Al Buio in Catania

Meeting in the Dark




 

 

 

 

 

One of the latest in an ever-growing network of  Inizjamed’s international partners is the Arci in Catania, which like other such cultural associations spread throughout the rest of Italy succeed in discovering their own local potential while turning it global by means of frequent encounters with similar foreing bodies. In fact, this is what happened when Inizjamed got involved earlier this year in one of Arci Catania’s major projects: Al buio, or In the dark. Together with experts ranging from Sweden to Spain Al Buio attempted to address the challenges blind people face in today’s cultural worlds, especially where visual art and sculpture are involved. Furthermore, the project included some unique experiences where sighted people got closer to sharing, and maybe understanding better what a sightless life is all about.

One such activity was the competition Scrivere al buio, or Writing in the dark. Over 30 writers from Italy and Malta participated in this literary project, which sought to provoke those who took part to reflect on a blind person’s relation to art and culture and write a poem, a story or an essay about this topic. Happily, the Maltese fared very well, with Immanuel Mifsud’s I’d thought the flowers had all died gaining a special mention, and On doors and windows, by Karsten Xuereb, sharing first prize with Danza Nera, by Anna di Mauro. Karsten was in Catania for the closing of the whole project, which allowed him to meet people like Hoelle Corvest and Christian Bessigneul, who are responsible for the administration of museums and visual arts in Paris, and Bruno Roberti, the film critic who wittily pointed out some interesting relations between cinema and the lack of light/sight.

The three days Karsten spent there were also spiced up by another special experience: Saturday is certainly disco night even in Catania, and Arci duly organized Danzare al buio, or Dancing in the dark. This particular night was held at I Magazzini Generali, which is a beautiful open air dance area/pizzeria surrounded by a small lake and lush vegetation, and here, Sergio Messina and DJ Painč, two popular Italian djs, held a dance session completely in the dark. No light shows, and the fact that you felt the whole room dance rather than saw it, was certainly an unusual experience.

If you want to share this different look at the cultural expressions around us visit www.inizjamed.cjb.net or www.albuio.org. See you there!

Karsten Xuereb - July 2001

 
 
 

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