Common roots and cultural diversification

Bonulignu, Sila, Italia: Roots in the rock - Photography by Francesco Saverio ALESSIO, copyright © 1987

Bonulignu, Sila, Italia: Roots in the rock

Photography by Francesco Saverio ALESSIO, 1987

I’m born in San Giovanni in Fiore. I live and lived a good part of my life in this town.

However, eighteen years of my life passed in other places; I was also an emigrant. For short periods, other times long ones.

I’ve assisted at the disintegration of the local culture, at the urbanistic and territorial disaster consequent to the phenomenon of the mass emigration of our population, and, especially, at the absolute lack of rational programming of the resources by the succeeding Municipal Authorities in the last four decades.

The description of such phenomenon can provide an example of which serious problems are consequent to the mass emigration, of the difficulties inherent in the immigration phenomena and of cultural acceptance of the migratory populations by the local population, in the general process of today’s globalization.

At the beginning of the last century a migratory current of the Florensis started towards the foreign countries which became like a river in flood since the half of the Sixties. The thousand of billions of Lire’s of the wages of the beyond eight thousand Florensis are transformed in reinforced concrete in a little more than ten years. A collective madness braked out: Dr. Salvatore INGLESE, Ethno-Psychiatrist, in that time Director for many years of the local seat of the Mental Health Centre, wrote an essay where he analyzed this type of social psychopathology:

[...] the relative richness deriving from the wage-job gained by the emigrants was obstinate to be petrified in deserted and abusive dwellings that caused a serious imbalance in the rational management of the territory. The emigration hasn’t determined "in loco” a new development, the web of the productive structures or trading remained atrophic or however slowed down. But the concreteness of the wages revealed also the necessity to contrast, turning upside down in its contrary the anguish of the consequent vanishing by the forced exodus. In this territory, more the emigration is suffered like uprooting or constrained nomadism, more new domestic foundations are demarcated. The more one is forced to the movement, the more one digs in the cliff and a permanent skeletal identity rises. [...]

View of modern San Giovanni in Fiore  Photography: Gaetano MASCARO, copyright 2003

Photography: Gaetano MASCARO, 2003

View of modern San Giovanni in Fiore

In the Florense population don’t exist any resignation to the exodus, to the MASS EMIGRATION, nor acceptance of the strategy of operated survival. The exile from the catharsis of the reality is revealed like suspension of the drama in the vacuum of empty buildings.

The choice of investment of the own savings, gained with sweats and sacrifices, dictated by emotive motivations and not strategically rational, is individually and socially a complete failure; in any manner the Public Administrations and the Technical Office didn’t brake this phenomenon, in the contrary, with serious responsibilities and disastrous consequences on the territory, they regulated and addressed it typologically carrying it to the wild construction of houses all equal, all faulty, all useless and to the building of a town that is not apt for living, closed, with any possibility of breathing, made up by empty buildings in great part not ended, however uninhabited, with any aesthetic, functional, economic and social value.

Minatori calabresi e florensi a Monongah nel 1907

Calabrians Coal Miners in Monongah, West Virginia, 1907

The short description of the drama, of the historical failure, in terms of development on the territory of belongings, of the individual and collective sacrifices of a whole migrating population, that Florense, invite to reflect on the need, essential nowadays in times of globalization, of migrations on world-wide scale of entire populations and ethnos groups, to resolve the sense of vacuum, loneliness, diversity, of non belongings, that the migratory process provokes in a human being forced to abandon his land and his culture; existential anguish that can carry and carries to deviations of behaviours which, in any case, are neither strategic nor rational.

We of are convinced that the research and the valorisation of the roots, common to the various Cultures, can contribute to render the migratory experience of each individual, like also of a social group or of an entire population, less dramatic.

We work on the research and the valorisation of the heritage of the cultural roots, starting from Caccuri, from San Giovanni in Fiore towards the world, to the common roots of every man, to the higher values of the hospitality and the fraternity between the peoples. is born in San Giovanni in Fiore * ‘because this town’ has endured in a way more serious than others the problems due to the mass emigration of its population, in honour of the sacrifices of our fathers and in order to build a surer future to our sons, to the children of today, those of tomorrow...

Thinking to the children, to how many experiences they will have to live in order to be transformed in the men of the future, in order to acquire knowledge, in order to become and to be, as humanist and impassioned of Cultural Anthropology I repeat myself: that a human being acquires knowledge and culture through a complex process, known precisely as enculturation, which includes the instruction, the imitation and the inference from the others behaviour; knowledge and personal culture proceed from the individual interaction with such social process, today in continuous transformation and evolution like the same individual; that the individual knowledge belongs to a cognitive process pertaining all humanity, exists and have a meaning only because it’s the expressive relation of an individual respect a social group in a historical succession and transmission of the Culture.

Every human being is thus unique and each Culture is precious; all the Cultures offer various and original fields of investigations of the reality. The preciosity of the cultural diversities is, for us of, a treasure to be kept carefully as the base for any human development.

More I travel, grow, work, become cosmopolitan, more I tie to my origins, trusting in the idea that the development of the Man consists in the diversification of the Cultures, in its exchange in a pacific cohabitation, and not in their flatting imposed with hunger and war.

Francesco Saverio ALESSIO



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