CANTO PER EUROPA
from the homonymous book by Paolo Rumiz
July 8th, 21:15
reading with Paolo Rumiz
and with Lara Komar, Giorgio Monte
Aleksandar Sasha Karlic (oud, guitar, def, duduk, voice), Vangelis Merkouris (oud, bouzouki, voice)
direction Franco Però
light design and video elaboration by Franco Però
Europe, barbaric and soulless, has forgotten its origins and even its name. To find it, four western Argonauts – hardened nomads – sail across the Mediterranean on a 100-year-old boat, bearers of a great story. A boat with a red sail and a round stern, silent and mysterious, is sighted from afar off the gulf of Palermo, in Naples, then in Crete, Mallorca, the Ionian Sea or off the coast of Marseille until it reaches Cnidus, a ghost town on the border that unites Asia and Europe. It never appears in a port. She appears to be guided by the moon that protects her. This is the story of four men on a ship, four conquerors of the useless, four frontier men: Petros, the Admiral, Sam the lame Frenchman, Ulvi, the Turkish cook and the Narrator, astronomer and writer. They are looking for a goddess, mother of people, and it is towards the East that their journey will take an unexpected turn, that leads them to discover a new land and the story that embodies it. On the coast of Lebanon, they take on board a young Syrian refugee named Europa, who asks to flee with them to the west. From that moment on, she relives the legend of the Phoenician princess kidnapped by Jupiter transformed into a bull, while the journey crosses the wonders of the open sea but also the deviation of a world out of control: shipwrecks, emigrations and mass tourism, conflicts, plagues, fires and floods. Impregnated in a dream by the king of the Gods, the girl reveals herself as the Great Mother and, on seeing her new mainland for the first time, expresses her joy in such a way that her companions, who are moved, decide to give the continent her name. Her epic story will help them understand the meaning of their common homeland: Europe is “the dream of those who do not have it”, of those who come from afar, not of those who live there. But above all Europe is female, she is a daughter of Asia, she is a woman blessed by the gods, and perhaps the forefather of all migrants.
Paolo Rumiz rewrites the legend of our continent in a feminine way, mixing myth, travel, history and mystery with the tragedies of today. He questions its origins, its values, its tears and its lacerations. This is a story written at night, which isn’t an irrelevant detail because it is in the dark, around a fire, that the stories of our origins were born. Canto per Europa has the rhythm and the breath of these founding stories.
The work of an author who has always talked about the need to be citizens of the world.
⇒ Paolo Rumiz, from Trieste, is a writer and traveler. He is one of the leading experts on the concept of heimat – homeland, home – and of identities in Italy and Europe. His books have sold over 450,000 copies and are published in more than 10 countries. His latest publications for Feltrinelli are Il filo infinito. Viaggio alle radici d’Europa (2019), Il veliero sul tetto. Appunti per una clausura (2020), Canto per Europa (2021). He has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Premio Hemingway 1993 for his reportage from Bosnia, the Premio Chatwin-camminando per il mondo 2007, the Prix de L’Express 2012 and the Prix Nicolas Bouvier 2015.