“We’re all enclosed in a prison. Mine, I built myself,
but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to get out of”
On its 19th birthday, in line with the choices that have always characterized its programme, Dromos Festival deals with a dramatic and sadly topical theme: prisons.
Mental as well as physical prisons, the enclosures where each one of us, with different degrees of awareness, decides to enter until we feel overwhelmed.
The title, Prisons, could lead one to think to Antonio Gramsci and his death, 80th years ago, accelerated by the long imprisonment by the Fascist regime. For this very reason, prisons are those endless and often fatal places to atone for one’s crimes, or censoring tools, to contain freethinking.
While such topics will be also part of the Festival, Dromos will also be inspired by Giorgio Faletti’s aphorism, which puts the dimension of captivity as an existential, spiritual and cultural condition more than a physical one. “We’re all enclosed in a prison. Mine, I built myself, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to get out of”.
Mental prisons take the shape of tortuous mazes, seducing at first glance, but likely to make one lose his way. To escape them, one needs to go through a long, often painful path of introspection and realization, to become aware of one’s limits and fears, the same limits and fears that push people to build walls, “first as a means of protection, and immediately after as a prison” (Marguerite Yourcenar).
Even the music is labyrinthine, in all its declinations and contaminations: art, photography, literature and cinema are called to describe that condition of slavery or detention, not necessarily as a consequence of a crime, but often as a prison one gets used to.
Broadening the perspective from the individual to society, research and aesthetic experimentations once again will have the duty to observe the crowd, apparently free but imprisoned by mental prejudices, idiosyncrasies, fears, as well as inner, social and cultural processes that can enslave them. In the lapse of a moment, one is a victim of situations, people and products that surround and envelop.
Material and spiritual chains that we can’t or don’t want to cut, because we are lazy, afraid or overwhelmed. However, we can be free if only we go back to that fil rouge of critical consciousness and civic awareness, too often forgotten in a cupboard in the back of our minds, but at the same time the only elements capable of taking us out, from obscure and claustrophobic mental mazes… to see once more the stars.
Ivo Serafino Fenu