The Stage of Legality: The Project

THE PROJECT

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The stage of legality (Il palcoscenico della legalità) is an experimental collaborative project between theatres, juvenile penitentiaries, schools, universities and civil society. The largest theatrical institutions in Italy are involved, as well as associations committed to fighting against the Mafia and those that work to reuse lands seized from the Mafia.

The project was born in its first form as a show, Ten stories just like this, when dozens of relatives of the Mafia’s, Camorra’s and organised crime’s innocent victims gathered with those who run cooperatives and associations on land seized from the Mafia to build hope, work and ideas.

The show, after this first aim, become a tool of reflection on how best to structure a continual relationship of beneficial exchange between public and private institutions, so that they could learn to establish a new civil code together. Since then, preparatory workshops have taken place in schools (more than 40,000 students have been involved).

The language and theatrical techniques used have become a method of teaching about teamwork, and particularly a way to discuss our individual and collective responsibility regarding Mafia logics and cultures. Currently, educational activities are underway in ten different Italian regions.

At the same time, a training project on professions in the theatre has been developed in the Juvenile Penitentiary Centres of Airola (BN) and Malaspina (PA), which led to the creation of shows such as Waiting for the time that passes (Aspettando il tempo che passa) in Airola Prison, Fiesta al Malaspina in Palermo and the rap single Puortame là fore, performed by Lucariello and Raiz.

In 2017, we made a documentary about Ten stories just like this, co-produced by Jmovie and Rai Cinema, which retraces the stages of our project. It talks about who we are, where we have got to and what we can all do, as citizens, to fight against organised crime. We want to put the spotlight on a world that stubbornly progresses, highlighting a future that we can all invest in.

The documentary received the Special Nastro d’Argento Prize for Documentaries in 2018. The network of associations that support that various phases of this experiment was born from the willingness of Giulia Minoli, with The Co2 Crisis Opportunity Non-Profit, to create a virtuous link of planning and collaboration.

 

THE PROMOTERS

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Giulia Agostini | President: The CO2 Crisis Opportunity

The Co2 has dealt with social communication and giving a voice, through training workshops, to young people who have undergone experiences of marginalisation, for 10 years now: from Brazilian favelas to Lebanese refugee camps, from suburbs to juvenile prisons.

The Co2 has always prioritised the creation of networks, both at a local and national level, to develop common projects. It has been characterised by its role as a facilitator during projects in recent times, because we believe that the creation of networks and synergies is fundamental to value the resources and meetings between authorities that is rarely spoken of. With the project The stage of legality (Il palcoscenico della legalità), The Co2 has decided to stay true to this principle right from the start, constructing a virtuous collaboration with many associations that fight for legality in our country, as well as involving national theatres, universities, public institutions and businesses.

 

Nando dalla Chiesa | Milan University

CROSS Course of the Sociology of Organised Crime

Ten stories to represent many. A sea of stories, of young and old, of men and women, of carefree kids and war heroes, of the well-off and the poor. They have become a piece of national history, without wanting to and without knowing it, joined together by destiny, because even cowardice and barbarism are part of a country’s destiny. They travel between schools and theatres and other places to keep on telling the stories, to keep on teaching, to arouse the desire to take them by the hand and accompany them, and being a witness to them.

 

Paolo Siani | President of Pol.i.s Foundation

Ten stories just like this is the tale of our families, our personal tragedy, our commitment and that of authorities who give a new life to goods seized from the Mafia. We, the relatives of the innocent victims of crime, did not escape, despite having suffered the greatest wrong of all, because we were all convinced we could manage it. Through the memory of our loved ones, with the commitment of the youth and the participation of Institutions, and using the beauty of art, we want to believe in change. The extraordinary work that many youths have done with enthusiasm and determination on lands seized from the Camorra is proof of this. Support them with us – they are our future.

 

Don Luigi Ciotti | President: Libera

The emotion that you feel watching Ten stories just like this is not an end in itself. It is an emotion that stays, has an effect in time, that leaves a trail of doubts and questions. The representation of the Mafia, not to mention when their victims are given a voice, finds a deep sense in reawakening the consciousness that the Mafia wished was indifferent, selfish and corrupt. This work, an incredible fusion of ethics and aesthetics, which asks us to be not just “an audience”, but more courageous, more aware, and more determined to defend and build the hope that the Mafia takes away.

 

Maria Falcone | President: Falcone Foundation

We received the possibility of sharing this initiative with great enthusiasm. The stage of legality (Il palcoscenico della legalità) is an innovative project that speaks to young people through the spontaneity of the language of art, showing it can convey the ideas of legality and the fight against the Mafia, touching our emotional side. Ten stories to remind us how much each of our commitment is necessary to combat the Mafia and that, in all this effort, as Giovanni Falcone said, the activity of magistrates and the forces of order are not enough, but it is going to take the commitment of the whole of civil society. This year, in which we remember the 25th anniversary of the Capaci and via d’Amelio massacres, my best wishes go to young people, because they feel with a great force and trust that, if we are on the right side and unite our strengths, the Mafia can be defeated.

 

Rita Borsellino | President: Paolo Borsellino Centre

The Mafia is selfishness, violence, slavery and fear. Fighting against this means giving humankind its dignity back. We therefore need to arm ourselves with knowledge and share this. Knowledge of context of situations. Knowledge of the stories of the lives and deaths of the (too) many victims, aware or unaware. Sharing the choices that characterised their paths and make sure it all becomes memory. Memory in schools, in prisons, in districts, between people. “Working memory” that you get used to hearing about “the fresh smell of Freedom”.

 

Alfredo Avella | Coordination in Campania for relatives of innocent victims

Ten stories just like this is the narration of our stories, of a pain that no amount of time will be able to heal. We know that a show at the theatre alone cannot change those; it takes something more to put an end to the bloodbath that is presented with numbers from a war. When faced with these stories, you cannot remain indifferent. To each story of pain corresponds a story of redemption, like those of the cooperatives that cultivate the seized lands, and associations who take our young people off the streets and away from Mafia recruitment. These are the stories of our redemption, those which we want to start again to affirm that the sacrifice of our loved ones was not in vain.

 

Lorenzo Clemente | Silvia Ruotolo Foundation

For a while, we have held on to one thing: the pain we felt when Silvia was killed must not just be ours, but must represent a wound that is still open for the entire city of Naples, as well as the whole of Italy. Just like our reaction must successfully infect the entire country. Memory means commitment. The show Ten stories just like this, with its workshops in schools and youth penitentiary centres, teaches us just that: we must all commit ourselves, together, because only by standing united can the Mafia be defeated.

 

Andrea Degl’Innocenti | President: Italia Che Cambia

Ten stories just like this is much more than just a show, it is a “workshop for change” in which anti-Mafia associations and authorities take part every day, who, with a common project, have chosen which side they are on with a great deal of strength. The main stories of this show represent just one part of the “many realities in movement” that Italiachecambia.org tells, maps and puts online every day so that they are visible and become concrete projects that lead to a process of change. People, associations and entrepreneurs who react, and do not give in, progress and believe in the future.

 

Danilo Chirico | President: daSud Association

When, 13 years ago, we created daSud, we were planning a restart. We therefore started a journey in search of new cultural references, as well as stories and creative forms to design an innovative tale about the Mafia and build new, original anti-Mafia imagery. Collaborating in Ten stories just like this was a natural choice for us. Today, it sees us immersed in a new ambition, a visionary project and something concrete at the same time: ÀP, The Anti-Mafia and Rights Academy (l’Accademia Popolare dell’Antimafia e dei Diritti). It is a social, educational and cultural factory that was born in a Roman suburb. It is a tool that we are taking great pains to build day after day to cross – and, who knows, sometimes dissolve – the contradictions of our time.