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Spring 2016: SA comes back starring in italian cultural events (and I comes back writing about it here). Zuma’s troubles and economic indexes falling down have been almost the only refererrals to southafrica in italian press for months. Lately, in a few days, I’ve finally found something different. Better: something ‘ancient’.

 

Ancient like Madiba, whose life inspired in Cape town a musical, now willing to show in Italy. The Ravenna Festival, a primary review of theatre and music, will host the “Mandela trilogy” for 4 nights, on june 9-12th. Even if it’s a southafrican production, also an italian group – the Boccherini orchestra – will exhibit in it. And on june 20th Ravenna ’s audience will listen to the Minafric orchestra, made by jazz musicians of both countries.

 

That day will also be the last possibile to visit in Siena “Between home and wisdom”, an exhibition of pictures taken by italian photoreporter Tommaso Fiscaletti in Dunoon, Cape town. About 20 shoots (see one of them below) focused on Xhosa and sangoma women. Large bodies, strong colours, poor accomodations, hieratic looks: so similar to the ones I saw just a decade ago, in Khayelitsha.

 

Meanwhile, SA artist William Kentridge made a frieze along the Tevere river, in Rome. Since his vernissage, at the end of april, the painting started to attract italian and foreign visitors. Most of them ignores that quite near, under the bridges, lives single and families in their personal ways of shack. Concita di Gregorio and photographer Max Rossi, on Repubblica daily newspaper, reported some days ago some of their voices, included the ones of an italian couple with two pupils. “We’ve heard about the frieze – they said – it sounds like a pleasant thing for riches and tourists. But, maybe, one day we’ll go altogether to look at it. Probably on sunday, ’cause other days children must go to school”.