Writing on the frontier. In memory of Alessandro Leogrande

18:00h – Service Center G. Alessi

Mario Desiati (author), Emiliano Morreale (Università La Sapienza di Roma), Lorenzo Pavolini (Radio 3), Nicola Lagioia (writer, Radio 3) – who intervenes in a 10 minutes video.

The event was entirely dedicated to Alessandro Leogrande, writer and journalist from Puglia (Italy), who died at the age of 40, last November.

“One who grew up under the horizon of Taranto could only be an artist”: these are the words that Mario Desiati (finalist for the Strega prize in 2011) used to describe his colleague and friend. “A great intellectual, lucid and rational, who became a writer by the need of telling”, echoed Emiliano Morreale, who met Leogrande at Sapienza University. “Alessandro told history giving voice to the real witnesses, to those who bear the stigmata”, says Nicola Lagioia (director of the Turin Book Fair 2017 who chose Leogrande as a collaborator).

“A man capable of understanding the dramas of globalization, when no one seemed to be able to. He, however, – very young – could do it, because he had assimilated the message of the XX century in its complexity”, say Lorenzo Pavolini and Alessandro on Radio 3.

What emerges is the multifaceted portrait of a modern intellectual, moved since adolescence by the desire to “understand and do”: he explored the reality around him (Taranto and Ilva, then Puglia and Caporalato, Albania and the landings of migrants, the G8 of Genoa, up to Latin America, where Leogrande wanted to “understand” something more about the regimes) and then wrote about it. He was able to unite the intellectual and social components, open to dialogue, finally filled the communication deficit with which the Italian Left has always had to cope with. A lucid and rational communication of Leogrande, which did not however renounce to the taste of narrative and storytelling: his stories are true literary reports, whose reading should be recommended to high school students.

Mario Desiati offers a sort of inventory in alphabetical order (from A to T) to remember his friend: the letter B of goodness – bontà in Italian -, the E of empathy, the M of Maiellaro (Taranto football player who takes us back to another passion of Leogrande), the P of politics and Puglia, the R of literature magazine – rivista letteraria in italian – and, finally, the T of Taranto. The last one was the first true border faced by Alessandro Leogrande: “In Taranto, going out on the terrace, the first thing you saw was Ilva’s smoke curtain. Just in front of that fog, he launched his challenge: removing it, to make reality more accessible to all of us”.

Author: Rebecca Mellano

Translation: Pau Llosa