Sunday, June 10, 2012


Genoa applauds the performance of Roberto Malini accompanied by Roma virtuoso musicians

Sunday, June 10, 2012. Genoa -

Giardini Emanuele Luzzati.

On the evening of June 8th, 2012 before an attentive audience, the poet and human rights defender, Roberto Malini, gave a poetry reading.

June 8th is the 72nd anniversary of the setting up of concentration camps for the Roma people in Italy.
Roberto was accompanied by four outstanding Roma musicians and the guitarist Marcello Zuinisi. The reading was received with enthusiasm by the Genoese people, who applauded after each poem. The poems, taken from the book "The Silence of the Violins", are based on true stories. Stories of the Roma people in today’s Italy: a country that persecutes Roma, subjecting them to checks, arrests, and camp evictions. While an accordion, violin, double bass and two guitars played gypsy melodies and improvised melancholic, romantic and tragic tunes, Roberto performed, with passion, the stories of Toma, Irina, Mihai, Alexandru, Emil and many other Roma that the poet has met in Pesaro, Rome, Milan, Bologna and other cities that are the theatres of the plight of the Roma people in Italy.

Franco Cirio, provincial president of UNICEF, was moved by the reading and suggested the poet and his group make a DVD with the same performance for distribution in schools. The project will be organized very soon, again in Genoa. The reading was sponsored by the Council of Europe. The organizers may have been a little afraid of promoting this poetry and musical event for the Roma people and neither the Council of Europe’s logo nor the subject of the reading ever appeared on the official communications of the International Genoa Poetry Festival. The organizer Claudio Pozzani, however, overcame any reluctance and invited Roberto Malini to the Festival, which is a first step in civility. The success of the event, perhaps, will convince him to take a greater stand next year.
In the meantime, the organizers of the important Poetry Festivals are asking Roberto Malini to give readings from the books "The Silence of the Violins" and "Declaration" (the latter soon to be published). The project, therefore, continues to grow. The RAI, Radio Popolare and several Italian newspapers have interviewed the poet and this interest from the media is a sign of openness on a topic that is too often subject to censorship. An hour before the reading, Malini and his group improvised a performance of poetry, music and human rights in the central Piazza De Ferrari, before dozens of Genoese people and numerous police officers.

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