Turin: the first stage
Turin is the city where the Caravan was born and also the place of its first artistic stage, that lasted from October to the beginning of the spring, when it finally made its way towards Seville. This first stage of the tour was organized by the Master in Social and Community Theatre of the University of Turin, DAMS, supported by the European Popular Theatre, with the direction of Alessandra Rossi Ghiglione in collaboration with CRT Foundation. A great city event was achieved for New Year’s Day 2012: a night trip through the city to make the identity of places, associations and inhabitants, that are going through a rebirth of the crisis, emerge through theatre and make them have, in the New Year’s night, an experience in which they can meet to perform a great collective ritual, in a city that has become, in the last years, more and more a metropolitan regeneration workshop.
Parties and lights in December
The preparation for the New Year’s Day event was long and accurate. It started in August with the mapping of the places and communities interested in giving testimony of their rebirth experience. Above all, the aim was to tell about the places that already had on their own walls the signs of the transformation and where projects and activities about important topics -such as multiculturalism, solidarity, new entrepreneurships, eco friendship, road education- were today developed. There was plenty of places and initiatives, much more than the organizers had imagined, but not all of those who had adhered to the New Year’s Day event could work for months at its carrying out. So we decided to increase the number of those important events with the communities. The result was that the month of December was full of free events: a veritable Community Theatre Party made up of 22 events and a travelling stage-set with shows, readings, road art, music, a radio programme and moments of conviviality that involved associations and inhabitants of the districts of Turin to share art and life experiences. For twelve years, in December Turin has been regularly lightened by artist lights. And this year, among the festivities of the 150th anniversary of Italian Unification, the Caravan had to be there. So the Caravan’s trip through the suburbs alternated with its presence in the baroque centre of Turin, San Carlo square, where Maurizio Agostinetto’s luminous installation was presented in collaboration with Agon Light. The title of the work is E adesso usciremo a riveder le stelle (“And now we will emerge to gaze upon the stars again”) and represents rebirth through an installation of stairs inspired by Salvador Dalì’s paintings. In San Carlo square, like in other more peripheral districts, Caravan also brought the artistic installation Re-birth certificate office, an “ambulant counter service” where the citizens, accompanied by two girls of the company, could record their personal witness of a personal rebirth -a new job, a new love, or the discharge of a loan, the dog adopted from the pound…- and receive an original certificate, celebrating it with a good jump.
If you want to change the world, just move.
A re-birth trip in the New Year’s night
After so many preparations, the time had come. In the New Year’s night the Caravan, followed by two normal buses “hijacked” for this occasion, brought 200 participants through an extraordinary trip in five places and communities that were city symbols of rebirth. A merry caravan livened up by actors and music players, that celebrated the New Year with acts of collective ritualism, balls, theatre plays and conviviality in the more unconventional way. The local communities made the travellers take part in celebration, theatre and art activities, in which more than a thousand people were involved. At every stage there was an exchange of gifts made by the communities for the citizens of the following stage, feeding the tie between different areas of the city that share the common willingness to overcome the crisis.
The trip started a long time before midnight. At 5.00 pm, the Caravan was in front of the gates of the first place/symbol of suffering and rebirth, the paediatric hospital “Regina Margherita”, where the school of theatre Maigret & Magritte, the Coop Mirafiori, Casa Oz and the care providers presented a theatre reading, about the life in the hospital made of emotions and intense experiences, by a community chorus of nurses, inhabitants, health workers and volunteers.
A path made of shoes, decorated by patients and educators, led the participants into the structure, where the faces and voices of those who live the hospital life and have medical care went on stage. The whole city took part in this stage with attention and generosity, making a gift of more than three hundred books for the children in the hospital. One hour later, the trip started. It was not just a displacement, but a path through the different people of the city, accompanied by stories, gifts, songs and some deliciousness to eat.
The trip of rebirth goes on roads that most people do not know. It does not stop in the big squares of the city centre or in the rich tree boulevards, it prefers to penetrate into the outskirts to discover their hidden treasures. The buses then took the night travellers to the north side of Turin, in Pietra Alta, where Sharing, a new social housing, was situated. Here the Caravan stage was animated by a video montage, made by the inhabitants, full of wishes in all the languages spoken in that district, music and songs. The Chinese community living in Sharing presented some typical auspicious boards, and a great South Italy music parade carried the crisis puppet, made by the children of the district schools, to the streets and then burned it in the bonfire of the old things. Before leaving we had a lot of toasts and saw some popular dances and the White Lady of Rebirth walking on stilts.
On the third stage, the travellers were welcomed at + Spazio quattro (former registry office of the district) by the Moldavian community, that offered them their traditional music and dance and their savoury bread, symbol of the simplicity and truth of what is necessary to think of tomorrow’s world.
The following stage was the longer lasting one, at the Cecchi Point – Multicultural Hub (the old city’s craftsman workshop, transformed in an open space for the district and current head quarter of theatre schools, post-school activities and a number of associations that work in the field of eco friendship), where a celebratory version of the traditional New Year’s Eve dinner, full of sense of community, took place. Fire eaters and jugglers introduced the open space with dances, music and songs The Cecchi Point team and the volunteers mounted exhibitions, video projections and spectacular moments about rebirth, carried out together with street children, primary school kids and elderly people, and this helped telling about the life in the city centre and in the district. The Caravan travellers had a frugal dinner with old people and with mothers and their kids, in a popular celebration full of chatter, anecdote telling and dance performances. At midnight, about six hundred people were united in a sincere wish of human and social rebirth, below the fireworks lit up by Caravan.
In late night, the buses travelled again and went to the House of District of the multicultural district of San Salvario (Liberty building, former municipal baths) to attend a ritual of propitiatory dancesin collaboration with the scene designer Doriana Crema. More than twenty non-professional people of different ages worked its creation for some weeks, sharing experiences and accounts from ex-Yugoslavia to North Africa. The group then included the participants in the final dance, on the rhythm of Balkan music and mulled wine. It was late then and, stage by stage, encounter by encounter, everyone’s experiences had become so many that had to root in everyone’s soul. At last, some happy new year wishes preluded to a year rich in hope and surprises.
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Caravan Turin’s numbers:
2230 participants | 272 volunteers | 52 associations involved | 47 artists, reporters and technicians | 366 Re-birth certificates issued | 323 books given as a gift to the “Regina Margherita” hospital | 20 Community Theatre events in 7 districts | 1 Artist Light in San Carlo square for 30 days
EVENT DIRECTION AND CONCEPTION ALESSANDRA ROSSI GHIGLIONE
ORGANIZATION ELENA DE PASCALE
COLLABORATION TO THE ARTISTIC REALIZATION ESTHER RUGGIERO
CARAVAN ARTISTS MAURIZIO AGOSTINETTO, DORIANA CREMA, ANTONELLA DELLI GATTI, ANTONELLA ENRIETTO, FRANCESCA GUGLIELMINO, ENRICO GENTINA, EMILIO LOCURCIO, ESTHER RUGGIERO, IRENE SALZA, STELLA SORCINELLI, FEDERICA TRIPODI
VIDEO AND PHOTO OPERATORS BIORITMO, FABIO MELOTTI, MINIMUMFAX MEDIA
TECHNICAL STAFF CLAUDIO ALBANO, DONATO TERRAMEO
The project Caravan. Artists on the road in Torino was realized in collaboration with: +SPAZIO4 | AGENZIA DI QUARTIERE DI SAN SALVARIO | ALTREMENTI | ARCHIMENTE | ASSOCIAZIONE AR.CO.TE | ASSOCIAZIONE IL CAMPANILE | ASSOCIAZIONE MUOVI EQUILIBRI | ASSOCIAZIONE ULAOP ONLUS_UN LUOGO AMICO DEI PICCOLI | ASSOCIAZIONE VILLAGGIO SNIA | BAGNI MUNICIPALI SAN SALVARIO | BAGNI MUNICIPALI VIA AGLIÈ | BANCA DEL TEMPO | BANCA POPOLARE ETICA | BIBLIOTECHE CIVICHE | CASA DEL QUARTIERE DI SAN SALVARIO | CASA OZ | CECCHI POINT | CIRIMELA PUNTO GIOCO | CIVILMENTE | COMPAGNIA 3001 | COMPAGNIA PLAYBACKTHEATRE ALNAIR | COOP MIRAFIORI | COOP. ACCOMAZZI | EL BARRIO | ESPRESS EDIZIONI | FIND THE CURE | ISTITUTO SACRO CUORE | LABORATORIO DI QUARTIERE DI PIETRA ALTA | MAIGRET & MAGRITTE | MCE | MONDO NUOVO | MUNICIPALE TEATRO | MUOVIEQUILIBRI | O.I.R.M. | OPERATORI COMMERCIALI AURORA – CECCHI BOYS | PIAZZA DEI MESTIERI | QUINTA TINTA | RADIO FLASH | RETE ITALIANA CULTURA POPOLARE | RIVER MOSSO | RSA CARLO ALBERTO | SHARING | SULLA PAROLA | TAVOLA DI BABELE | VIDEOCOMMUNITY
Under the patronage of: CITTA’ DI TORINO | CIRCOSCRIZIONE 1| CIRCOSCRIZIONE 3 | CIRCOSCRIZIONE 4 | CIRCOSCRIZIONE 6 | CIRCOSCRIZIONE 7 | CIRCOSCRIZIONE 8 | CIRCOSCRIZIONE 9 bonfire of the old things, made by the children of the district schools, to the streets and then burned it in the