The Italian Consulate General in Miami and the one in San Francisco have organized an interesting program of initiatives in their respective areas dedicated to Dante Alighieri on the occasion of the Week of the Italian Language.
An exhibition on fashion at the time of Dante Alighieri was hosted by the Marangoni Institute and produced in collaboration with ODLI, the City of Narni and the Associazione Corsa all’Anello. The exhibition of medieval costumes was then taken to Florida Atlantic University (FAU) where it will remain until the middle of December. At the same time, a virtual lesson was organized by the professor of costume history, Sara Paci Piccolo, entitled “Weren’t Dante’s devils fashionably dressed? Temptations and damnations in medieval iconographies”.
The journalist and writer, Aldo Cazzullo, author of a number of publications on Dante also spoke about the Great Poet. A competition for students of Italian who were asked to invent an “impossible” interview with one of Dante’s characters and produce a video of it was a huge success. The best videos were selected and awarded by a special committee.
The Miami Consulate also organized an ideal concert on the text of the sonnet “Tanto gentile e tanto onesta pare”, sung by over 90 students of Italian, directed by the pianist Barbara Salani and the tenor Carlos de Antonis. Among the other initiatives planned for the Week of the Italian Language was the donation of a copy of the Divine Comedy in a bilingual edition with the texts facing in Italian and English, to all the public libraries in Miami-Dade County, produced with the support of the Dante Alighieri Society of Miami.
Finally, an exhibition was organized in Niceville by the Association of the families of Italian soldiers in service at the interforce base in Eglin (Okaloosa County). The exhibition, entitled “Diving into Comedy. An illustrative art exhibition of Dante’s Divine Comedy”, was hosted at the Mattie Keller Arts Center of Northwest Florida State College and presented minor works from the Uffizi Gallery and the Trivulziana Library of Castello Sforzesco in Milan, alongside works by the students of two local primary schools.
In San Francisco, the program of the Week of the Italian Language was organized by the Italian Institute of Culture in collaboration with the Italian Consulate General in San Francisco, and opened with the virtual exhibition of works by 150 Italian artists (including street artists, cartoonists, contemporary graphic novelists) “Dante Plus 700”, curated by Marco Miccoli and produced by Bonobolabo, Ravenna. The Week was also the occasion for the official launch of the project “Italy: New Italian Writing in translation”, produced and edited by the IIC of San Francisco under the direction of Marco Cassini. The project consists of a digital and hardcopy volume with the translations of 9 selections by contemporary Italian authors whose texts have never before been translated into English. The book, which can be downloaded free on the website of the IIC, was illustrated just for this project by Roman artists and graphic designers, and was published in a hardcopy version of 200 copies, which will be sent to publishing companies in the U.S., university departments and translation centers, with the intent of stimulating the translation of Italian texts.
The program of the Week of the Italian Language then continued with the online presentation by Gianrico Carofiglio of the English edition of his novel “Three O’clock in the Morning” and the showing at the Castro Theater, one of the historic movie houses of San Francisco, of the film “Dante’s Inferno” from 1911, directed by Bertolini, Padovan and Liguoro, restored by the Cineteca di Bologna. The sound track was produced live ad hoc for the event by the Sasha Jacobsen Quintet; the intertitles are recited in English and Italian by Steve Siegelmann.
Finally, for the program of initiatives devoted to children, the IIC of San Francisco, in collaboration with the IIC of Chicago and the Scholastic Direction of the Consulate commissioned the Teatro Verde in Rome to produce a series of episodes of theater for children aged 3 to 6, the “Contafavole” (Storyteller), to help keep the use of the Italian language alive, especially in mixed families.