The cultural heritage of 1945, incentive and propellant for global emancipation
(vai alla versione italiana)
25 April 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation from Nazi-fascism in Italy.
It is a very special anniversary for two reasons.
On the one hand, it marks the end of the living historical memory of people and bodies – men and women who fought for that Liberation – with the end of those generations who personally joined it. On the other hand, it is an anniversary marked by an extraordinary pandemic that sees the whole planet engaged in a desperate struggle against a new, subtler enemy, which sees the elderly, including these the few who still carry the living memories of those resistance days, among the most exposed categories.
These two reasons lead us to consider, taking this particular anniversary as a starting point, the importance of reflecting about the historical phenomena of the Resistance and Liberation beyond the pure historical memory, which, with the disappearance from the scene of those bodies and those living memories, is now undergoing an inevitable crystallization.
We think it is important to start talking about cultural heritage, as well as historical and political heritage with respect to the terms of Resistance and Liberation. And then it seems to us that, whereas celebrations and anniversaries often do nothing but making that historical memory more and more obsolete, resting on a rhetoric that instead of passing on its deep meaning, makes those facts more and more distant and crystallized, it is important to consider the cultural heritage of the Resistance and Liberation, as something alive, pulsating and still fruitful, even beyond the Italian borders where the 25 of April is celebrated.
It is a cultural heritage that takes many paths, sometimes spurious, far from the goals that moved men and women in ’45, and yet looking and taking inspiration from those struggles and those goals.
It is, for example, a relatively recent phenomenon that sees trade union movements, liberation struggles, student movements from all over the planet singing together what has become their own anthem, in Italian but also in other languages, what is mistakenly considered the partisan song par excellence: Bella Ciao.
This song, written years after the end of the war, has become an internationalist symbol of all the resistance and liberation struggles around the world. But it has also been transformed into a pop song, reinterpreted by countless artists both unknown and very famous. It has also become the symbolic song of one of the most viewed television series in the world. And while from the Italian balconies, in a choral attempt to feel united within the cloister of a people under house arrest because of the pandemic, the Risorgimento hymn of Mameli is sung, in many parts of the world, those who want to support and demonstrate solidarity with this Italy subjugated from the disease, they sing Bella Ciao instead, that song of international solidarity that Italy has given to the planet.
Beyond historical memories, culture is made up of signs, symbols, handed down meanings and that, although changing in times and places, indeed, precisely for this ability to adapt and renew themselves, do nothing but perpetrate and renew its meaning.
The verb “resist” from which the noun “resistance” derives, after 1945 has undeniably acquired a different meaning and connotation, not only in Italy but worldwide. The term Liberation itself has branched out into endless “liberation struggles” related to the most disparate peoples, genders and movements which, albeit apparently particular and directed against someone or something very concrete, sectorial and specific – an oppressor, a system of values, a method of exploitation – they only participate in a single great historical and worldwide upheaval of emancipation which, starting from that Liberation of 1945, took on a much more precise and substantial meaning.
For this reason, on 25 April we decided to launch a challenge, dedicating the new special issue of Streeen to Resistance and Liberations in an attempt to open reading paths of this cultural heritage, both from an historical point of view, with films related to the history of the Italian Resistance and Liberation, and by exploring through films and documentaries the declinations of the terms and values of Resistance and Liberation as they were subsequently developed in the international post-war movements and social struggles, up to the present day, with human, cultural, social and health resistance against a global pandemic that involves us all and during which, almost without realizing it, ethical and political values are collapsing in our country and not only here, in the name of an ambiguous and ephemeral security.
“The measure of abdication of one’s ethical and political principles is, in fact, very simple: it is a question of wondering what is the limit beyond which one is not willing to give it up.” (Giorgio Agamben – A question – 13 April 2020)
LIST OF SUBTITLED MOVIES
BERXWEDAN (RESISTANCE) ( 46′, Bibi Bozzato, Orsola Casagrande, Kurdistan, 2007)
BIMBA COL PUGNO CHIUSO ( 58′, Claudio Di Mambro, Luca Mandrile, Umberto Migliaccio, Italy, 2013)
CLANDESTINOS ( 102′, Fernando Perez Valdes, Cuba, 1988)
DIBISTAN (SCHOOL) (5′, Azad Evdike, Rojava, 2017) unspoken
EMANUELE ARTOM ( 57′, Francesco Momberti, Italy, 2011)
I TRENI DI MARZO ( 7′, CCC CNC NCN, Italy, 2020)
MAL (HOME) – (10′, Sevinaz Evdike, 2018 – Rojava) unspoken
MR PEANUT ( 35′, Claudio Coloberti, Densk, 2020)
NAILA AND THE UPRISING ( 76′, Julia Bacha, USA/Palestine, 2017) only 25th April
PRENSES MODEL Dilan Engin (14′, Dilan Engin, Bakur Kurdistan, 2018)
QUI (HERE) (115′, Daniele Gaglianone, Italy, 2014)