The Walker by A. Giovannitti - US Tour
One hundred years after he pronounced his superb self-defense, Arturo Giovannitti is a perfect example of what we call “cultura di ritorno,” untranslatable in English except as a sort of cross-fertilization of cultures. The objective is to make reciprocally known on both sides of the Atlantic the best of the artistic and intellectual production by Italians working in Italy or in the USA, and their interaction.
The most recent path of rediscovery of this Molisano poet/trade-unionist in America begins in 2011, when the John D.Calandra Italian American Institute accepts the invitation of the Italian Democratic Party to celebrate the 150th anniversay of the Unification of Italy with a symposium dedicated to a leader of the workers movemente in the early ’900s, that is Arturo Giovannitti, unjustly accused of a crime he did not commit and acquitted after his passionate appeal to the court.
Soon after, the Cosmo Iannone Editore publishes in Italy a splendid monography, edietd by Norberto Lombardi, titled: “The Bard of Liberty – Arturo Giovannitti (1884-1959).”
In March 2012, during a plenary assembly meeting of the General Council of Italians Abroad – CGIE, Stefano Sabelli describes to me the play he has authored and directed: “The Auto-da-Fè of the Walker,” based on Giovannitti’s speech and one of his poems. He proposes to bring it on an American tour to ve concluded on November 23, the very day in which this ethical testimonial of the dignity of men and their work was pronounced. The date is the same. The place will be Lawrence in Massachusetts, the town where almost 30,000 women and men laborers in the textile industry – 7,000 of them Italians – started in 1912 the so called “bread and Roses Strike,” meaning that survical is not enough in a person’s life. The pursuit of happiness must be attainable as well.
The project was enticing and caught me immediately. Therefore, our path of knowledge continues because of all those who made it possible to bring to the United States this play/testimonial of the greatness of mankind and its desire to live a life full of values and equality. This excellent result is still not enough.
Research on Arturo Giovannitti must go on in the future, through the work of universities and scholars, through an in-depth study of the acts of that trial, eventually found a short time ago and delivered to the Bread and Roses Committee Centennial Committee.
Even this is not enough. Not only Giovannitti, many other Italians have been leaders of fights in the world of labor. They too need to be recognized and celebrated, as well as giants like Giuseppe Di Vittorio from Cerignola.
There is much to be done. Let’s start by listenting to Arturo Giovannitti and his eternal message.
Full program attached