Sorrento (NA) As part of the review “Let’s meet at the mansion“Promoted by Municipality of Sorrento and Sorrento Foundation with a full program of events from June to September and the artistic direction of Antonino Giamarinoyesterday the documentary “Caine, Tales of Prisoners“, The journalist Amalia de Simone (Rai 3 revealing video reporter; “Mi manda Rai 3”, “The human factor”, collaborates with The Post Internazionale and Reuters), filmed entirely in the women’s prisons of Fuorni-Salerno and Pozzuoli. The screening was preceded by a debate on the issues of imprisonment and ransom, moderated by the Dean of Journalists of the Sorrento Peninsula Antonino Siniscalchi, with interventions by Dr. Antonino Giamarinowho desperately wanted this moment of civic engagement, the director of Fuorni prison, dr Rita Romanoand two former guests of Salerno prison rose and ann (Ciruzzo) Witnesses of a world that too often forgets to guarantee the second chance that a citizen who made a mistake and paid his bills with the state deserves in a civilized country, while often sitting in prisons “The prisoners are like rats that know that behind the hole in the wall is a new trap: never freedom, for the mark of Cain abides upon you”, reflection of Gustav Herling, a Polish writer friend from Sorrento, husband of Lidia Croce, then Gulag survivor, wrote it to underscore how inhuman and alienating prison can be; followed by a songwriter concert Assia Fiorillo. At the end of the event, I meet the singer-songwriter for a short interview. Assia Fiorillo, for those who don’t know her, is a Neapolitan singer with an extraordinary voice, she is a pop songwriter who manages to use a wide variety of sounds without ever getting lost. In “Assia”, her new album that she presented last night in Sorrento, she mixes electropop and civic engagement, qualities that led her to win at the Fonderie Teatrali Limone di Moncalieri (Turin) on the occasion of the April 42 edition of the Literary Prize of the City of Moncalieri, the “Gianmaria Testa Prize”The international jury of the Turin fair wanted to reward his grace, his talent, his Mediterranean verve and above all his civic commitment, condensed in the beautiful song “I am you” (produced by Max D’Ambra), soundtrack of the documentary Caine by Amalia de Simone.
Tell me about your music project, did you call it “Assia” because it tells your story?
Yes, it also speaks of me, but without self-reference. I’ve been writing since I was a teenager and at this point in my career I felt the need to condense a number of songs I’ve been writing over the past few years into a single album. But songs that could best represent my idea of music.
On the album you rejected various themes ranging from civic engagement to the simplest divertissement.
Yes, I like to say that this album follows a common thread that goes from the inside out, in the sense that the attention of the first songs is focused on relationships, on the feelings of a couple, on the moments of love, but also of the crisis, then step by step we move outwards, towards social and civic engagement, which is no less important and emotionally engaging. It’s always me who talks about things that I’ve experienced first-hand, so to speak.
How would you define your style of music, do you feel more as a jazz or world music interpreter?
I started out in a band that played Jimi Hendrix’ blues rock, but I love music in general, I have a master’s degree in jazz music, but I can say I grew up listening to a lot of Italian songwriters.
Which jazz musicians do you hear closest to your strings?
Definitely “Chet” Baker and in general his lyrical and intimate style that goes under the Cool Jazz label.
And the Italian singers who sing jazz?
I have to confess that I love Italian songwriting more than anything, in fact I can tell you that I consider Fabrizio De Andrè my “musical father”, his songs are the musical literature I have listened to the most and love the most.
And your relationship to Neapolitan music?
Consider that I grew up in a family where my father played bass and my brother classical guitar. Thanks to them I got to know the whole repertoire of Neapolitan classical music, although I never sang it, but it’s still an important part of my cultural background.
Remind me the names of your musicians, they were all very good, I wanted to mention them in the article?
yes thanks A great group. Valerio Spartera on guitar, Ciccio Esposito on drums, Renzo Carpinone on bass, Biagio Capasso on piano and keyboards.
How did you get involved with the Caine project?
I met Amalia De Simone on the occasion of a record I made with the Mujeres Creando group, of which I am the front woman, and we immediately came to terms. We immediately started exchanging ideas and opinions about everything. Then this project of working with women prisoners came out and their contribution was fundamental, even just to encourage and encourage me when I thought it might be too much of a commitment for me.
What has this experience left for you? How did you feel when you first and last entered the prison?
I’ve always tried not to be biased. I have a degree in psychology, so through my education I try not to have any, not to judge others. But when you enter a prison for the first time, you first have the impression that you are about to meet the bad guys, then you realize that they are normal people like us and some people do not realize that it could have ended up in these cells. The last time I was in Fuorni was recently because Amalia and I continue to go, but voluntarily, even though the idea of making a sequel to Caine is in the works. However, he hoped to keep in touch with these girls who deserve to be healed and reintegrated into civil society.
Did your psychology preparation help you with this inmate experience?
Yes, of course, not only because I chose this course of study basically because I was instinctively inclined to understand and try to understand the people in front of me, but also because the university education gave me other tools to work with them come into harmony and their suffering.
One last question, in the documentary there is a woman showing off her scars, some of them are creepy and you instinctively wonder how it is possible for a man to do something like that to his partner. You yourself sing about “Wounds and Bruises” in “I am you”, so I ask you to reflect on femicide.
The first reflection is related to patriarchy, which I strongly oppose, and the male and male culture that derive from it, where women are not only the first victims but, in some cases, accomplices in justifying the violence suffered a ‘ the other with phrases like ‘he acted like that because she made him ‘pissed’. Remember that the song you heard at the end of the concert”Something went wrong“Tells about a broken relationship that leads to gender-based violence. I also did an inverted version, using this special effect to emphasize the drama of what is happening in the video clip while also shifting the viewer. I hatched a conspiracy with him entering the house with a bouquet of flowers when they last met, but he also has a gun with him. The end, which is the beginning, is at least unsettling.
The album “Assia” consists of ten tracks, starting with “Io sono te” written by the author with the inmates and ending with “Anna”. Anna is one of the women interviewed in the documentary Caine, and she is above all one of those girls who, with courage and dignity, have chosen to take off their masks in front of the camera and present themselves to us in all their fragile humanity. I am happy to end my story of yesterday’s meeting with the words of this song by Assia Fiorillo, because today, more than yesterday, they sound like a prayer for those who are no longer with us.. For today more than yesterday these verses remind us that inmates are not numbers, I’m not caine: They are people like us who made mistakes, paid for their mistakes and have the right to rebuild their lives. Especially if we are a country that still really believes in certain values, these women must not give them up.
curated by Luigi De Rosa
how hard it is to talk to you
How hard is it to understand you
Stay here on the other side
what you tell me
what all your scars
May they be a precious gift to you
I know this all sounds unfair
But for yourself
do not look back
If you haven’t seen it for too many nights
Plus the moon and the road to your home
At all the times you wished for
Stand alone and you couldn’t
Pray to God if you think it will help you
listen who i pray
i pray to you
* Taken from “Anna” by Assia Fiorillo
in the picture Assia Fiorillo, Dr. Rita Romano, Antonino Giammarino, Antonino Siniscalchi, Amalia De Simone, Rosa and Anna.