditional methods handmade nets and lime sticks, small traps made of reeds, camels for transportation , the impact on Eurasian breeding bird populations was perhaps sustainable.
The problem now is that new technology has vastly increased the harvest, while the tradition remains in place. The most hope-confounding cultural disjunction, however, may be this: Egyptian bird hunters make no distinction between catching a fish and catching a bird indeed, in the Nile Delta, they use the same nets for both , whereas, for many Westerners, birds have a charisma, and thus an emotional and even ethical status, that fish do not.
In the desert west of Cairo, while sitting in a tent with six young Bedouin bird hunters, I saw a yellow wagtail hopping in the sand outside. My reaction was emotional: Here was a tiny, confiding, warm-blooded, beautifully plumaged animal that had just flown several hundred miles across the desert. The reaction of the hunter next to me was to grab an air rifle and take a shot. For him, when the wagtail fluttered off unharmed, it was as if a fish had got away. For me it was a rare moment of relief.
The six Bedouin, barely out of their teens, were camped in a sparse grove of acacias, surrounded in all directions by sand roasting in September sun.