Inspired by the play of Emma Dante which faces the theme of the presence of death in the memory of the family, the project involved seven acting students in the workshops runned by Airots , the Giuliana Pisano and Salvatore D'Onofrio’s association dealing since 2008 with theatre and everything concerning the spread of cultural activities. The seven boys were asked to remember a beloved dead through a sentence, an object and a place in the city.
Naples, city of the start of the show, and Palermo, the city where Emma Dante lives and works with her company, are strongly linked by rituals and traditions. One of the elements they have mostly in common is the relationship that has always been established between the living and the dead. The dead are an important presence in everyday life, on the occasion of the festivities they keep their places at the table, and the houses of many families have an altar dedicated to the photographic memory of the deceased. With the dead you speak, you confide, you get angry, you ask advice, blessings, lotto numbers . The relationship with death is equal, from living to living, as Emma Dante told in her moving show.
After watching the show, the boys involved in the project were asked to say what memory the performance had evoked. With tears in their eyes, like most of the audience that walked out the hall, they told stories about uncles, fathers, mothers, grandmothers. So a kind of journey of personal memory was born, that took us to various places in Naples with anecdotes inspired by everything that continues to hold together the living and the dead. Corners of the city that are simple places of passage, here become shrines of memory, such as the waterfront of Pietrarsa or high school Sannazzaro. Houses turned into altars in which an entire living room is dedicated to dead relatives, places of worship as the church del Gesù or the Fontanelle cemetery where Neapolitans choose a skull and take care of it.
The photos are zooming on a few faces of a city that has a sacred and elegant respect for death, perhaps stronger than the one it has for life, and this is one of the many paradoxes that make Naples a special city.