Internazionale a Ferrara – day 2

Sat at the breakfast table deciding on the day’s schedule, we came to one conclusion…there’sonly one thing wrong with Internazionale a Ferarra.. there’s  just too much to see and do. But with a more favourable weather forecast than yesterday, in true ferrarese style I set off on my bicycle into the new Internazionale day

First stop: the press office where staff were already busy with the organisation and bookings. The international press review wasn’t due until 10:00 so just time to cycle over to the Biblioteca Ariostea to catch up with fellow ex-pat Rob Elliot and learn something more about the ‘Occhio ai media‘ project, whose aim is to raise awareness of racial prejudice in the popular press, especially amongst younger people. A workshop was already underway: over two days Rob and the team were holding four meetings with the students from the town’s major colleges and getting them involved in the search for subtle (or not) racism by newspapers who often target immigrant groups as a source of ‘bad news’. Sure enough an article in the one of day’s papers (which shall remain anonymous) was soon found. I was pleased to learn more from Rob about how the idea came about, and of the local  Cittadini del Mondo association of which Occhioaimedia is part.

But it was already time to rush back over to Chiostro San Paolo for what turned out to be a rather dull international press review, although the coffee bar gives this splendid setting  a welcoming atmosphere and  the bookshop proved to be an excellent source of info on the weekend’s speakers and topics.

But no time to lose, it was over to the city’s imposing and excellently preserved castle, right in the centre of town, to attend the Radio3 live broadcast featuring among others  “the undercover economist”  Tim Hartford, an FT columnist who afterwards led an entertaining “Caro Economista” session to a packed castle courtyard. I’d also had time between Tim’s two sessions to pop over to listen to Laila Wadia presenting her book “Come diventare italiani in 24 ore” (whose title reminded me of George Mikes’ How to be an Alien!) which I shall read carefully…

I managed to fit in a quick chat ‘backstage’ with Tim who was on top form and quite at ease with the appreciative audience.

behind the mike: Tim Harford on RAI Radio3

A bite to eat and then it was time for Frontiere Digitali, a discussion on new technology in journalism and reporting led by Internazionale’s chief editor Giovanni de Mauro, with Luca Sofri, who had his new Il Post to promote, and web designer Oliver Reichenstein of , who had the new Internazionale website deign to promote. It was nice to sit in the warm sunshine rather than the stuffy Sala Estense although talking about the web without a screen showing websites and so forth was a little like talking about music without actually hearing any… however it was a lovely day and at last I had caught up with a couple of fellow-bloggers to exchange news, views and addresses. I also learned a new word: settimanalismo (as opposed to giornalismo..)

But no time to lose..after a swift espresso we headed to the Teatro Comunale, which was already packed, to listen to the discussion on the state of that nation, Obama and the ‘new right’ and their ‘tea parties’, featuring surprisingly lefter-than-left wing Joe Bageant (more of him later), a flamboyant Thomas Frank and Alexander Stille, who as an expert on Italian politics helped to bring things onto the audience’s level.

Unfortunately there had been no time for a docu-film today; I had planned to attend a screening Mads Brügger’s The Red Chapel, to be followed by a meeting with the Danish director, but not sure if it was all the cycling or being bombarded with such a wealth of information, I’d had enough and called it a day.  Abbiamo fatto giornata..

the Internazionale apple cart, aptly powered by a bicycle

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