Before wishing you happy holidays...
I’ll start with the last few lines of a poem written by Giuseppe Ungaretti at Campo di Mailly in May 1918, during the First World War:
but a minute of life's
I look for an innocent
In these few words the great
twentieth-century Italian poet conveys
all the anxiety of finding no country
untouched by the destruction and
suffering of the war. Unfortunately,
not much has changed. We wanted
nothing else but to begin this editor’s
note with a simple “happy holiday”
but couldn’t bring ourselves to do it. Instead we suggest taking a moment
to reflect before the celebrations.
From New York to Paris
and the World
We hope that the celebratory
atmosphere, especially among families
and regardless of ethnicity or religious
affiliation, does not make us forget
what humanity is going through in
this historic moment. Many will not be
able to celebrate, and post-9/11 New
York continues to nurse a wound that
no Freedom Tower can heal.
On the Cover
As you can see from the cover, this issue celebrates creativity on the streets of Harlem, spotlighting three
Italian artists’ contributions to the
wonderful Audubon Project. And, as
we do for every end-of-year issue,
we’ve also nominated a “Person of
the Year.” Two people, actually, two
women from Puglia, two rivals on the
court and friends in real life—tennis
players Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci, stars of the all-Italian US Open women’s final. In our opinion, as people around the world tuned in to watch them play, the fact that these two female competitors were also (and remain) friends bore an important message. You’ll recall their spontaneous embrace, which may have trumped their sense of national pride at having “conquered America.”
The most important message of their embrace, which takes on new meaning in these times of war, is that of friendship.
Speaking of women, we would like to take this occasion to bid a final farewell to an extraordinary person, a model of cultural and philanthropic industry. This special woman has dedicated her own time and energy to the Italian culture she only recently
Baronessa Zerilli-Marimò was that rare figure, a benefactress, a patron of the full spectrum of Italian culture and founder of NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò. The Casa, a center of Italian cultural and academic events in the West Village, was her pet project. Mariuccia founded the center in 1990 to honor the memory of her husband Guido, a pharmaceutical industrialist, diplomat and refined intellectual, using her inheritance to
help charity causes.
Over the years it became an amazing, unique place. Mariuccia’s patronage was special indeed, all the more precious for being carried out without preconceptions or conditions and with the utmost respect for diversity. We all wish her farewell. Rest assured, she will always be with us. She left behind passion and love and a daughter: her—and our—Casa Zerilli-Marimò.
Like many of us at the end of the year, we at i-Italy are taking a moment to look back—and forward. After creating a website way back in 2008, three years ago we made our print and TV debut under the multimedia rubric “i-ItalyNY.” We took a chance. Despite some snags, it has been a solid win. Given our current level of operation, we badly need to consolidate and grow even more.
And we want to take that step with you, our readers. Our choice is to offer our content free of charge, not only on the web but in print (with this free-press magazine) and on TV (our show airs on the prestigious Public Broadcasting Station of the City of New York—NYC Life). Choosing to not have a commercial publisher cover our costs and influence our editorial decisions was hard. And if we are to continue in this fashion, we need your help. We exist thanks to those who appreciate our work and support us through sponsorships and donations. Now it is easier than ever to lend your support thanks to the “Friends of i-Italy 2016” program.
As you may know, i-Italy is partly- sustained by the Italian American Digital Project, Inc., a 501(c)3 not for profit company whose mission is to facilitate cultural exchange between Italy and the United States via new information and communication technologies. IADP, Inc., will be collecting donations for us through the “Friends of i-Italy 2016” program.
Donations may be made by individuals, corporations and other nonprofit organizations. In compliance with the laws established by the Internal Revenue Code, the gifts are tax-deductible. You may contact us directly or visit our website. And remember that we are always open to suggestions and will be sure to keep you informed of all our future endeavors.
And now, at long last...
Happy Christmas-New Year’s Eve. And a happy 2016 to all. Let’s hope next year brings peace.