ABOUT US

We are all made up of our memories.
Without memories we do not exist and without the responsibility that comes with them, perhaps we do not
deserve to exist.
(José Saramago)

ON THE OCCASION OF THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE MASSACRE OF PIAZZA FONTANA (12 DECEMBER 1969), THE NON DIMENTICARMI COMMITTEE WAS SET UP. COMPOSED OF BOTH LAY PERSONS AND INSTITUTIONS, THE COMMON GOAL IS TO PROMOTE AN ARTISTIC INSTALLATION DEDICATED TO THE VICTIMS OF THAT AND OTHER ITALIAN MASSACRES UP UNTIL 1980. THE PROPOSAL INCLUDES A MONUMENT LOCATED IN MILAN, A LIVE THEATRE PERFORMANCE AND A TABLEAU VIVANT. TOGETHER THE INTENTION OF THESE DIVERSE ARTISTIC MEDIUMS IS TO COMPENSATE FOR A FAILED JUSTICE SYSTEM AND THE OPEN WOUNDS THAT CONTINUE TO IMPACT ON OUR COUNTRY.

The installation in Milan of ‘Non Dimenticarmi’, a work designed by artist Ferruccio Ascari in memory of the victims of the massacres that bloodied Italy from 1969 to 1980, is perceived as a way of coming to terms with a failed justice system and the open wound that continues to impact on our country. This the first step in collectively and publicly taking control of the memories surrounding those events. Consistent with the aim of commissioning the work, to be donated to the city, an information and self-financing campaign was set up. The Committee has taken action to involve the public and has gained the support of the Associations of Relatives of the victims of the massacres of Milan, Brescia and Bologna, the Archdiocese of Milan, ANPI and ACLI. With the Mayor of Milan, who welcomed the project, the Committee opened up a dialogue in order to identify an appropriate place for its permanent location.

As part of this initiative, additional works include a performance and a tableau vivant – works sharing the same meaningful title of, chi è Stato? These being different to the installation, while having the same aim: to highlight the mis-direction of information with regard to the role of State apparatus and secret services, which helped destabilize the country with a ‘strategy of tension’.

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THE MASSACRES

On 12 December 1969 at 16:37 a high-powered bomb exploded in the hall of the Banca Nazionale dell’Agricoltura, based in Piazza Fontana, Milan. It left in pieces the bodies of seventeen innocent victims along with eighty-eight seriously injured. The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the so called “mother” of all the following massacres, which left a legacy of blood in our country: 1970 train Freccia del Sud; 1972 Peteano; 1973 Milan, Police Headquarters; 1974 train Italicus; 1974 Piazza della Loggia, Brescia; 1976 Piazzale Arnaldo, Brescia; 1980 Bologna station.

Totalling 136 dead and over 570 wounded, the families of the victims still await clear and complete justice. Actual perpetrators, all belonging to the neo-fascist extreme right wing, still go unpunished, many belatedly condemned, some in receipt of amnesty, and the principals who always remained in the shadows. An incredibly tangled web of links – between red herrings, concealed evidence, exasperating slowness in the trial process, interwound interests between international politics, secret services and other State apparatus – never fully clarified, whose involvement never really came to light. A plot that violated, as well as essential human principles, the fundamental assumptions of both our culture and society. An open wound still awaiting public recognition.

STRATEGY OF TENSION
 

THE INSTALLATION

The chosen site for Non Dimenticarmi, designed by artist Ferruccio Ascari, was conceived as a “means of activating the collective memory”. Its intention is to keep alive the memory of the victims of Piazza Fontana and, at the same time, those of all the other massacres. The subversive origins of those tragic events are indeed what history refers to as the “climate of tension”.

The elements making up the work take it beyond the confines of traditional memorials. Non Dimenticarmi is a site-specific installation, which can be passed through, thus establishing a dialogue with those both engaged and involved in the experience. From each of the 136 curved stems, a small bronze bell is suspended, referring to the total number of victims. The bells are voices of a spiritual presence that invite us to both remember and question those deaths, along with the real meaning and value of what it is to actively participate in society.

chi è Stato?

EXPRESSSED IN THREE DIFFERENT FORMATS, THE PROJECT ‘NON DIMENTICARMI’ INCLUDES, IN ADDITION TO THE INSTALLATION, A THEATRICAL PERFORMANCE AND A TABLEAU VIVANT: TOGETHER THEY ARE PART OF A WORK IN PROGRESS BY THE ARTIST FERRUCCIO ASCARI. HERE HE WORKED WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF FILLING AN EMOTIONAL GAP IN OUR COLLECTIVE MEMORY. PERFORMANCE AND TABLEAU VIVANT SHARE A COMMON TITLE: “chi è Stato?”. THE CAPITAL “S” HIGHLIGHTS THE CO-RESPONSIBILITY OF BOTH SECRET SERVICES AND OTHER STATE APPARATUS IN THE SO CALLED ‘STRATEGY OF TENSION’. AN OPEN QUESTION TO WHICH THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY STILL AWAIT A RESPONSE.

The perfomance, conceived above all for a theatrical space, traces the events marking the “strategy of tension”. A journey through memory and time with 17 performers on stage, representing the victims of Piazza Fontana, plus an eighteenth: the anarchist Pino Pinelli. A sequence of ten paintings tells the story the massacre: the victims effectively “come back to life” to describe those events through images of the time projected on to their bodies – becoming in effect moving screens.

The tableau vivant, conceived for multi-purpose exhibition spaces, recalls the moment of the explosion of the bomb: a video projected on the bodies of the victims, lying on the ground in different postures. These are covered with translucent raincoats, almost shroud like, recalling massacres of Piazza Fontana up to Bologna station. The spilled bodies, stuck in their last moments of life, become screens on to which those dramatic events are recalled.

SUPPORT

Non Dimenticarmi is an initiative that starts from the bottom and is based on self-financing: activated together with us to carry out the work and contribute to covering living expenses.

Bank account details:
BPER BANCA, agenzia 16, Milano
IBAN: IT94Q0538701614000035243641
Causal: Non Dimenticarmi