We receive and publish the letter from the artistic director of the Tindari Festival, Anna Ricciardi.
We have been for long months, during the second year of Covid, working in silence, with our heads down, in solitude, in the dark, naked and with our hands smeared with blood and earth, with many moments of discouragement, with the poignant awareness of having to give up more than one debut. We have kept close with all the workers in the sector, waiting to be able to go on stage: we worked in the mine, like Ciaula, waiting to be amazed by our Moon, the breathtaking one that rises in front of the Tindari theater. Although the installation, by the great will of the director of the Targia Park, was only realized at the end of July, we nourished the awareness that the reopening of the ancient theaters, decreed by Minister Franceschini, would have constituted, once again this year, an unmissable opportunity after two winters of static cold and frost, an opportunity to have spaces for culture. Starting again in the second summer of the pandemic, among the thousand uncertainties of a thinned, wavering, frightened public and in many cases not inclined to the new rules of the green pass … We talked for a long time with the regional institutions: the councilor for cultural heritage, Alberto Samonà, who hosts the Festival in the archaeological park, miraculously found, once again this year, the resources for setting up the theater and sponsorships for some activities. But the resources needed to keep the Festival running are many, many … For two years, just those that coincide with the pandemic, the Municipality has already had limited sums for its institutional Festival, moreover blocked, also by the lack of approval of the Budget: a paradoxical situation not only if we consider that the sums allocated to the Festival from 2011 onwards recorded a catastrophically descending parable, for various and contingent reasons but in full pandemic, it was hoped it was right to find solutions to support the festival .. We hoped that, having worsened the conditions of the entire entertainment sector, there could be a jolt, a sign, an outstretched hand … from everyone … But the sulfur miners are destined to know the dark: we are here or we are not, nobody’s life changes, nobody fought for us, nobody cared for us, a form of closeness would have been enough, such as the one offered to us by ours. wonderful audience, it would have been enough for us to become present spectators, ready to applaud, to support us, to tell us “Is everything okay? What do you need?” What have we done wrong? We tried our best with courage, you must admit it, we were not afraid! Obviously we are not worthy … we sulfur miners of culture … Let us not think that there are controversies here, attacks, flag affiliations, political strategy such as the rumores would vulgarly give us: this is a photograph of the current status, an analysis, a cry for help in the name of high, universal values for which we all consider ourselves humble servants. Here there is a historical festival at stake, one of the oldest in Sicily, the cultural expression of the city, mirror of preservation and enhancement of classical culture but also of research. A 65-year-old festival, where the history of Italian theater and music has passed. Where we went back, (crazy that we were!), To make production with Tyndaris Augustea, a multi-handed work resulting from artistic, musical and scientific collaborations, institutional that for four years has been spreading the story of Tindari to an increasingly public vast! Whose profits? The agreement signed between the Archaeological Park and the Municipality of Patti, followed with determination by the councilor for the branch, Cesare Messina, has made it possible to reduce the costs provided for by the law for the use of the Greek theater, usually the pre-Covid costs. around 6000 euros, this year there were reductions of half but equally too many for the producers present on the bill, which is why only the agreement allowed the reduction of the concession fee, the insurance of the necessary surety. Leaving the producers to pay for essential services and to submit those documents (many) required by the regulation of archaeological parks. All the producers present in the Festival, even knowing that they cannot have any kind of contribution but the reduction of the aforementioned costs, certainly important, have also this year chosen the Greek theater of Tindari, to be part of the festival and take risks even with the significant reduction in capacity to 550 seats, as required by the anti-covid legislation … It was not a question of heroism, we know that no one forced us and that everything is part of the business risk but we cannot even pretend nothing has happened, “shrug”, move forward with ease. But are we really reduced to this? The abandoned institutional festival? The Festival is not a personal matter, neither of the producers, nor of the artists, it belongs to everyone …. it is not a party event, it is not a fact perimeter to indigenous reactions, the Greek theater of Tindari is the city in the world! It is one of the most beautiful examples of ancient theater of Magna Graecia, representative of the millenary history of Tindari !!! It is not an anonymous square, it is not a market … We have rendered a cultural service to the city, to all those who have chosen to follow the Tindari festival as the homeland of classical culture, in short, how can you imagine a Festival without the contribution of its own parent? This is the tip of the iceberg of very difficult years: every single year we fought for moral, ethical and cultural survival for one of the oldest festivals in Sicily with love and passion, we had no other weapons: none of us would have allowed for a just an instant to keep the gates closed as is done for dying places! The efforts made by everyone, in every order and degree, from offices, to artists, to the technical sector, to administrators is no longer enough. The two lacerating years of Covid for the entertainment sector put even more light on the critical issues, needs, gaps and the need for a new status, a structural transformation also by virtue of the new management of the Archaeological Park! A synergy, a foundation between the Municipality, the Park, the private institution and the Pro loco is an urgency that cannot be done without! Ma to whom does it benefit? Like Ciaula, head down, frightened, we are now finished and, once out of the mine, we are left with the wonder of having found the Moon: the audience with its enthusiasm! How much we wished that the same enthusiasm had also been on the part of all local politics. How much we still want the institutional Festival to receive the right attention.
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