“A weekend with journalists from all over the world” is how the Italian news weekly Internazionale modestly describes this three-day marathon of events, held annually in the charming city of Ferrara over the past four years. But anyone who has ever attended will know that this festival is much much more.
Yes, journalists from all over the world are present – after presenting the Anna Politkovskaya Prize to Afghan journalist Yaqub Ibrahimi (incredibly, in live skype hook up on the cinema screen), today’s opening debate moderated by Il Fatto‘s Antonio Padellaro had Miguel Mora (El Pais), Gerhard Mumelter (Der Standard) and Alexander Stille (US writer and journalist, left) all sitting on the same couch discussing the current state of Italian politics and freedom of information (which inevitably became more light-hearted than perhaps it should have!).
But even outside this initial event, the world is already descending on Ferrara in various forms: photography, film, music and of course talks and debates.
Documentary films on such varying topics as Iceland’s financial crash, Bulgarian women who emigrate to Italy to become badanti (carers), a satirical trip into North Korea, and a fascinating photographic exhibition by young immigrants in Italy were all to be seen at the Sala Boldini today, with more to come. (full list here)
An interesting open-air talk-show on multicultural mass-media was also held in Piazzetta S. Anna, discussing ‘second generation’ immigrants attempts to establish plausible and accessible information for those who need it. (link: rete mier) What a pity about the rain..and the rather noisy water installations!
The Comune also holds the exhibition of a graphic novel by Emmanuel Guibert based on the fascinating journey of the late Didier Lefèvre in Afghanistan and a further photographic exhibition by Davide Monteleone Northern Caucasus (which I did not get round to seeing).
I concluded my first Internazionale day with the official inauguration of Guibert / Lefèvre exhibition conducted by RAI Radio3’s Anna Maria Giordano, who also broadcasts a daily radio show for the duration of the festival.
As I left the town at dusk, debates and shows were continuing into the late evening , and if I’d had the energy an aperitivo musicale in the company of Internazionale readers at trendy town bar Zuni, a talk by British journalist Robert Fisk , and another docu-film Bananas! by Frederik Gertenn could all have been achieved before the day was out.
This year Italy for Beginners is proud to be an accredited Festival blog.