Sergente Romano: on reclaiming the South (not as History of a Fatherland, but as song of belonging to the Motherland)

figli-di-annibale-meridionali cut2

Originally published in Italian on Crapula and part of the thematic stream Figli di Annibale.


Sergente Romano is the title of Marco Cardetta’s literary debut (in Italian). More than just a story, this work affords a mystical and moving journey: one that would benefit both anyone who is curious about the possibilities of the Southern Italian ‘meridionalista‘ movement, as well as readers who are in search of an original meditation on history – as collective and polysemic experience, prior to the fixation of an accepted storyline as History. Read more

Treading «softly, silently, attentively» … to get lost in the South

figli-di-annibale-meridionali cut2

This article belongs to the Figli di Annibale stream.


If a piece of writing could ever hold the echo of song – its rhythm and expressive depth, its evocative imagery – then surely Franco La Cecla’s musings on «getting lost» (perdersi in Italian: the title of the book I discuss here) reverberate of the delicate atmosphere and lyrical details conjured in Gianmaria Testa’s song «I seminatori di grano» (the seed casters): an ever poetic meditation on the erratic, vulnerable search for a place of dwelling. Read more

Innovating in the South: new forms of co-operation as practices of active citizenship (Part One)

figli-di-annibale-meridionali cut2

This article belongs to the Figli di Annibale stream.


Employment, volunteer work and gift have been the theme of a two-day «Forum on the gift» (Forum del dono, in the original Italian); organised by an interdisciplinary society – the research group «A piene mani: dono e beni comuni» (literally With Hands Full: Gift and the Commons) – of the «Federico II» University of Naples. Read more

Innovating in the South: new forms of co-operation as practices of active citizenship (Part Two)

figli-di-annibale-meridionali cut2

This article belongs to the Figli di Annibale stream.


The «Forum on the gift» was a two-day event held (on October 7 and 8, 2015) at the «Federico II» University of Naples, under the aegis of the interdisciplinary research group «A piene mani: dono e beni comuni» (literally, With Hands Full: Gift and the Commons). The first day untangled conceptually the thorny triad of paid employment, volunteer work and gift. Read more

Calling the Southern Question into question

figli-di-annibale-meridionali cut2

This article belongs to the Figli di Annibale stream, and was co-authored with Giovanni Travaglino.


Whenever the topic of the «Southern Question» is introduced, a patient is already lying ready on the couch: the «sick man» being the Italian Mezziogiorno, plagued by social backwardness and weighing down on the development of the rest of the country with its criminal legacy. A diagnosis of this tenor is usually a precondition for summoning hordes of experts to craft possible treatments, in the hope that they will work. To call into question the «Southern Question» Read more