A journey across writing, oral tradition and personal memories of Africa
conference-show by Marco Baliani
for Thesis/Dedicafestival


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In that land of beginnings spirits mingled with the unborn. We could assume numerous forms. Many of us were birds.
Ben Okri


Letting myself be guided by the reading of some fragments of Wole Soyinka’s works, I would like to lead the audience on some kind of a journey around the word “spirit”. I think this word well represents the special nature not only of the author’s literary work, but also of the whole African continent. And I would like to make this word resound and all that it implies, like an echo of recalls and suggestions, through the meeting with other Nigerian authors too, from Chinua Achebe to Ben Okri to Amos Tutuola. Along the journey, however, there will also be legends and tales I met along with Nairobi street children, during my Pinocchio Nero (Black Pinocchio) experience. They will spark off sudden short-circuits with other stories belonging to our western world, with geographies of the soul more easily recognizable, but equally mysterious. So the journey continues across personal digressions, reflections, memories, itinerary notes, and worlds possessed by spirits, parallel with our world. Such worlds are there, two steps away from us, and it’s enough to evoke them on a night like this to recognize them as ours from time immemorial, even if they are far in time and space. And finally try “to think the other’s thinking”, in a game made of connections and recalls.
Marco Baliani


Marco Baliani
is a film director, actor and writer.

In 1975 he founded “Ruotalibera” (Free-wheel) company and dedicated himself to theatre for children and young boys. In 1989 he gave life to narrative theatre with Kohlhaas, by Von Kleist. Several theatre plays followed, based on literary works. Among them, The Stranger by Camus, The skin by Malaparte, The Second Life of Francis of Assisi by Saramago. In 1998 he gave his own new interpretation of Aldo Moro case with the show Corpo di stato (State body). In 2002, with Amref’s support, he started a long project with Nairobi street children: the shows Pinocchio nero (Black Pinocchio) and L’amore buono (The good love) were born from his project, as well as two books, true diaries of this extraordinary human and professional experience.

Monday 12 March, 20:45

San Francesco Convent

Pordenone - Via della Motta, 13

Admission for € 6,00 (numbered seats)