I’m back in Florence for yet another edition of the excellent Balkan Florence Express, the film festival devoted to Balkan movies and organized by Cecilia Ferrara and Simone Malavolti with the help of Oxfam Italia. This year’s programme is richer than last year’s; it focuses less on the war and its consequences and more on present-day ordinary life in the Balkan countries, through different topics and cinema genres, from comedy to mockumentary. Keep reading →
“We are accused of gentrification so often now, as if it’s our fault” – Fin Dac
As we sat down at what –since then- has become the pub where I had a beer with Fin Dac, my first instinct was to ask him about the unglorious side of street art, a.k.a. gentrification, as his old piece in Rome (Quadraro neighbourhood) was vandalized several times by a “fiercly resistant” local.
“Nice job you have” he said, lighting up a cigarette while walking towards me.
“Your job is likewise amazing” I replied, pointing to the couple cuddling in the darkness that was taking shape on the long wall of a derelict building in the industrial area of Stavanger.
“Well, I’d loved to be a food critique and eat my way around the world. But I ended up painting.”
I had just thrown myself on the bed when one of Nuart‘s organisers texted that they were having a magic time at the festival’s headquarters, where Axel Void was playing some nice tunes. Without thinking twice, I opened my umbrella and ventured back into the Stavanger night. But, when I arrived at Tou Scene, I only found a bunch of artists scattered lazily around the main room: they looked like they had spent the afternoon painting and were just about to sit down, someone was smoking, someone else was sipping a beer, and all of them were staring at their phones or laptops, including Axel Void, who definitely wasn’t playing any music.
The declamatory voice of the announcer clanks out of the speakers, spreading across the 850 acres of the Ashton Court Estate. Children and adults, couples and families, youngsters and elders, tourists and locals, everybody is holding their breath as the countdown blows in the wind. The air is packed with excitement: we are all waiting for the magic that is about to happen.
“Once I happened to be in Sarajevo during the Sarajevo Film Festival: I totally loved it”, Cecilia Ferrara confessed to me, a Balkan enthusiast who runs the Balkan Florence Express film festival together with Simone Malavolti.
“I didn’t know anything about cinema back then, but I did know that I wanted to bring those movies to Italy”. Keep reading →