Archive for ‘Research&Development’

September 22, 2016

Dallo sbrocco di Briatore qualche riflessione meno cafona su Puglia, turismo e quello che vi sta intorno

by felicitamodna82

Proprio mentre terminavo la mia settimana di mare ad Otranto, Flavio Briatore si aggirava nelle stesse zone e lasciava alla popolazione ricordi meno positivi della sottoscritta. L’imprenditore ha rilasciato alcune dichiarazioni che hanno fatto incazzare tutti, a partire da noi fan del Salento non salentini, fino ad arrivare agli autoctoni e a diverse persone che si sono risentite a prescindere per i concetti espressi.

Ora, nelle dichiarazioni di Briatore ci sono sicuramente grosse dosi di cafoneria ed ignoranza, che lo rendono il perfetto protagonista di un cinepanettone. Detto questo, vi sono anche due o tre spunti interessanti che si possono trarre dalle sue parole.

I ricchi non sono tutti uguali

Qui contesto decisamente l’idea del ricco quale cafone privo di interessi che non siano piazzarsi in una struttura in centro e sul mare a far casino e disfarsi. I ricchi, i “normali” ed i poveri sono persone, e come tali sono tutti diversi fra loro. Mi vergogno quasi a scrivere simili ovvietà. Comunque, meglio ribadire anche l’ovvio, lezione imparata insegnando italiano a stranieri.

La Puglia è bellissima, soprattutto il Salento (via ai campanilismi!). Non capisco perché un ricco non dovrebbe essere capace di apprezzare ulivi, masserie, spiagge, scogliere, mare pulito, aria buona, quelle belle stradine fra muretti a secco ed ulivi, in piano o in collina, per le quali io personalmente adoro girare in auto e adorerei farlo anche in bici (essendo però la mia settimana di mare, ho lasciato stare la bici, confesso). O perché non dovrebbe interessarsi a manifestazioni popolari, musei, gastronomia. Oppure perché non dovrebbe semplicemente godersi un po’ di calma e quiete in spiaggia o fra gli ulivi al netto delle preoccupazioni di noi comuni mortali bollettari tout court o a rischio di tornare bollettari. L’essere ricco porrebbe semplicemente meno limiti di spesa.

Sinceramente non capisco come mai Briatore voglia far passare il messaggio che ricco = casinista cafone come lui. OK, self-marketing, convinciamo gli altri che siamo i più fighi…ma rendiamoci conto che certi trucchi del marketing non funzionano con persone con un certo tipo di intelligenza o con persone che conoscono le teorie dei marchettari guru del marketing. A fare di queste uscite si conquisterà forse qualche sempliciotto di tutti i ceti, ma ci si attira solo il compianto degli altri.

Vogliamo un esempio di ricco che sicuramente potrebbe essere interessato a quanto abbia da offrire la Puglia? Mark Zuckerberg, che guarda caso proprio oggi ha annunciato che finanzierà un super-progetto di ricerca sulla cura delle malattie che ci assillano, progetto che porterà sviluppo, benessere e Sapere.

Gli alberghetti (e le infrastrutture): uno spiraglio di ragionevolezza

Sinceramente, per essere una che gira abbastanza in Italia ed in Europa con tutti i mezzi possibili, e che oltretutto fa anche la receptionist (ahimè), posso dire in piena coscienza la Puglia non è messa così male. È chiaro che nel sistema Italia vi sono carenze nei trasporti pubblici e nelle piste ciclabili rispetto all’Europa Centrale e Settentrionale, carenze che al Sud o in certe zone tristissime del Nord e del Centro spesso diventano abissi quasi incolmabili (non facciamo i buonisti, inutile dire che “siamo tutti uguali” quando non lo siamo). In molte zone pure la rete stradale fa schifo. Tuttavia, devo dire che in Salento vi sono molti tratti di superstrada, i cartelli sono ovunque e sono piuttosto chiari, in Puglia ci sono pure ciclabili, porti e aeroporti, nonché stazioni ferroviarie. Si può migliorare? Sicuramente si può e si deve, ma va trovato il giusto equilibrio che rispetti la natura e la fisionomia del territorio. Di territori devastati per costruzioni fatte con poca testa e/o con i piedi ce ne sono troppi in tutto il mondo, così come ci sono occasioni di lavoro mancate a causa di posizioni ultra-ambientaliste per cui se tocchi qualcosa sei un umano cattivo specista bla bla bla.

Gli alberghetti… beh, diciamo che in Italia vi sono ancora troppe strutture che – a prescindere dalle stelle – hanno ancora arredamenti e/o bagni anni Sessanta/Settanta/Ottanta. Orrore. Ci sono anche altrove, intendiamoci…ma altrove si tende di più a buttare via ogni tot tutto quanto per rinnovare l’arredamento ed il bagno. Vivo in Austria da nove anni, paese in cui – assieme al Sud-Tirolo – sono maestri nell’applicare questo approccio alle strutture alberghiere e pure alle case private (solo su questo potrei fare un altro post dedicato 😀 ). Ripeto, non tutti fanno così, ma la maggioranza decisamente. Aspettare che le cose cadano a pezzi è semplicemente demenziale se si è albergatori. Io stessa ho dovuto scartare diverse opzioni appetibili per la posizione ad Otranto quest’anno perché non vado in una camera col bagno anni Settanta: piuttosto sto a casa. Il mio albergo abituale, un bel quattro stelle, era al completo per due notti, e ho preferito non traslocare nel bel mezzo del soggiorno e rivolgermi altrove se possibile.

Questo discorso dovrebbe valere anche per i due stelle. Non è che “due stelle” debba essere legato a “struttura fatiscente”; non è che i poveracci o la sempre meno media classe media si debbano accollare i cessi dismessi dai ricconi, eh! Dovrebbe semplicemente offrire tutto quanto in maniera molto basic. Anni fa sono stata in un due stelle nell’Appennino di quella città che noi modenesi non amiamo nominare, ed era “bello”, nel senso di nuovo, pulito, semplice. Quest’anno sono stata in un tre stelle con camere e struttura degni di un quattro stelle: la stella mancante era dovuta semplicemente al servizio meno ampio e privo di orpelli (che, francamente, delle volte fanno pure ridere. Le livree e certe cose eccessive dei quattro stelle mi sembrano lasciti di epoche fortunatamente finite che non un vero “servizio”, e penserei lo stesso anche se avessi i dindi di Briatore).

Intervenire per migliorare l’offerta complessiva alberghiera è molto più importante dell’aprire resort di super-iper-mega lusso. Sicuramente, ben vengano alcune strutture di alto livello, ci mancherebbe. Teniamo però presente che ci sono ricchi che sono felicissimi di stare anche in un “umile” quattro stelle ben fatto e ben servito.

I limiti dei locali alla Briatore

Non sono una di quelle che depreca un po’ di sano degrado, che – nei limiti imposti dal mio conto in banca e dalle mie altre attività – mi concedo pure io. Tuttavia, dubito molto che strutture di un certo tipo portino veramente sviluppo per i locali. Innanzitutto, un determinato tipo di clientela, specie se ricca e cafona, porta spesso anche danni. Poi, dubito che verranno assunte in massa persone del posto per lavorarci, visto che vengono richiesti solitamente profili di un certo tipo. È più facile che vengano assunte persone che hanno sempre lavorato nel “giro”. Ci sarà sicuramente dell’indotto, eh, però…però…

Cosa realmente serve?

Per me il Salento è uno dei posti più belli del mondo, assieme alle Dolomiti e alla mia natale Modena. Sì, ho detto Modena e non ho detto Salisburgo (nella cui periferia vivo da 9 anni). Il Duomo di Salisburgo fa cagare, e sinceramente Salisburgo è una trappola per turisti ed uno strumento di tortura per chi ci vive, per cui non riesco più a vederla con la poesia di dieci anni fa. Bello il centro storico, belli alcuni quartieri verdi, po’ basta (scritto in modenese per rimarcare il concetto).

Con il cambiamento climatico, pare che la “stagione” in Salento si stia prolungando parecchio. Questo fattore va sfruttato, tanto più che spesso molte famiglie della zona dicono che da ottobre ad aprile fanno veramente fatica a far quadrare i conti a causa della stagionalità vecchio stile di diversi posti di lavoro.

Ricordiamoci anche che le condizioni di lavoro nel turismo e nella gastronomia sono frequentemente davvero tremende (clima, orari, giorni di riposo…). Anche qualora non lo siano, le paghe non sono sufficienti – nella maggior parte dei casi – a compensare il grande sforzo che i lavoratori fanno nel dover lavorare per far divertire gli altri e rinunciare spesso ai loro hobby o dover fare ingegneria del tempo libero per curare le proprie relazioni amicali e familiari. Ogni discorso sul turismo non può prescindere da questo.

Detto questo, ultimare le infrastrutture in fase di progetto, di costruzione o di ultimazione è essenziale, così come effettuare le dovute migliorie a tutte le strutture alberghiere e diversificare l’offerta, senza rovinare o stravolgere la natura ed il paesaggio (ma anche senza irrealistiche pretese di salvaguardia di ogni singolo alberello). Importante è anche tenere meglio le strade, dare un aspetto meno trascurato ai paesi (ogni tanto ho passato vicoli che indurrebbero al suicidio perfino Pollyanna), offrire qualche corsa di treni locali e bus in più.

Ricordiamoci due cose: la prima è che, al di là dell’immagine del ricco che spende e spande, la vera ricchezza di un territorio che si basa sul turismo è data dal mantenere un flusso costante e diversificato di turisti (Austria docet in questo) – le mode passano, e non necessariamente i 15.000 € spesi dal riccone vanno in tasca ai locali -; la seconda è che se si vuole vivere in un mondo che si sta de-industrializzando bisogna investire sul turismo, soprattutto in Italia (ed in Salento), ricordandosi sia dei fruitori, sia degli investitori, sia dei bistrattati lavoratori.

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September 12, 2016

Stuprare, sì, ma con ironia

by felicitamodna82

Ri-bloggo questo articolo aggiungendovi alcuni miei pensieri che si discostano, in parte, dalla posizione presa nel post-fonte.
Dell’articolo originale apprezzo molto

  1. l’attenzione posta al problema della censura un po’ bizzarra attuata da Facebook
  2. l’astuto paragone con una simile conversazione virtuale su temi sui quali l’uomo occidentale medio è leggermente più sensibile che non sullo stupro delle donne.

Il mio personale pensiero è che…sì, è possibile fare dell’ironia, del sarcasmo, della satira, dello humour nero anche su temi come lo stupro. Su questo mi distinguo fortemente dall’ondata di politically correctness a tutti i costi ed aggressiva che pare aver invaso i social network ultimamente. È essenziale, però, nel farlo, tenere conto della forma, dei modi, del contesto. Se faccio un’uscita sarcastica con un amico con cui ci si conosce, evitando sia di causare equivoci, sia di traumatizzare potenzialmente una persona affetta da PTSD, è un conto. Se pubblico freddure secche a tema su blog dedicati a satira o humour nero, o se le recito in un contesto quale una finzione teatrale, mi dovrebbero leggere/sentire solo gli interessati al genere, e il contesto è chiaro, idem. Se eventuali scrittori poi dovessero essere cripto-stupratori, sarebbe problema della giustizia e non della scure di solito parecchio pasticciona della censura.
Se però in un gruppo di conoscenze virtuali, con sconosciuti, ci si lascia andare a lunghe conversazioni su ipotesi e metodi per stuprare una donna sedata senza farsi beccare, il sospetto che qualcuno stia realmente premeditando un reato c’è, ed è forte, e verrebbe a chiunque. Perlomeno, a chiunque sia dotato di basilari capacità di comprensione di lettura e di fiutare possibili personalità non proprio equilibrate. Nella migliore delle ipotesi, chi scrive di queste cose è qualcuno con una completa ignoranza di quello che era il programma di italiano delle medie e delle superiori dei miei tempi, nonché di come funzionano una società ed uno stato moderni. Nella peggiore, siamo davanti ad un covo di stupratori. Più verosimilmente, mi viene da pensare che vi sia grossa confusione rispetto a cosa siano il consenso, il diritto di tutti i partecipanti ad una scopata di discutere cosa e come fare e di godere, lo status di persona umana (che evidentemente non vale per tutti); una confusione nella quale sicuramente regnano i sopracitati ignorantoni, e probabilmente si nasconde anche qualche stupratore/stupratore in fieri.

Il Maschio Beta

Ieri mattina la pagina Facebook “La Friendzone non esiste” pubblica lo screenshot di alcuni commenti in cui dei ragazzi si chiedono se sia effettivamente stupro quando la ragazza è in stato di incoscienza perché drogata: si scambiano pareri e battute, incuranti dell’oggetto della loro – chiamiamola per il momento così – goliardia, nonché del fatto che una persona, membro come loro di questo gruppo segreto su Facebook, crede di fare cosa giusta denunciando lo scambio alle admin di una pagina femminista.

fb_img_1473425976006La pagina pubblica subito il post, non curandosi di cancellare i nomi degli interlocutori, in quanto ritiene che la gogna mediatica per chi fa battute e scherza su una ragazza in stato di incoscienza penetrata sessualmente non sia che il minimo. Io stesso ritengo di dover pubblicare a mia volta lo scambio sulla mia paginetta, che conta sì molti meno seguaci, ma che a causa delle proteste e delle…

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September 2, 2016

Why I defend Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon (and why I am angry at another bad joke)

by felicitamodna82
Not-so-important foreword:

I resume my blog, hoping my huge issues with writing will be successfully dealt with in a few months…

What can one do with stereotypes?

Stereotypes and prejudices are widespread, and sometimes serve as a source of inspiration or as basis for humour or satire (please note that, even though there is a relation between those two, they are not the same thing). Right now, politically correctness is challenging many common approaches to humour. This is good in most cases, although I have seen some huge misunderstandings, and also many cases of outright censorship, the latter of which I don’t support. Calling somebody out on his or her implicit support of shit like racism, sexism and co. allows for a discussion on the matter; censorship usually acts more as the broom sweeping the dirt under the carpet than anything else, not to mention that not all politically incorrect jokes are necessarily  a sign of implicit support of racism, sexism, ableism, whatever.

Anyway…

Today, the Italian-speaking internet is roaring and rioting because of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons about the earthquake in Central Italy (one of the centres next to the epicentre being Amatrice, the town which gave the name to the amatriciana sauce. Yes, this is relevant).

Yesterday, my not-so-humble person found in her Facebook homepage a dumb link, shared by a commercial state-funded Austrian radio station. The link was stating a very racist thing about, well, Italians. I am a poor Italian living in Austria (relevant as well).

Now, let’s review the type of humour, the content, and the source,  and let’s analyse my very different reaction to those links.

Charlie Hebdo and the new Italian speciality

charlie hebdo earthquake

CH’s cartoon: Italian-style seism. All rights to CH itself.

(I am not fluent in French, but I understand it a little: it says “penne with tomato sauce”, “gratin penne” and “lasagne”).

CH’s cartoon hits hard, and I recognize it. After the initial impact, though, my brain immediately connected the menu-like style of the captions to the typical image of Italy abroad so far (Italian speciality: pasta & pizza) and to the sad, recurring episodes of mass murder by community inaction almost every time there is an earthquake in Italy. Considering that the country is full of active faults, considering the last 20 years [I remember Modena-Reggio (Po plain) 1996, Assisi and co. 1997?, Parma-Reggio-Modena (mountain districts) 2008, l’Aquila 2009, Modena-Ferrara (Po plain) 2012], considering the costs for modernising/restoring/rebuilding cannot be covered by sig. and sig. ra Average Italian, and considering that money in Italy gets thrown out of the window in every possible way except by funding interventions in this sense, well, I think the evil satiric magazine hit the right spot.

Right now, the new Italian speciality is going to be wounding and killing Italian citizens by letting their houses collapse on them, not pasta (or pizza, for all that matters). Bravo, Charlie Hebdo. I read the cartoon like this and I appreciated it. (now I fear I will discover they did not mean it like that and I will be publicly stoned. Not “stoned” the funny way, the other).

Please note that the same magnitude of the above mentioned earthquakes in, say, Japan would not have had all the casualties, the damages and the homeless people we  had.

I appreciated the Italian black humour and satire blog Umore Maligno even more. Following the wave of indignation, they published:

Emilia-Romagna protests against CH’s cartoon: “Hey, the lasagne would be US!””

They made fun of the very strange indignation of some who have been Charlie for as long as only certain targets were targeted, or who spread sexism every single day “because it’s funny”; they got the point with lasagne being from Emilia and the amatriciana sauce from Amatrice; they might have reminded many readers that people in Modena and Ferrara still live in containers (or maybe they just wanted to get more clicks and squirted out some words nobody could ignore? Another stoning for me).

Now, making fun of the dead is bad, bla bla bla, yadda yadda. But these are declared satirical publications: they exploit sarcasm and black humour, and sometimes they even make people think about things. Like in this case. I see no disrespect towards victims, because there really is none. They are depicted as victims even here. Please note that I suffer from PTSD, and one of the things that triggers it is an earthquake. I experienced the 1996 and the 2008 ones, and my closest relatives and friends were hit by the 2012 one, some of them even hard, so spare me the “you don’t know what you are talking about”.

Moreover, Charlie Hebdo clearly still depicts the earthquake victims as victims. I would not say they lacked humanity, after all.

And even if all this does not convince you, it is satire, you either like it or not. I asked my friends to make a black humour and satire contest in case I die…so I’d say I like it. If you don’t, don’t like it, but please don’t make them responsible for the victims and don’t promote shootings (yes, some people are wishing those religious idiots come back and finish the job).

Ö3’s way of using my radio licence money in order to make people even dumber than they already are.

Ö3 is a state Austrian radio station broadcasting commercial stuff. Many of us usually follow it in order to get some news and traffic updates, but apart from a few specials I don’t listen to it.

For some reasons I got to read this in my newsfeed:

italiener

People speaking 3 languages: trilingual. People speaking 2 languages: bilingual. People speaking only one language: Italians

Now, why did Frau Ratti get angry at this?

  1. Ö3 is funded by all Austrian residents, even if they are not Austrians. Especially if they are not Austrians.
  2. It is not like the level of the contents they usually publish is particularly high or educational (understatement of the year. Hint:” Frag das ganze Land”), but supporting stereotypes and prejudices is very, very bad. It gets even worse when many people find it amusing, and many others increase the fun by adding that the French are worse.
  3. Partially a corollary of no.1 and no. 2, they are actually supporting people living in Austria to perpetuate what I call “the velvet discrimination” against Italians in Austria. We are not Muslims and we don’t get the hatred and the suspicion other groups get, but somehow too many people approach Italians with ideas stuck in their heads such as we don’t speak languages, we are adorable and trendy stupid people, we are lazy, we are always late (because stupid and lazy), we are only good for working in gastronomy, and many other things. You don’t know what I mean if you haven’t experienced it. I have been often discriminated because I am Italian, and the fact that it is not a hateful or violent discrimination does not make it a discrimination any less.
  4. They are not making satire or use sarcasm; they don’t want to create paradoxical situations where humour is not just meant as a means to laugh because the paradox itself emerges and makes you question the real issue behind the joke. They are not making extremely tasteless jokes for shock value on a blog followed only by fans of the genre. They are not even Italians criticizing what’s wrong in the Peninsula. They seriously think they are funny (and cute because they spend their holidays in Italy).

I will leave out the fact that bashing at a numerically relevant community is quite stupid, because I simply don’t approve that a state radio station supports discrimination (soft or hard, does not matter), spreads it (they obviously have some good coverage), and uses everybody’s money to do it. The size of the targeted group should not be a criterion for accepting a discriminating joke or not.

My answer was:

ö3 comment

Only two likes for my sarcasm. That speaks volumes…

Translation: “All right. Now I hope that I – being a trilingual Italian woman – will be exempted from paying TV and radio licence fee from now on, because there is no way I pay it in order to fund the dumbing down of the current population”.

Ach, I thought I was sooo funny…

 

 

January 23, 2014

A flood of memories and thoughts (inspired by Gabriele Testi)

by felicitamodna82

A short text with stories, history, news and sarcasm born from some night chatting about disasters and World War Two

My homeland Modena must miss me. Since I moved to Salzburg things started to go pretty bad over there.

We all have to admit that scoring an earthquake (May 2012), two tornadoes (May 2013) and a massive flood (January 2014) in a row really is a huge achievement. (On this blog you can check where the several epicentres of the earthquake were, terremoto, where the tornadoes stroke, tromba d’aria; the flooded area in blue)

There could be many different thoughts I could share on my blog talking of this last disaster. But pouring out my wrath about politicians and administrations would mean simply picturing them in a bad bad bad light, and this is entirely too easy! I have standards too, I cannot lower them further than they are right now. Even though, in that case I would have to start digging, and digging canals and navigations could be useful in this time of flooding. But I am not an engineer, and besides I have a painful spinal disc herniation, so I’d better leave digging for another time.

Therefore, let us focus on another thing: Italian media are ignoring the tragedy .

Many friends of mine on Facebook started sharing a photo published by a NYT blog, called Lens. Comments pointed to the fact that Italian journalism ignored us, while the American press instead apparently took our situation more seriously. Actually, that was not a news but a blog dedicated to photography, therefore the

New York Times Blog "Lens"  featuring the Modena flood

New York Times Blog “Lens” featuring the Modena flood

enthusiasm should be kept in perspective. Nevertheless one must admit that, although we did not impress the Italian press –  outside Modena, of course -, this NYT blog did list “us” among the pictures of the day, as the no. 5 of the 20th January more precisely, among other pretty bad situations all around the world (clashes, bombings, other massive floods).

After sharing this myself, the friend and journalist Gabriele Testi “liked and shared” the “Facebook way” as well, and took the opportunity to check when had been the last time the NYT wrote about the “Secchia river”. It was 1945, and the Allied Armed Forces were marching along the Secchia in order to reach the Po river. Our Modenese sources and memories (including my parents’ ones) about the end of World War Two all mention the marching troops on the Canaletto, a road following for most of its course the river Secchia and leading to the Brenner. Gabriele’s discovery lead us to some night chatting: I was waiting for the pain meds to kick in and could not sleep, he is a journalist and is probably used to covering news and researching facts at night…

(little remark: Gabriele is a male name in Italian!)

The flooded territories are located between two rivers, the Secchia (the one that literally poured out when the levee in one of the north suburbs of Modena broke, and the Panaro. Their courses come closer shortly after the city of Modena, in its immediate northern outskirts (suburbs of San Matteo, Albareto and Navicello), and they flow this close until after Sorbara/San Prospero and  Bomporto. The Secchia has flooded all the territories to the river Panaro, thus resulting in a terrible flood also in the before-mentioned town of Bomporto (where, by the way, I used to live prior to my migration to Salzburg). Bomporto is located on the river Panaro and has an old bridge crossing the Panaro itself, connecting Bomporto to Casoni di Ravarino. While chatting with Gabriele on my Facebook account about US troops and Modenese rivers I recalled my researches for the Historical Dictionary of Modenese Antifascism, which included consulting a huge amount of orders of battle to understand more of some local biographies (partisans fighting here and there, old books reporting things I found a little suspicious or unlikely). Due to my focus, I only went to Berlin and Freiburg to research directly in the archives for German diaries. Nevertheless, I looked up a few second-hand things about the Allied troops as well. So, I stumbled upon the march of the 10th Mountain Division, marching on Bomporto, or better, occupying its bridge, which was considered strategic. These facts are stated, for instance, on this site and even on my not so beloved Wikipedia, where a footnote about the occupation of the Bomporto bridge on the river Panaro leads  to “Young, Gordon Russell (1959), Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office”.

The real-life Trapp family, the one you probably know from The Sound of Music, escaped to the USA (not to Switzerland), had Italian citizenship and had two boys who were sent to serve in the 10th Mountain Division, Rupert and Werner. According to Maria’s and Agathe’s memories, they were indeed fighting in our territories: Agathe mentions Mount Belvedere, which is between Lizzano in Belvedere and Montese. Montese hosted a well-known battle, where the Brazilian Army fought bravely. Moreover, Montese lies in the upper part of the Panaro valley and drainage basin. I have absolutely no evidence that the two Trapp boys entered Bomporto on that April day in 1945 but somehow I can picture them descending with their division the paths leading through Marano, Vignola, Castelfranco, Nonantola to Bomporto. Who knows if they did? Well, I would know how to find out this, but unfortunately I have other projects scheduled as soon as my herniation gets better, so this particular inquiry will have to wait. (About the Trapp family, Maria A. Trapp, The story of the Trapp Family Singers, and Agathe von Trapp, Memories before and After The Sound of Music, as well as their official website).

What is the moral of this story?

Mr Sheffield: And the moral of the story is?

Fran: Everything has to have a moral? What am I, Mother Goose?

(Yet another quote from “The Nanny” on this blog, episode 2.17 “The Will”)

Well, my herniation tells me I am starting to morph into Mother Goose, so here are a few reasons I wrote this story:

– This is an interesting story following a sort of a stream of consciousness with punctuation, a flood of memories brought to us by three things: a flood, my unpaid occupation as an historian and some strong pain meds. No science, just some storytelling here for entertainment purposes, which is something many blogs do, and you will agree with me that this is quite pleasant, especially for curious people like me. I also know that tags such WWII, Bob Dylan, Trapp, Sound of Music, The Nanny will attract people! And this leads to the other reason:

– I would hope to draw some attention on this troubled land and raise some awareness about the situation: yes, it is my personal affection and concern since I was born and raised there, my family and friends are still there. But it is also a land which used to contribute alone to the 1% of the Italian GDP before the earthquake and which is slowly dying due to the stubbornness of the government and of the local administrations, neither granting any tax free time range nor investing in the local reconstruction. Instead, they focus on other “investments” I would not be proud of. But this is an issue I would not like to  address. This land produces a lot of fine eno-gastronomic specialities, excellent biomedical technologies, beautiful cars, and moreover hosts exquisite architectural and artistic treasures. I assure that a visit to our Province would not disappoint you if things were a little more…normal, you know?

If it keep on rainin’ the levee gonna break
If it keep on rainin’ the levee gonna break
Everybody saying this is a day only the Lord could make

Wanna help?
May 22, 2012

Of nature in my home land…20th May 2012 (terremoto, earthquake, Erdbeben)

by felicitamodna82

Work in progress!!!! 20.05 first quakes/Erste Beben; 29.05 new big quakes after a week of afterquakes/neue großen Beben nach einer Woche Nachbeben!!!!!!! Updates/Aktualisierungen http://gazzettadimodena.gelocal.it/ —-> terremoto. Help&Videos —>below/Hilfe&Videos—>unten

As many of you probably already know, an earthquake hit the Provinces of Modena and Ferrara and some Municipalities in Mantova, Bologna, Reggio Emilia, Rovigo. The Northern districts of Modena are hardly hit. Wie viele von euch wahrscheinlich schon wissen, wurden die Provinzen Modena und Ferrara und einige Gemeinden in Mantua, Bologna, Reggio Emilia, Rovigo von einem Erdbeben betroffen. Die nördlichen Bezirken in Modena sind stark betroffen.

When I travel home for a while, coming from Salzburg, I usually take the train. The German-Austrian EC München-Bologna crosses the Po river in Ostiglia and then enters my homeland in Mirandola, nevertheless travelling far away from the beautiful city of the Picos.  Finally the train crosses San Felice sul Panaro. Wide, open, fertile fields and the warm and beautiful centre of San Felice with the church and the castle used to be my welcome home. Not anymore, I guess. Wenn ich ein bisschen heim sein will, fahre ich  mit dem Zug ab Salzburg. Der DB-ÖBB EC München-Bologna überbruckt den Po-Fluss in Ostiglia und kommt dann in meine Heimat in Mirandola, obwohl er weit von der schönen Stadt der Pico fährt. Endlich durchfährt der Zug San Felice sul Panaro. Breite, offene, fruchtbare Felder und die warme und schöne Altstadt von San Felice mit der Kirche und dem Schloss waren in der Regel mein “Willkommen heim”. Nicht mehr, befürchte ich.

Thousands lost their home. Tausende haben ihr Daheim verloren. Migliaia hanno perso casa.

Industries, shops, farms are closed due to damages or even destructions and thus we are not able to work in order to pay for repairing or rebuilding using our own wages. Industrien, Geschäfte und Bauernhöfe sind aufgrund der Schaden oder sogar der Zerstörungen geschlossen und deswegen können wir nicht arbeiten, um das Geld zum renovieren oder wiederaufbauen zu verdienen.

A huge part of our cultural heritage is gone. Castles, towers, the church where the famous Humanist Pico della Mirandola’s parents were laid to rest are destroyed or damaged. Ein großer Teil unseres kulturellen Erbgutes ist verloren. Schlösser, Türme, die Kirche, in welcher die Eltern des berühmten Humanist Pico della Mirandola begraben wurde, sind zerstört oder beschädigt. (Update: Church/Kirche San Francesco destroyed/zerstört)http://www.linkiesta.it/chiesa-san-francesco-mirandola

http://www.artribune.com/2012/05/terremoto-in-emilia-i-dieci-monumenti-che-non-ci-sono-piu-dalla-rocca-di-san-felice-sul-panaro-alla-torre-di-finale-emilia/?fb_ref=.T7lgL32Qfpk.like&fb_source=home_multiline

Effects/Auswirkungen:

How to help? Wie kann man helfen?

1) Buy products from Modena and Ferrara, so that we can rise again! Produkte aus Modena und Ferrara kaufen, so dass wir wieder aufstehen können!

Parmigiano-Reggiano from the Province of Modena/aus der Provinz Modena (especially/besonders Mirandola, San Felice sul Panaro, Finale Emilia, Camposanto, Ravarino, San Possidonio, Cavezzo, Medolla) and from the Municipalities of/und aus der Gemeinden San Giovanni in Persiceto and Crevalcore. I should get in touch with some farmers who should deliver, so just comment here to show your interest. Ich sollte einige Bauern kontaktieren, die liefern können dürften, so einfach hier kommentieren, um in Kontakt zu treten. >>>This production is experiencing an EMERGENCY!!!  Diese Produktion ist in NOT!!!<<<  Photogallery damages/Schäden http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.437074152984163.103877.100000447450493&type=3

Grana Padano, prosciutto, salumi:try to check that they come from/bitte Herkunft möglichst kontrollieren: Mirandola, San Felice sul Panaro, Finale Emilia, Camposanto, Ravarino, San Possidonio, Cavezzo, Medolla (Prov. Modena), Crevalcore, San Giovanni in Persiceto (Prov. Bologna), Bondeno, Sant´Agostino (Ferrara).

Fruit, jam, sauces/Obst, Marmelade und Soßen

Aceto Balsamico di Modena

Biomedical equipment/devices and so on from/Medizintechnische Geräte aus Mirandola, Medolla, Concordia, Cavezzo, San Felice sul Panaro, San Possidonio, San Prospero, Carpi.

Books/Bücher

other products (see origin above)/andere Produkte (Herkunft oben ansehen)

Information:

Confcooperative Modena http://www.facebook.com/confcooperative.modena

Consorzio Parmigiano-Reggiano http://www.facebook.com/parmigianoreggiano

Fliliera Corta http://www.arcimodena.org/component/content/article/40-arci-news/516-filieracorta-e-arci-modena-a-sostegno-dellazienda-casumaro-colpita-dal-sisma-del-20-maggio-informazioni-su-come-contribuire.html

Biomedicale/Biomedical production/medizintechnische Produktion (Gabriele Testi – Linkiesta) http://www.linkiesta.it/distretto-biomedicale-mirandola-terremoto  & (Annalisa Dall’Oca – Il Fatto Quotidiano) http://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2012/05/28/terremoto-emilia-ginocchio-aziende-forniscono-ospedali/243896/ & (Marco Sarti – Linkiesta) http://www.linkiesta.it/terremoto-cavezzo-artech

Epicentres/Epizentren + Info  (Main quakes/Hauptbeben: 20.05.2012 = Finale Emilia, Modena, 4:04 GMT+1; 29.05.2012 = Medolla, Modena, 9:04 GMT+1)
INGV BLOG —-> http://ingvterremoti.wordpress.com/      —->terremoto pianura padana emiliana

Photogallery  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3789783635029.289448.1590250517&type=1

Scientific information/Wissenschaftliche Information (The Po plain in the surroundings is now 15 cm higher and 3-4 Richter quakes continue every day! Die Po-Ebene in der Umgebung ist jetzt 15 cm höher und 3-4- Richter Beben gehen weiter!)

http://www.ingv.it/primo-piano/comunicazione/2012/05200508/

http://www.fondazionegiuliani.it/news-dalla-fondazionepgg/terremoti/1467-terremoto-emilia-romagna-continuano-le-scosse-oltre-200-eventi

http://www.terra.unimore.it/crisi-sismica-201205.php

The Fould/Die Verwerfung http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.389505684434135.108255.172757972775575&type=1

http://www.meteoweb.eu/2012/05/le-foto-piu-impressionanti-degli-effetti-del-terremoto-in-emilia-crepe-crolli-e-voragini-anche-in-campagna/135852/

2) Information (Italian)

http://www.provincia.modena.it/page.asp?IDCategoria=6&IDSezione=1613&ID=100151

http://www.volontariamo.com/news-e-appuntamenti/notizie/item/1286-terremoto-in-emilia-ecco-come-aiutare

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Città-di-Mirandola/200112844612

http://www.facebook.com/groups/383149371732020/

A nice blog whose concept says: ” In a time of crisis and problems we believe that Italy can manage her way out of troubles by using her human and natural resources, the beauty of her territory, the richness of her products”. Great idea! It features many proposals from the damaged territories: http://sosblogger.wordpress.com/

3) Contact me!/Mich kontaktieren!

We are going to organise several initiatives (i.e. in Salzburg and surroundings) you can help with or make a small donation for you can afford. I am a simple girl from the Modenese people, so you won´t have to fear that your efforts get wasted in political tricks. Our idea is: make industries and shops work again, so that we can rebuild houses and start rebuilding monuments with our own efforts, then funding reconstruction of monuments. We want them as they used to be, or even better. Wir werden verschiedene Initiativen organisieren (z.B. in Salzburg und Umgebung), in welchen ihr helfen könnt oder für welche eine kleine Spende möglich ist, die keine finanzielle Belastung wird. Ich bin ein einfaches Mädchen aus dem modenesischen Volk, also muss man nicht befürchten, dass eure Bemühungen in politischen Spielen weggeschmissen werden. Unsere Idee ist: machten wir Industrien und Geschäfte wieder produktions- oder arbeitsfähig, so dass wir die Wiedererrichtung der Häuser und  teilweise der Monumente mit unseren Löhnen/Gehältern selber bezahlen können. Dann Wiedererrichtung der Monumente unterstützen. Wir wollen sie, wie sie früher waren, oder sogar besser!

I am able to work with several groups on location(I plan to travel home on the 19th June). Especially people living around Salzburg could comment here in order to get in touch with me/Ich kann mit verschiedenen Gruppen vom Ort aribeiten (Ich habe geplant, am 19. Juni heim zu fahren). Besonders Personen aus dem Raum Salzburg könnten hier kommentieren, um mit mir in Kontakt zu treten.

Some information about helping several autonomous camps in the city of Rovereto sulla Secchia

http://campochiesanord15.wordpress.com/avremmo-bisogno-di/

4) Offerte/Donations/Spenden     A) – S)  choose! auswählen; H)- O)=  single municipalities/einzelne Gemeinden

(you may ask me for further information)/Sie können mich zusätzliche Informationen fragen):

a) Banca Unicredit, piazza Grande 40, Modena.

Beneficiario/account holder/Kontoinhaber: Amm.ne provinciale di Modena Interventi di solidarietà
IBAN IT 52 M 02008 12930 00000 3398693
BIC/Swift code UNCRITM147Y
Causale/Payment purpose/Verwendungszweck: Terremoto maggio 2012

b) Or/Oder click here/hier http://www.kapipal.com/fdf20a6b48af4d95a60b46dab6a0ec54

c) Or another account from the/oder ein anderes Konto aus der Partito della Rifondazione Comunista ((for workers who cannot work/für Arbeiter, die nicht arbeiten können)
Beneficiario/account holder/Kontoinhaber PARTITO DELLA RIFONDAZIONE COMUNISTA – COMITATO REGIONALE EMILIA-ROMAGNA

Via Menganti 8 – 40133 Bologna

IBAN: IT 06 L 02008 12932 000003118146

Causale/payment purpose/Verwendungszweck: cassa resistenza terremoto

d) or another account from the/oder ein anderes Konto aus der “Movimento 5 stelle”:

IBAN: IT 76 N 02008 02460 000102085251.

BIC: UNCRITM1NT6

Beneficiario/account holder/Kontoinhaber Gruppo Assembleare Movimento 5 Stelle-Beppegrillo.it Emilia-Romagna

Causale/payment purpose/Verwendungszweck Aiuto alle popolazioni colpite dal terremoto in Emilia-Romagna

http://www.beppegrillo.it/listeciviche/liste/emiliaromagna/2012/05/conto-corrente-di-solidarieta-alle-vittime-del-terremoto-aperto-dallm5s-garantiamo-noi.html

e) Caritas Diocesana di Bologna c/o Banca Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna

Beneficiario/account holder/Kontoinhaber: Arcidiocesi di Bologna

IBAN IT27Y0538702400000000000555

Causale/payment purpose/Verwendungszweck: terremoto in Emilia Romagna.

f) Beneficiario/account holder/Kontoinhaber + Banca: EMIL BANCA

IBAN: IT 06 L 07072 02404 000017741960

Causale/payment purpose/Verwendungszweck “Emergenza terremoto Emilia”.

g) PARTITO DEMOCRATICO

IBAN: IT02 N031 2702 4100 0000 000 1 494

UNIPOL BANCA

Causale/payment purpose/Verwendungszweck EMERGENZA TERREMOTO EMILIA-ROMAGNA

Beneficiario/account holder/Kontoinhaber: Partito Democratico Emilia-Romagna

h) Comune di Mirandola (beneficiario/account holder/Kontoinhaber)

http://www.comune.mirandola.mo.it/news/per-i-bonifici

IBAN IT87N0503466850000000005050,

SWIFT code BAPPIT21405

causale/payment purpose/Verwendungszweck “terremoto maggio 2012”.

i) Comune di San Felice sul Panaro (Beneficiario/account holder/Kontoinhaber)
IBAN: IT84X0503466980000000000100
SWIFT: BAPPIT22
Causale/payment purpose/Verwendungszweck “terremoto maggio 2012” (or a thought from you/oder einen Gedank von Ihnen)

l) Comune di Finale Emilia (Beneficiario/account holder/Kontoinhaber)

IBAN IT82E0611566750000000133314

SWIFT Code: CRCEIT2C

http://sos.comunefinale.net/10-aiuti/13-quali-sono-i-c-c-messi-a-disposizione-per-raccogliere-fond

i

Causale/payment purpose/Verwendungszweck “SOS emergenza terremoto”

m) Group from the/Gruppe aus der Comune di Rovereto sulla Secchia (NOT/NICHT Rovereto di Trento!!!!!!!!)

Beneficiario/account holder/Kontoinhaber Bianchini Roberto per associazione “Rovereto insieme”.

IBAN IT 03 B 05034 12802 000 000 009 170

http://insiemexrovereto.com/

All Municipalities here on the right side of the home page/Alle Gemeinden hier rechts auf der Anfangseite

http://www.dtazzioli.blogspot.ch/

n) Novi di Modena-Rovereto- S. Antonio in Mercadello

Banca Unicredit

IT 38 N 02008 66903 000100560218

Swift UNCRITM10J3

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Help-Novi-Rovereto-SAntonio/275334032565390

o) Comune di Concordia sulla Secchia

Beneficiario/account holder/Kontoinhaber: Tesoreria del Comune di Concordia sulla Secchia

Causale/payment purpose/Verwendungszweck: Emergenza Terremoto Concordia Maggio 2012

IBAN: IT 57 H 05387 66730 000000944949

Bank: Banca Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna, Filiale di Concordia

http://www.concordiaterremoto.it/?page_id=6

p) If you live in Germany, you may consider this opportunity. The city of Ostfildern has a partnership with Mirandola and therefore opened a dedicated account/Wenn Sie in Deutschland leben, können Sie vielleicht diese Möglichkeit wahrnehmen. Die Stadt Ostfildern hat eine Partnerschaft mit Mirandola und hat deswegen ein Konto eröffnet:

http://www.ostfildern.de/Spenden+f%C3%BCr+die+Erdbebenopfer+in+Mirandola+erbeten.html

q) Rock no war ONLUS (no profit)

Beneficiario/Account holder/Kontoinhaber “Rock No War Onlus”

Causale/payment purpose/Verwendungszweck   “Terremoto Emilia 2012”
BANCA INTERPROVINCIALE – Agenzia di Formigine
IBAN IT13 Q 03395 66780 CC00 2000 3842

www.rocknowar.it

or buy their tees http://www.rocknowar.com/index.php/news/archivio-news/item/902-maglietta.html

r) Save art and monuments! Kunst und Denkmäler retten!

Intestatario/account holder/Kontoinhaber “I viaggi nella storia”

IBAN: IT33 T033 5901 6001 0000 0067 385 –

Swift code: BCITITMX

Causale/payment purpose/Verwendungszweck “Adotta un monumento, Terremoto Emilia”

http://www.iviagginellastoria.it/7-news/1995-partita-la-sottoscrizione-per-adottare-un-monumento.html

s) Buy T-Shirts or posters for fundraising!/T-Shirts  oder Plakate zwecks Geldsammlung kaufen

http://www.facebook.com/IlCoraggioDegliEmiliani

http://www.facebook.com/pages/IO-NON-TREMO/465153306844173

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151026111284363&set=a.274585929362.177799.192417129362&type=1&theater

http://www.rocknowar.com/index.php/news/archivio-news/item/902-maglietta.html

Grazie! Thanks! Danke!

For further information or for ideas, contact me! Für weitere Informationen/Anregungen stehe ich gerne zur Verfügung!

Information (Press/Presse)

– especially/besonders Mirandola (neglected but severely damaged/vernachlässigt aber stark beschädigt) – click and surf ModenaToday http://www.modenatoday.it/cronaca/municipio-mirandola-crollo-terremoto-finale-emilia-san-felice.html

http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/news/earthquake-destroys-italy-s-historical-heritage-1.1301073

http://diepresse.com/home/panorama/welt/759420/Erdbeben-in-Norditalien_5000-Menschen-obdachlos

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/million-dollars-worth-cheese-destroyed-italy-earthquake-valueable-parmesan-grano-padano-stocks-lost-article-1.1082462

Please, ignore stupid comments or contents about pasta and insurances. The tragedy is that many people cannot work if their activities don´t sell these products, don´t have warehouses anymore etc…! /Bitte, dumme Kommentare oder Inhalte über Pasta und Versicherungen ignorieren. Die Tragödie ist, dass viele Personen  nicht arbeiten können, wenn die Betriebe diese Produkte nicht verkaufen, kein Lager mehr haben usw…!

The nightmare/Der Albtraum

20.5.2012 5.9 Richter (2nd one features the horrible roar/der zweite enthält das fürchtbare Dröhnen)

20.5,2012 Aftershocks/Nachbeben

29.5.2012  5.8 Richter

29.5.2012   2 Aftershocks/ 2 Nachbeben

We will manage it alone with a smile…/Wir werden es allein mit einem Lächeln schaffen… (Alberto Mattioli) – MODENESI

http://www.lastampa.it/_web/cmstp/tmplRubriche/editoriali/gEditoriali.asp?ID_blog=25&ID_articolo=10162

April 14, 2012

Thinking about the Titanic tragedy 100 years later as a human being (sort of) and as a 19th and 20th century historian

by felicitamodna82

Only a few days ago I was sharing  joy, happiness and passion by writing about my beloved Modena F.C., and now….here I am, remembering a tragedy. Nothing new, actually, since I write  mainly about wars, crises and pandemics as an historian (and still manage to make humour when I see the potentiality…have a look at my essay about the Spanish Flu, unfortunately only in Italian at the present time!).

Actually, I mentioned even in my Modena Centenary post that tragedy was in the air (Italian-Turkish war, Titanic itself, Great War). Remembering the Titanic disaster as a human being and as an historian lead me to some thoughts I would like to share. (yes, I also know that everybody will be googling Titanic in the next hours and therefore many poor people will pop on my blog mislead by some evil search engine, so I don’t resist the occasion of being under a spotlight 🙂 )

La Stampa, 19 aprile 1912 - Archivio on-line la Stampa

I did not learn about the Titanic thanks to Cameron&DiCaprio (Leo was and is not my type!). I learned about the tragedy because of my “middle school” English book, named Flying start. One unit had an article with pictures about the Titanic disaster, in order to teach us “sink, sank, sunk” –  in other words, to introduce us verb patterns. The “scuola media” is a kind of school every Italian kid attends from age 11 to 14 and at that time (beginning of the 90s) it used to be the school where a foreign language, sometimes even two, was first introduced. The sad story of the 3rd class sacrifice, of the missing lifeboats, of the “women and children first” rule caught my attention. This lead to two consequences: the first one is that I rarely make mistakes in English verbs since I learned patterns as a sort of song, while I never really got motivated to learn long lists of German verb patterns. (I am grateful to be an Italian native who used to love Italian grammar and literature, because I would hav never learned all those complicated Italian verbs with the same efforts and motivation I faced German ones 😀 ). The second one is that along with my World Wars stuff I started to read about the 1912 Titanic wreck as well, so that by the time Cameron’s colossal came out, I wasn’t a newbie to the topic.

Just a small digression: yes, I saw Cameron’s Titanic 2 times.  I was going on fifteen, so cinema was one of the few free time activities I was allowed to do (times change, don’t they?) and the film is anyway very good, even though the romance in the beginning is not well developed (why do they fall in love? Just because he represents the freedom she is longing for?). No one can deny you “sink with the ship” as you watch Cameron’s Titanic. The first time I saw it, right in 1997, was after  removing one of wisdom teeth. I did not cry a single tear because of (or thanks to) some Novocain still circulating through my face. Nevertheless, I DID cry when I saw it in English a few weeks later. There was a cinema where films were played in the original language and I had a listening comprehension test to pass. So I caught the opportunity, and, boy, did I cry my eyes out! My school mates made fun of me for days because of my state! Actually I was sadder for the poor Neapolitan immigrant, Fabrizio, than for Leo/Jack. Of course, the width of the tragedy and the final scene made me cry as well. (I recently watched the finale on you tube and I still cry my eyes out, but my favourite character is always Fabrizio and not Jack. I mean, he is sexier, funnier and didn’t even got the girl!)

As a human being and as an historian, I am very fascinated by the complexity of this story. I know that there have been worse tragedies. Hell, I research about worse tragedies! Nevertheless, I could not resist the charm of this particular one.

My romantic side – the human being –  is fascinated by tales about couples who decided to stay together on the ship instead of separating. That is true love, the one I am looking for. (…yes, stop laughing, I am single and yes, I know this kind of expectation is not going to make it change…but I better have it this way than being stuck in a relationship without love!). I know that many marriages at that time had little or nothing to do with love, so I perfectly understand that some women jumped into (half-empty) lifeboats and then decided not to “risk their lives” by searching for their husbands. But…reading that even in that era there were true couples that did not part makes my heart warm. I hope they are somewhere still together! So, sometimes people have luck in love and love exists. For those who never loved, I would like to clear one thing: if you really love somebody, losing him/her is a terrible, unbearable pain. So, it is only natural that you  choose to 99% die together with your beloved partner instead of some-percent-survive and 99% never see your love again. (I keep estimates flexible because in accidents like that everything and everything contrary is likely to happen).

I am also fascinated by the elegance of that ship. Especially externally. I mean, compare it with the shape of one of the Costa ships…there is no comparison. Titanic-like ships (its “sisters” and similar ships as well) are elegant, attractive, beautiful. I cannot say anything about interiors, but I’d wish ships were still built like the Titanic externally!!!

Then, the historian comes out. By having a look at the Encyclopedia Titanica, I got the umpteenth evidence of the strong phenomenon of the  Italian immigration characterised by successful stories and less successful stories that ended up together in the same abrupt stop. Not that I ignore or neglect the relevance (and sufferings) of other nationalities and other immigrants, but as an Italian young woman and an historian working on social history those are the names and stories I notice the most. Many of their names are as usual misspelled or sometimes even willingly anglicised. I was also very impressed by the – very clever – supposition I read somewhere (I forgot where, anyway it is not mine!) that families such as the  Goodwin family (see the story of “Our babe“) stayed together because a mother with children but without husband and older male children would have missed the needed financial support – as hard as it sounds, it could be plausible.

I also made some spontaneous remarks . The tragedy happened in 1912, in an era when on the one side modernisation was taking a huge acceleration, on the other side there were so many remains from the previous world. So, the striking contrast between the hyper-optimistic and positivist assumption that finally unsinkable ships could be built,  and the strongly observed, old-fashioned “women and children first” cavalry rule is remarkable. I know that there were men who were not “keen on observing the rule spontaneously”, but nevertheless there are evidences that the captain, some officers and even some passengers believed in it and complied with it. Some of them even used a gun to “make it get observed”. The contrast and the contradictions modernity/modernisation/cavalry/tragedy seem to mirror the constant state of the Western society between the Second Anglo-Boer war and Hiroshima: positive and dark sides of modernisation, resistance towards modernity, nostalgic attitude towards the past. Also, the metaphor of positivist enthusiasm and of dreams of a better life crashing against an iceberg reminds me of the stormy era 1914-1945 (especially the First World war is often seen as a rupture characterised by harsh disillusions). The same goes for the “Titanic lesson”, and I mean by this the improvement of safety measures on ships after the tragedy. After each tragedy of the 20th century we tried to “learn a lesson”: partly we succeeded, partly not, sometimes we only dreamt of learning and improving something just to be harshly disappointed … and then we have – or had –  to start again. And here we are in the 21st century…well, I am letting you draw your own conclusions. (keywords: wars, crisis, tragedies, wrecks, epidemics…). Interesting to see that people from professional fields other that history draw other conclusions about “Titanic&learning lessons”, such as in this article you can click. An interesting perspective for my “other” job as trainer and lecturer!

Reading, reading, I found out that one of the survivors of the Titanic also escaped internment in Fossoli and the harsh situation of WWII’s Italy (hunger, bomb attacks, terror). Fossoli was the concentration camp set up for several categories of prisoners, including civil prisoners, located near Carpi, Modena. I am currently trying to understand more about the civil prisoners and the labour forces departments of the camp.   The woman’s story is incredible  – if you are meant to live longer, you will, even through a wreck and two world wars- , and the “ethnocentric-egocentric” side in me also makes me think how small the world is.

Alright, enough writing, I am closing my post with this article about the recovered baby corpse. I loved because it is so well written, really touching : http://thechronicleherald.ca/titanic/86496-our-babe-titanic-s-tiny-soul;

with two linked images  that symbolise the tragedy according to my sensibility, two grave markers (two paired shoes do not happen to reach the ocean floor together by chance): Titanic shoes debris by NOAA magazine  and Titanic shoes by titanicstory.com . (Update: I add a third one – read the related Daily Mail article also). About this, I think these two three first linked pictures are “human remains” without any doubt and are heart-wrenching, while this picture – click here – makes me doubt a little more: I cannot see the second boot, and the amount of things and the shape make me think more of a half-destroyed suitcase or trunk. What do you think? (Historians develop also a few forensic skills, as long as they deal with tragedies…)

and my personal soundtrack for the evening, Simple Minds: a group I love, especially for their Someone somewhere in summertime and Mandela’s day. I was in the mood for Simple Minds, and of course I “knew” they wrote a song called Belfast child. So, that was my choice: a Simple Minds/Big Country/other NW groups compilation featuring Belfast Child. The Titanic was a “Belfast child”, so even though the song has nothing to do with the wreck, I find it a good soundtrack. Not that I don’t like James Horner’s heart-wrenching tunes, but New Wave will always be a great love of mine!! Call it “artistic licence”!

Rest in peace, all of you victims (and survivors who joined you afterwards, since nobody is still living).

For further reading, the web is plenty…so visit blogs and sites in the languages you know: a lot of people did a good job 🙂 honour them and their efforts! Some links are hidden in my text and pics (Italian newspapers above, for example), then search on engines and Facebook. Here below, an Austrian newspaper (link to the on-line archive);

Die Neue Zeitung 17. April 1912 - ANNO archive - (Austrian Newspaper Online) by the Austrian National Library (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Biblioteca Centrale dello Stato Austriaco)

I recently found two blog entries I appreciated. As an historian and as a curious human being, I was asking myself a few questions (about preservation, salvaging, and the time), and I found these:

http://aelizabethwest.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/memories-rms-titanic-april-14-1912/

http://awesometalks.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/what-time-did-the-rms-titanic-really-hit-the-iceberg/

I immediately “liked” them! So, check them out…and never stop looking for anything! (said the PhD student who was drowning in sources instead of quickly finishing her duties because she never stops looking for them…).

March 31, 2012

Il genocidio inventato e la massa di pecoroni ignoranti…

by felicitamodna82

Once again I abandon my policy of writing in English. At least for now, because I really don’t have the time to write also in EN and DE. Here it goes: somebody is spreading voices about genocides…that never happened! People should learn history, politics and languages THEN write….but nowadays you just need an account et voilà…tip everything you want!

In quanto storica (MA) e scienziata politica (BA) dell’Europa, con particolare interesse per Italia del Nord, Austria e Baviera, ho ricevuto negli scorsi mesi una segnalazione da un amico telematico, Alessandro De Vecchi, un triestino doc. Un qualche forum nazionalista italiano aveva aperto una discussione molto interessante…cavoli, vuoi dire che noi tontoloni chiusi nella torre iburnea dell´università ci siamo lasciati sfuggire un genocidio avvenuto proprio sotto i nostri occhi?

Il genocidio asburgico. 1866-1918, Come il governo di Vienna progettò e portò a compimento un genocidio di Italiani http://patriottismo.forumcommunity.net/?t=42882887

Un post del 2011 riporta (utilizzo il copincolla):

Il cosiddetto impero austriaco (austro-ungarico dopo il 1866) si è reso responsabile nei confronti della nazione italiana di una gran quantità di crimini e violenze.
È noto come esso abbia contribuito in modo decisivo a perpetuare a lungo lo stato di divisione dell’Italia, il possesso coloniale d’ampi suoi territori sotto dominio straniero, la condizione di sfruttamento economico, repressione culturale, oppressione politica e discriminazione etnica dei suoi sudditi italiani. È invece meno conosciuto come esso abbia progettato e portato a compimento dopo il 1866 un autentico genocidio a danno degli Italiani residenti nei propri possedimenti.

Una valutazione obiettiva e veritiera della natura dell’impero asburgico, fondato sul principio dell’egemonia dell’elemento etnico austriaco, può essere introdotta ricordando la verbalizzazione della decisione imperiale espressa nel Consiglio dei ministri il 12 novembre 1866, tenutosi sotto le presidenza dell’Imperatore Francesco Giuseppe. Il verbale della riunione recita testualmente:
Sua maestà ha espresso il preciso ordine che si agisca in modo deciso contro l’influenza degli elementi italiani ancora presenti in alcune regioni della Corona e, occupando opportunamente i posti degli impiegati pubblici, giudiziari, dei maestri come pure con l’influenza della stampa, si operi nel Tirolo del Sud, in Dalmazia e sul Litorale per la germanizzazione e la slavizzazione di detti territori a seconda delle circostanze, con energia e senza riguardo alcuno” [La citazione della decisione imperiale di Francesco Giuseppe di compiere una pulizia etnica contro gli Italiani in Trentino-Alto Adige, Venezia Giulia, Dalmazia, si può reperire in Die Protokolle des Österreichischen Ministerrates 1848/1867. V Abteilung: Die Ministerien Rainer und Mensdorff. VI Abteilung: Das Ministerium Belcredi, Wien, Österreichischer Bundesverlag für Unterricht, Wissenschaft und Kunst 1971; la citazione compare alla Sezione VI, vol. 2, seduta del 12 novembre 1866, p. 297]
La decisione governativa, presa al più livello dall’imperatore Francesco Giuseppe e dal suo consiglio, di procedere alla germanizzazione e slavizzazione delle regioni a popolamento italiano, Alto Adige, Venezia Giulia e Dalmazia, “con energia e senza riguardo alcuna”, attesta in maniera inequivocabile la natura discriminatoria ed oppressiva dell’impero asburgico nei confronti della minoranza italiana: si ricordi comunque come questo sia solo un esempio fra i molti della politica anti-italiana dell’Austria.
Tale atto di governo, preso direttamente dall’imperatore stesso, esprimeva la chiara volontà di condurre un genocidio anti-italiano, il quale fu poi effettivamente realizzato in Dalmazia ed intrapreso in Venezia Giulia e Trentino-Alto Adige: soltanto la guerra e la vittoria italiana poterono impedire che anche in queste due ultime regione la presenza italiana fosse cancellata, come era avvenuto in quella dàlmata.

Questo progetto, elaborato consapevolmente dalle più alte autorità dell’impero asburgico e per manifesta volontà di Francesco Giuseppe stesso, fu sviluppato contro gli Italiani con una pluralità di modi:
1) espulsioni di massa (oltre 50.000 espulsi dalla sola Venezia Giulia nei soli primi anni del Novecento)
2) deportazione in campi di concentramento (oltre 100.000 deportati)
3) impiego di squadracce di nazionalisti Slavi nell’esercizio massivo della violenza contro gli Italiani (con migliaia di atti di violenza, attentati, aggressioni, omicidi ecc.)
4) repressione poliziesca
5) immigrazione di Slavi e Tedeschi nei territori italiani favorita in ogni modo dalle autorità imperiali
6) germanizzazione e slavizzazione scolastica e culturale (chiusura delle scuole italiane, cancellazione della toponomastica ed onomastiche italiane, proibizione della cultura italiana in ogni sua forma)
7) privazione o limitazione dei diritti politici
8) limitazione dei diritti civili

Ora, così a naso, la cosa mi sembrava parecchio strana. Possibile che nessuno storico avesse parlato di questa “voglia genocida”? Come mai, ricercando con google, l’intera galassia nazionalista italiana stava riportando allarmata la vicenda, con le stesse parole su tutte le piattaforme di discussione su internet? D’ altronde, però, finché la cosa rimaneva sui forum nazionalisti, poteva essere ignorata.  E’ chiaro che ognuno ha diritto a fare le proprie scelte riguardo alla militanza politica,  e a cantarsele e suonarsele fra simili secondo le proprie convinzioni, cosa che facciamo quasi tutti quando prendiamo posizione su un tema da “esseri umani” e non da professionisti. Al massimo avrei potuto fare chiarezza in vista della discussione della mia tesi dottorale in tutta calma e tenere i risultati per me e la cattedra di Storia Europea dell’Università di Salisburgo.

La cosa, però, è arrivata sulla Wikipedia italiana. Fra la possibilità che fosse un tema rilevante per il mio lavoro e la curiosità, ho anticipato i miei tempi d’azione.

Da brava dottoranda, sono andata diligentemente a consultare i protocolli ministeriali presso la facoltà di Scienze della Società e della Cultura di Salisburgo. Ho trovato i volumi relativi al gabinetto Belcredi e li ho letti attentamente, confrontandomi poi anche con gli studi che ho fatto e continuo a fare per le mie pubblicazioni.

Sperando che la casa editrice non si arrabbi (bitte keine Anklage!!!Ich habe kein Geld! Fair Use – Studienzwecke!), riproduco il pezzetto della discordia…è una porzione piccolissima che riproduco per motivi di studio – diciamo così – ed è reperibile in tutte le biblioteche universitarie dell’Austria, nonché – suppongo – anche in altre biblioteche nel mondo.

Image

Si tratta sicuramente di misure molto dure, ma del tutto limitate alla sfera burocratica: parliamo di un “ordine imperiale” di favorire l’occupazione di cariche ufficiali, burocratiche o di possibile influenza sulla popolazione (quali maestri di scuola) da parte di persone che non subissero l’influenza “italiana”, cioè che non facessero propaganda per la riunione di tutte le terre di lingua romanza/neoromanza sotto il Regno dei Savoia. Questo per il Tirolo del Sud, la Dalmazia ed il Litorale (interessante la non menzione del Welschtirol, il Trentino, ma solo quella di SüdtirolQuesto rimane un punto da chiarire. Da aggiornamento del luglio 2012 rimango ancora stupita dall´uso di  quest´espressione che ho sempre e solo trovato in fonti non ufficiali nel periodo prima della prima guerra mondiale. In un documento diocesano salisburghese del 1917 ho trovato l´espressione “sudtirolesi” rivolta proprio ai trentini, come modo per definire semplicemente la gente del Tirolo del Sud). Ora, è bene sottolineare subito che stiamo parlando dell’immediato post-1866, cioè del dopo “Terza guerra d’indipendenza”, per usare la definizione abbastanza etnocentrica che viene utilizzata nella didattica e – spesso – anche nella ricerca italiana. I problemi concreti dell’Impero erano legati ai segni di cedimento e disgregazione, che provenivano innanzitutto dagli ungheresi ed ovviamente dai Walsche militanti (non il popolo trentino, per esempio, piuttosto freddo rispetto alle idee nazionalliberali italiane…), che ora avevano un possibile stato nazionale a cui guardare. Negli stessi anni e negli anni successivi le strategie dell’Impero compresero, non a caso, uno stretto controllo sulle attività della Pro Patria – dal 1890 della Lega Nazionale – ed un sostegno ai croati – l´elemento croato all´interno dell´Impero – in funzione anti-ungherese. Ora, però, la ricerca non si può fermare qui. C’è da contestualizzare ed approfondire. La stessa edizione dei protocolli aiuta, in questo senso.

All’inizio del volume i curatori offrono un commento alla situazione dell’Impero, che contiene anche una sorta di glossa per questo punto dell’ordine. La trovate nello stesso tomo, alle pagine LI e LII. Il punto arrivò all’ordine del giorno a causa degli sviluppi poco sereni degli ultimi mesi, in un odg troppo lungo e completamente pieno. Il gabinetto mandò due giorni dopo una missiva alle autorità distrettuali di Trieste e del Litorale che invitò a pianificare coerentemente il controllo dell’ “elemento italiano”. Qualora fosse stata applicata conseguentemente – così i curatori – una simile direttiva avrebbe portato ad una modificazione sostanziale dell’ordinamento elettorale in vigore col precedente cancelliere, il liberale Anton von Schmerling, ordinamento che aveva come scopo il favorire nel Litorale l’elemento italiano-urbano rispetto a quello slavo-contadino. (Ma tu guarda…). Le direttive non furono applicate (e d’altronde, aggiungo io, non poteva essere diversamente, dato che la situazione cambiò parecchio per l’Austria – poi Austria-Ungheria) se non in due casi dove pare di poter vedere un tentativo di dar seguito alla politica di controllo sulle possibili influenze italiane. Uno dei casi è lo sforzo di porre fine all’uso dell’italiano come lingua di trattativa ufficiale (in affari o a livello amministrativo e burocratico, così si traduce il concetto di Geschäftssprache!) a Trieste, Gorizia ed in Istria. Nel punto successivo dell’ odg si evincono altri elementi interessanti: si discusse se applicare l’amnistia in seguito al trattato di pace al segretario del Consiglio comunale di Gorizia, Carlo Favetti, “pericoloso agitatore” e sudtirolese. Per molti, fra cui la suprema autorità distrettuale di Trieste, non era da amnistiare in quanto “pericolosissimo agitatore”, e dello stesso parere era il cancelliere, che era al corrente della sua militanza per un Sudtirolo italiano. Il ministro degli esteri era invece per la clemenza. Favetti fu poi però amnistiato nel febbraio del 1867 in seguito a richiesta del ministro della giustizia.

Insomma, dopo un po’ di lavoro appare che non solo non vi fu genocidio (se no, perché non cominciare con Favetti?) ma che perfino le misure di controllo dell´”italianitá” furono accantonate, fermo restando la vigilanza sugli attivisti Pro Patria – Lega Nazionale e la punibilità di reati come attentati, diserzioni (cose comuni in ogni stato, perfino nelle democrazie liberali del 20° secolo). Il confine fra promozione della lingua e della cultura italiana/romanza e l’attivismo politico anti-Aquila a due teste non era facile da discernere in alcuni casi; nonostante ciò gli italofoni-Volksitaliener continuarono a poter vivere come Volksitaliener qualora evitassero di incorrere nelle maglie della giustizia penale (leggi pericolo per lo stato) o amministrativo (leggi non essere in possesso dei requisiti di residenza o cittadinanza necessari). Insomma, i punti elencati dai nostri visionari patrioti sono prodotto di fantasia. Dopo i Protocolli dei Savi di Sion, in effetti, sentivamo la mancanza di un qualche protocollo immaginario, e questa volta ce li siamo trovati “compilati” a partire da dei Protocolli reali – anzi, imperiali!

Il gabinetto Belcredi fu caratterizzato da politiche volte, conformemente alle idee dello stesso Belcredi,  alla conservazione dell’Impero “Austriaco”, eventualmente alla sua trasformazione in senso federalista, e alla sua difesa dall’elemento “italiano” o “prussiano” o “ungherese”. Non a caso le trattative con l’Ungheria prima ed il compromesso poi nel 1867 videro la sua uscita di scena dalla politica. I tempi stavano cambiando e Belcredi ritenne di non essere più un attore adatto per il nuovo palcoscenico, probabilmente. Sulla sua figura vorrei ricordare anche che  proveniva da una famiglia nobile di origine italiana, pur essendo lui moravo di madrelingua tedesca. Un bell’esempio della complessità dell’Impero Austriaco.

Nessuna misura di repressione (tanto meno di pulizia etnica o genocidio) contro gli italiani in quanto tali da parte dell’Impero è stata finora da me riscontrata nelle fonti e nella letteratura, esclusi gli anni della guerra mondiale quando, ovviamente, vi furono rifugiati, internati civili, prigionieri di guerra (come in tutti gli stati coinvolti). Per ora so solo di alcuni ordini di vigilanza del 1907 (vedere nota bibliografica alla fine) rivolte ai Reichsitaliener (italiani regnicoli) lavoratori immigrati nel Tirolo e nel Salisburghese, quindi in un’ altra epoca in cui gli equilibri di potere in Europa e nel Mediterraneo si stavano spostando ed era in preparazione la guerra.  Non a caso le misure stesse erano da intendersi come direttive finalizzate al non farsi trovare impreparati in caso di mobilitazione bellica. D’altronde anche leggendo alcune opere (Una storia balcanica, a cura di Lorenzo Bertucelli e Mila Orlic; Strategie educative dei ceti medi italiani a Trieste tra la fine del XIX sec. e il 1914, di Vittorio Caporrella – un’opera decisamente “italianissima” ma che non nasconde la situazione di autonomia degli italofoni triestini-, Das Deutschenbild Alcide De Gasperis(1881-1954), di Michael Völkl, per citare le prime cose che ho sulla mia scrivania fisica o virtuale) si percepisce come le comunitá di lingua italiana/veneta, friulana, ladina avessero tutte le libertá previste dalle leggi austroungariche, ed in lingua italiana si potessero gestire scuole e corsi universitari.

Il problema è che troppo spesso gente a cui mancano i fondamentali di storia, scienza politica, diritto , lingue (ragazzi, col Macaroni-English o col Macaroni-Deutsch non si va da nessuna parte!) ha oggi il diritto di scrivere, e questo non su una propria pagina ma su un’enciclopedia come Wikipedia. E qui la nuova segnalazione di Sandi, che mi fa notare come una serie di cagate pazzesche (cit. Fantozzi) siano state recepite un tanto al braccio e sbattute lì. Già che c’erano, mi fa notare Sandi, è stato pure messo il povero Konrad zu Hohenlohe, da sempre impegnato nella mediazione proprio con gli italiani, specie in funzione di controllo sugli slavi, come mostro anti-italiano. Forse il povero principe è finito sulla lista nera a causa delle sue simpatie per le rivendicazioni dei lavoratori? Sandi mi segnala anche che è di dominio pubblico fra i triestini il fatto che i “provvedimenti di Hohenlohe” fecero licenziare i Reichsitaliener – non i Volksitaliener cittadini austroungarici, ma i regnicoli –  dipendenti del Comune di Trieste. Difficilmente un’istituzione permette di occupare cariche ufficiali senza la cittadinanza, anche nelle democrazie liberali! Di nuovo, quindi, nessuna deportazione e nessun genocidio. In merito ho trovato la voce enciclopedica curata dall’Accademia Austriaca delle Scienze che conferma quanto affermato da Sandi: http://epub.oeaw.ac.at:8000/oebl/oebl_H/Hohenlohe-Schillingsfuerst_Konrad_1863_1918.xml

Intendiamoci, lo stesso dico degli altrettanto incresciosi episodi di dalmati di lingua veneta/italiana/romanza/come vi pare  “trasformati” in croati sulla Wiki inglese, una falsificazione ed un anacronismo insieme. (qui la fonte da cui sono venuta a sapere della cosa, in particolare consiglio la visualizzazione dell’articolo sui dalmati dimenticati http://www.storiainrete.com/4773/medio-evo/marko-polo-esploratore-croato-lennesimo-scippo-storico-di-zagabria ) D’altronde sempre di nazionalisti si parla…e proprio per un nazionalista sembra difficile accettare che vi furono, nella storia,  realtà che cercarono di far convivere diverse identità linguistiche e culturali, che esistettero stati non corrispondenti agli odierni con una cittadinanza che non era necessariamente collegata alla lingua madre, ecc… Sulla liceità e sulla fattibilità di una simile progettualità politica non intendo discutere in questo post, per separare il discorso politico da quello storico. Qui vorrei solo ricordare che gli anacronismi da nazionalista del 19° e primo 20° secolo sono veramente ridicoli e spesso sono mirati più al giustificare l’odierno che allo scrivere la storia in maniera scientifica. Un esempio che a me sta a cuore? Raimondo Montecuccoli ed il Muratori, modenesi come me, citati come italiani dalla Wiki italiana, il Montecuccoli citato come austriaco dalla Wiki austriaca. Non sono in preda ad un delirio campanilista, parlo dei Ducato di Modena, stato indipendente fino al 1859 e con una storia molto particolare mai sufficientemente valorizzata come é successo con quella del Libero Comune, alla quale la prima é strettamente connessa(sugli anacronismi assurdi segnalo anche un altro post del mio blog, quello sulla mostra per il 150° dell’Italia…).

Detto questo, le campagne basate su falsi storici sono cose che danno fastidio a me che sono una professionista del mestiere. Rimango del tutto irritata dal dilettantismo mili-tonto spacciato per storia, nonché dal bisogno di arrabbiarsi con la morta e sepolta Austria-Ungheria per presunti torti anti-italiani (in realtà semplici rivalità con lo stato savoiardo, una cosa ben diversa) nell’anno di grazia 2012.  Posso immaginare quanto sia poco gradito tutto ciò dai  poveri triestini, che mi hanno gentilmente segnalato queste vicende, triestini per secoli austriaci (eh, già, a scuola in Italia non lo insegnano che Trieste si era offerta agli Asburgo alla fine del 1300…vero?) e negli ultimi decenni confusi con veneti, friulani, istriani, dalmati e vittime di continue falsificazioni della loro storia.

Per ulteriori info: a destra trovate i link a due miei libri, in cui affronto in parte la storia dell’Austria; nei libri di storia militare troverete che nella Marina Imperialregia l’italiano era una lingua molto comune; spero quest’anno di finire e difendere la tesi di dottorato in cui, fra i tanti temi, affronto il tema dei profughi e degli internati trentini, triestini e dalmati a Modena e Salisburgo; se conoscete Sandi (Alessandro De Vecchi), potete accedere alla sua nutrita e curata documentazione sui falsi storici di stampo  revanscista-nazionalista, per la quale sono grata; le pagine di Wikipedia su Trieste, Dalmazia ecc…riportano spesso i falsi storici e lasciano visibile l’eventuale discussione sulle modifiche. Le misure del 1907 citate sopra, da in Hans Haas, Salzburg in der Habsburgermonarchie. Nationalbewusstsein, Patriotismus und Krieg. Der Krieg, in Heinz Dopsch, Hans Spatzenegger(hrsg. von), Geschichte Salzburgs. Stadt und Land, Bd. II, Neuzeit und Zeitgeschichte, 2. Teil, Salzburg, Universitätsverlag Anton Pustet 1988, p. 1007 e seguenti. Cito anche gli atti di una conferenza, Die Donaumonarchie und die Südslavische Frage von 1848 bis 1918, editi da Adam Wandriszka, Richard Georg Plaschka e Anna Drabek. Alcuni temi sono stati da me affrontati nei papers presentati da me ad alcune conferenze: cito in particolare il paper http://independent.academia.edu/FelicitaRatti/Talks/47939/Modena_and_Salzburg_during_and_after_FWW._The_case_of_mobilization_of_urban_elites_and_bourgeoisie_during_the_world_and_in_the_aftermath . Un articolo interessante è anche questo di Stefan Wedrac per la Rivista «Storia e Futuro», L’ Ira dell’Aquila, nonostante metta nuovamente Raimondo Montecuccoli come italiano 🙂 http://www.storiaefuturo.com/it/numero_19/articoli/1_lega-nazionale-litorale-austriaco-trieste~1224.html#1 con le versioni in italiano e tedesco nonché un riassunto in inglese.

Il cartello che segnò il confine a Borghetto fra Regno d’Italia e Impero Austro-Ungarico fino alla sua poco delicata rimozione nel maggio 1915 – Foto Felicita Ratti – Museo italiano della guerra

Sul problema Welschtirol/Trentino/Südtirol, ammetto che nella

maggior parte dei testi accademici i trentini vengono chiamati sudtirolesi,  mentre in alcuni documenti da me analizzati nell´Archivio Diocesano di Salisburgo i trentini vengono chiamati proprio “sudtirolesi”. Nelle fonti prevale l’ambiguità terminologica rispetto alla relativa chiarezza della letteratura accademica di qualità. La questione rimane aperta, ma molto probabilmente si intendeva l’intero Tirolo del Sud fino al Borghetto.

(continua – da rifinire – commenti costruttivi per una storiografia europea di livello sempre ben accetti, commenti distruttivi = si cercherà di volgerli in chiave costruttiva)


December 20, 2011

Teaching Italian (trying not to teach “Modenese”), teaching Italy, teaching Modena. Part one

by felicitamodna82

One of the things I do for living (being Italian grants for studying, well, rather of the non-existent type…and being Austrian ones off limits for me unless I marry one of them…which is not going to happen soon…) is translating into Italian from English/German and teaching Italian. I teach privately or in small groups; I teach children, teens and adults. Some of them follow a real course, some others just take the so-called repetitions or want to deepen their knowledge.

There are many stereotypes about the Italian language and Italians. I totally agree: our language sounds very beautiful. But… every “beautiful” thing brings a sort of curse with itself, a “but” (exactly: how did I begin this sentence?). Many teachers or trainers, including myself, develop strategies in order to avoid or postpone real difficulties in learning. Intuitive learning, learning by heart, imitating, simplifying…

The “but” is very simple: although many people come to “us” with passion, interest and love, they face a lot of difficulties. For German-speaking people this is particularly awkward. Being our neighbours and among our biggest admirers, they idealise Italy and Italian, they often hear things they interpret freely or read/hear horrible commercials with mistakes, thus originating what I call “Kartoffel-Italienisch”, potato-Italian. (Not that Italians don’t eat potatoes: Kartoffel is simply one of the words normally associated with German-speaking people in the Italian popular culture and this seemed to me a good counterpart for the term indicating the equally horrible “Macaroni-Deutsch”, macaroni-German). Somehow they are lead to think that German is one of the most difficult languages in the world because many people complain about the wide use of declension.  These complaining people never heard about Russian or Polish (as  far as I know). Of course German is far more difficult that English. Also, possibilities to practice Deutsch are less than for the simpler Germanic brother. For example: no one would watch a TV show in German (I know I don’t. It really hurts: the dubbing is pretty horrible. Sorry, folks 🙂 ). Getting friends is very difficult and one gets confined in the “acquaintances-zone” for… I still don’t know how long. I got to know other Italians living here now, after four years…and they had to settle for having Italian friends. I was quite stubborn and clever and stayed away from my “fellows”, so my German is very good and I even understand dialects. (Nevertheless my proofreader says I write very poorly. I agree: I find German too strict to use creativity in writing and I get bored. But I love speaking it, especially the Austrian variant!).

Which facts and things seem to nerve poor Italian learners, especially in my “environment”?

  1. Italian is quite anarchist. No V2 language, flexible order in the sentence, just a few correlation clauses (example: negative particle non before the verb. But verb? It depends…). This really makes learners freak out. Where do I put the word? And in case they are having a conversation and they did not develop a “ear” for the intonation, which I call “melody”: Was that an affirmation or a question or what? For advanced learners, the matter also becomes what order do I need to mean this and not that? I am currently trying to study the problem of using “anche” and “solo” (auch/ebenfalls/sogar; nur = also/as well; only). It seems that most Italian learners find difficult to place these words in the proper position, unless they are exposed to native speakers/writers a lot and “forced” to communicate back. Hearing an “anche” in the wrong place makes me feel the same as when somebody scratches his/her nails over a blackboard.
  2. The article. There are several forms for each genus. There are mixed forms which combine prepositions and article (thus “replacing” the German declension, actually…).
  3. Intonations, fast talking, accents and dialects, regional use of words in different meanings.
  4. Verbs. Even though most learners will never learn all forms, you have to believe me: Italian “outnumbers” German (tenses, moods, desinences).  Not to mention the strict consecutio temporum…
  5. Adverb vs. Adjective. Many people never learn the difference…which is crucial in Italian, because adjectives always need agreement (adverbs do not, adjectives in German only if attributive) and the adverb is in most cases a different word.

Of course, no one should scare the hell out of people by listing difficulties with a threatening tone before even starting the course. At the same time, saying that everything is fine and that there won’t be any problem is a terrible lie one can maybe tell if doing a course “Italian for travel”, where the learner just learns by heart/imitation. Pupils who are going to learn Italian for five years or people who seriously consider developing intermediate/advanced skills, maybe even a certificate, won’t move forward if they are not aware of these things.

So, dear teacher/trainer/whatever, it’s up to you! 😉 And you can, if you want!

  • Native Italians often have a nice way of making humour,  feature good entertainer skills: these things motivate learners. I am certainly the case and I also have a lot of funny stories to tell during pauses. Even though people with real problems don’t like me (a pupil openly requested not to be in my class because I smiled too much, I made jokes and wanted to communicate with everybody.  The kid showed a lot of signs of “something going on”, even though I am not a professional in psychology or psychiatry. Insecure people also feel more unsecured if confronted with humour.). People with problems need help and if your smile and your “I am here for you” attitude wont’ help, it just mean you can’t do anything for them. So, don’t be frustrated and move on. Focus on those who really want to get in touch with the language and let the door open for you. If you are in a school, ask for a professional´s support. If you are not a native, keep in touch with natives (internet, social networks, friends and so on).
  • Go on with intuitive and “simple” learning as long as it is possible, explain grammar only after having showed practical application. On the other side, you will need to be very detailed and  prepared when it is time to “reveal” the complicated and boring matter ( that is, grammar rules), especially the first 4-5 handbook units are gone (or you are beginning the past tenses).
  • If you are a native speaker, be aware of your own culture, accent and intonation (mostly products of your city or town) and confront your pupils/students with other perspectives. CDs, articles about other cities, provinces or regions should accompany a nice explanation of “your own Italy” or even “Italies” if you lived in more cities. I wrote a short script to complete the unit about eating and ordering at the restaurant by showing some of the main differences between German-speaking and Italian-speaking countries, among North, Centre and South and among cities. This way my students have the necessary instruments to go on with the dictionary and with real-life Italian people without making common mistakes caused by standardized and/or stereotyped knowledges and without having a travel-size Felicita with them. I started writing it as I read the website of the “Community of Italian teachers and learners of Salzburg“:  some students of the Italian studies institute started observed the difficult translations of “dolce”(dessert) into German. I also noted myself some mistakes by my students and a lot of common misunderstandings. The result was a nice script about eating, ordering and cooking. I also use the CD when there is something to memorize and try to highlight the difference between the mainly Southern pronounce and intonation used in the tracks and the mild to strong Modenese issues I will never get rid of ( I can control some of them but I am not going to get rid of them 100%. Why should I anyway? Dialects are cultural richness!). Once again, if you are not a native, keep in touch with real Italy and real Italians.
  • As soon as you notice an interest for “translating” or a compulsive need to translate each word from the book or from the blackboard (many of the students do), be very open about the fact that you cannot simply “pour from a language into the other”. Most of the time a correct translation needs rewording, reformulating and so on. If the students feel that it is a good exercise (also to improve their mother tongue), it is OK. If they just do it to “learn better”, try to steer them away from this habit. I am tolerant only with adults who have very little time to attend and learn and feel insecure, but I have been very open about the implications. My example about “I speak Italian” seemed to work:  I explained that parlo l´italiano would sound in German “spreche den Italienischen“, but of course you say “ich spreche Italienisch”.
  • Turn yourself into a nice, stylish, environment-friendly but nevertheless effective bulldozer and get rid of: misspellings, mispronunciations, stereotypes, urban legends perpetuated by advertisement, commercials, tales created by people who have little or no idea about what Italy and Italian are (or Italians who sold a false image of Italy for reasons I do not want to know, or like stereotypes as well). Of course, you will have to use all of your communication skills in order to avoid looking unsympatisch. Also note that many people build their “love for Italy” or “inner security” on these few “facts”, so make sure that you provide new knowledges and sources for interest, love, culture, building a new inner security. The point about “inner security” could seem stupid to many but it is not. Let me explain it. One will be confronted with people who are insecure, sooner or later, in life or in the class. If you are a good observer and able to get in touch with others, you will notice how devastating removing a stereotype could be if the person has insecurity issues. Similarly, people who are in love with certain “Italian images” could react in an unpleasant way unless you give them simply new reasons to love f.i. Forte dei Marmi, Jesolo, Riccione, il Gargano.Remember: you teach Italian language and culture (and not stereotypes and a mixture of esperanto and Italian). Your tasks are teaching the best you can, making the “customer” happy (somebody hired you, even though this does not sound nice…) and open new communications channel (this also balances the previous economic point with a warm human level). By the way, I am a black and pink  biofueled bulldozer with silver glitter 🙂
Practical examples: why are these suggestions so useful – in my humble opinion-?
This example fits both German and English native speakers. Currently, an awful commercial about a pizzeria in Northern Flachgau can be heard on a local radio station. The commercial ends with the awful sentence”Pizzeria XXX ist molto bene“. Now, this horrible mistake is the typical example of  people who have no idea of the difference between adverb and adjective. If you describe the pizzeria through the verb essere (sein, to be) you will need an adjective, because pizzeria is a noun, singular and female. The matter is: the adjective gut/good used in the predicative clause does not change or differ from the adverb. The adjective buono always needs agreement (Italian language) and differs from the adverb bene. So, possible correct forms would be: 1) Pizzeria XXX ist (= is, è) molto buona (adj. used predicatively) 2) Pizzeria XXX ? Molto bene! (this solution would imply a non-spoken question such as “are we going there” or even a statement such as “going to pizzeria XXX” if you replace the question mark , so one could answer by commenting the action of choosing the pizzeria or simply commenting the action, thus allowing the adverb). Of course, the average learner of Italian cannot come to this conclusion if not guided, as in every case the English/German form would be very good/sehr gut.
I always get questions or comments concerning olive trees (Modena has no Mediterranean climate! They would freeze!), snow (same as before, so, yes, it snows. Of course not as much as in Salzburg, but it does), sea (we are far away from the sea!), hair-skin-eyes issues. You cannot imagine how lame it sounds, even to me, and I love chatting with people. How would you react if you heard people saying that f.i. all Austrians wear Lederhosen, all Germans are Nazis, all Americans eat hamburgers all the time? Modena has a continental climate, the Province reaches from the Po river to the Apennines (thus having also mountains), there is no sea. Our traditional cuisine is based on pork and pork fat, secondly on butter. Olive oil was imported along with other Southern or “standard” types of pasta, such as the dry pasta. Our traditional pasta is more of the”fresh pasta” type, more similar to the Austrian kind (yes, Austrians have their own Nudel too, talking of stereotypes!), except for the spice usage. The plain parts are often covered with fog during the autumn, the winter and early spring. It rains a lot during the year, it can snow. You can find black, dark brown, light brown, dark blonde, light blonde hair. You can find any kind of eye colour and complexion (as in Austria and Germany, former Empires, as in GB or USA). I am a dark brunette with pale complexion and some sprinkles on the nose and I don’t get a serious tan, no way. Still, I met people who believe we all have black hair (yes, even in 2012 with free libraries, cinema, internet and so on…) and told me my hair would be black (which is not, especially since I am constantly wearing a lot of black things and the comparison makes the difference  striking. My eyebrows and eyelashes are black and are different too). Don´t get me wrong, I still love people 🙂 but sometimes the matter becomes boring and one would prefer talking about other things!
So, for the first part, enough (editing possible if I see mistakes or bad forms)! What do you think? Agree or disagree? Am I too strict? 🙂 Want to share your opinion?, even if you teach another language or if you are a learner, a translator, an interpreter?
January 6, 2011

Retroactive history, political interest or just ignorance?

by felicitamodna82

This is fun…

As some of you may know, 2011 will be the 150. anniversary of Italy as a nation (though in an incomplete form, since the so-called Unità has been reached, revised and – well – contested during the 20th century…and although history and identity of Italy are still quite discussed or contested).

As part of celebrations, an exhibition has been organised. Title:

La bella Italia. Arte e identità delle città capitali

(beautiful Italy. Art and identity of capital cities)

http://www.italia150.it/ita/Esperienza-Italia/La-Venaria-Reale.-La-Reggia-d-Italia/La-bella-Italia

There is a little problem. The exhibition should feature art from – I quote –  pre-unification “capital cities”...

Now, anybody who knows Italian history will soon recognize that…Bologna and Palermo WERE NOT capital cities, and have never been capital cities in the immediate pre-unification European asset, just to make it clear. On the contrary,  TRUE AND IMPORTANT CAPITAL CITIES LIKE MODENA AND PARMA (see Duchy of Modena e Reggio, Duchy of Parma) have been completely ignored. Any history student would be granted a “fail” in his/her exam for listing Bologna and Palermo as pre-Italian unification capital cities, these people are granted a lot of (public) money (in heavily indebted Italy) for doing this job BAD…

A mistake in the rationale, a shame and a stupid choice, since Modena and Parma are beautiful cities with wonderful and important cathedrals and well-established art museums and no exibition should be ashamed to feature them.

Politicians already tried to underline the mistake:

http://gazzettadimodena.gelocal.it/dalgiornale/2010/01/01/news/mostra-sulle-capitali-modena-snobbata-2867187

http://gazzettadimodena.gelocal.it/cronaca/2011/01/04/news/giovanardi-parma-e-modena-unite-per-rimediare-all-esclusione-3095374

Please note that I had to agree with Giovanardi. This hurts! Never had I thought such a thing would happen… 😀

Now, as a historian I should try to understand:

  1. Did they fall victim of a sort-of-a-lapsus, writing “pre-unification capital cities” but thinking “today’s capital cities of Regioni(administrative unit similar to German or Austrian Land)” Or trying to create an innovative and provocative theory, making history from 1970 onwards retroactive? mm…
  2. Are they trying to perpetuate certain mythologies related to the history of unification and to the further political developments (Italy is a good thing, Austrians and Germans are the bad; the asset of nowadays – where a few cities catalyse any possible investment in public money – is the only one possible and so on? )
  3. Are they simply ignorant?

Who knows…

I believe Modena should start a serious reflection about her history, her historians…and definitely do not cooperate if asked for art pieces from her museums for these celebration. Reflect, rethink, boycott.

And, quoting the South Tyrolean slogan:  Los von Bologna! (away from Bologna!). We are only destroying our past and our future! We should re-integrate the old Emilia Longobarda and strengthen our ties to Central Europe (and no, not Eastern-Central Europe and not in the way Marchionne would wish…)

Updates

http://gazzettadimodena.gelocal.it/cronaca/2010/12/02/news/modena-esclusa-intervenga-napolitano-2879888
“organizzatori per capitali intendono quelle che hanno avuto un ruolo rilevante” ( “capital cities” are intended by the organisers as cities which played an important role).
What does this mean?
1) capital city has a definite meaning. Say “main city”, “main centre” – more appropriate – and, in any case, define in the rationale how you will use the definition. Rule No. 1 in every scientific work
2) Arguing that Modena and Parma ( even Reggio Emilia) did not play any important role before unification seems hard to every historian…

“Bologna as representative of whole Emilia”…and here once again the ignorance of almost an entire nation, ignoring that Bologna was not Emilia and this idea of Emilia has been invented. This will be finally shown in my Ph.D. Thesis. And…if art historians want to forge a new definition and a new theory, making an “Emilian art” exist” and creating a definition for a representative of this art…well, they should once again re-write their rationale, exposing their theory and using their own scientific language, not “ours”. “Capitali pre-unitarie” has a definite meaning if used without specification (“dell’arte” = “of art”). Even in this meaning, many people would not agree with the Piemontese choice…

http://gazzettadimodena.gelocal.it/dalgiornale/2011/01/06/news/modena-torna-capitale-ma-a-meta-3111004

http://gazzettadimodena.gelocal.it/dalgiornale/2011/01/07/news/pighi-modena-esclusa-arroganza-sabauda-il-museo-lo-riapro-3118737

Another one, from the Corriere della Sera:

http://www.corriere.it/unita-italia-150/11_gennaio_07/parma-modena_f49ab0ae-1a47-11e0-91c1-00144f02aabc.shtml

«Forse c’è stato un equivoco — afferma il direttore della Reggia di Venaria, Alberto Vanelli —: questa non è una mostra storica sulle capitali d’Italia, ma una rassegna che punta a dimostrare come l’arte delle varie città, ben prima dell’unità d’Italia, avesse avuto un ruolo universale e unificante.

Then you should, again, read my comments about the way you developed your rationale, or abstract, or exposè, or razionale scientifico, as you prefer. Using the expression “Capitali pre-unitarie”  as shown on the site implies a certain meaning. I will not repeat what I exposed above.

“Creative history” as new level of public use of history?

Once upon a time there was Tyrol. Then Savoia Italy took away a strategic piece of land from it and made “Alto Adige” out of it. Many claim “it’s Italy, they are trentini, they must speak Italian”.

The same happened (beginning actually some years before…) some miles southwards on the Brennerstraße. Former capitals were subordinated to Bologna, the idea of Emilia Longobarda was gradually destroyed until the wonderful creation of Emilia-Romagna and of an Emilian Bologna. Guelph Bologna always fought Ghibelline Modena but only dominated Romagna and belonged later to the Papal State.

Political implications for these ideologies are quite clear. (see above).

I am waiting for my book about Austria to be published and for my Ph.D. thesis to be completed to have the possibility to bring new issues in the cultural and political debate around these themes, using ideas and evidences!

September 26, 2010

We can do it!!(First thoughts on culture, tourism, lifestyle and Modena)

by felicitamodna82

So it is possible! Modena is not only an agricutural and industrial centre, with a small elìte of jurists in the main city…

I live between my hometown Modena and my PhD location Salzburg. These two cities have both a wonderful historical city centre, but lie on opposite sides when we look at the way they organise their economic policies, their tourism and culture management,  and – in the end – how they promote themselves. This will be the main theme for my blog. I love travelling, I love enjoying art, architecture, food, drinks, things to do and so on, and I miss sometimes what one could ( or should) do in a certain city.

Salzburg invested everything in promoting the beauty of the city centre and supporting the Salzburg festivals. This means most of the time that even inhabitants are subordinated to tourism – being excluded sometimes by benefits. The main case is represented by the Festivals, far too expensive for many people. Another terrible problem is competing for parking lots when trying to live in Salzburg: if you don’t have a place to park, you will better use public transports ( which means travelling 45 minutes instead of 10-15…) or you hope that there is no rain, no snow, no ice and ride your bike.

Modena is the contrary: no one promotes cultural issues. There is nothing for tourists ( info points and so on). Authorities seem not to care for advertising the cultural richness of our Province – when compared to Salzburg.

What happened in Modena in September?

10th-12th September: Mutina Boica (Celtic feast)

17th-19th September: FestivalFilosofia sulla fortuna (Philosophy festival, theme: fortune and luck)

2 exhibitions

and many other ideas…

The main issue in these things is: full of people, both inhabitants and tourists. This means: if one would like to offer something different for the population and tourists, there will be a market for it.

Rough thoughts for today ( a beautiful Sunday)…there is still a lot to say…till next time!

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