Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

“Viva” April 25, its values and meanings. Long live those who search their memory in order not to lose the sense of history and to reaffirm judgement of its events, contrasting the revisionists who would like to change history.

Because there were, in many cases, for opportunism more than for conviction, those who had chosen easier solutions. But there were also those who risked their lives in the hopes of creating a free and democratic state.

With this in mind, long live initiatives that help to solidify memories of the past which, year after year, become more distant and lose protagonists of the events.

The exhibit, “San Fedele 1944-2014, Immagini e ricordi”, presented on occasion of the event, “Orme di Resistenza” (Traces of Resistance, is featured in the parish of Vagliagli, with the patronage of the Township of Castelnuovo Berardenga and the Vagliagli branch of ANPI.

It is an event that incorporates two documentary collections regarding World War II. It is curated and was created by Giacomo Scala.

One part regards some of the most tragic and painful chapters of the events of 1944, year of the liberation of the Chianti territory from the Nazi occupation.

Like in other places, the resistance was paid for heavily by massacres, roundups and retaliation: more than 70 man who were captured in the area of Vagliagli and then gathered in San Fedele were deported on June 29.

It is an event sculpted into the memory of the town, especially for the children and grandchildren of those who lived it. Some of them personally saw it happen, and were able to reconstruct the event that put that quiet sharecropping world, upset by the war, into perspective.

Of the 70 deported, one was murdered immediately when he tried to escape, while a second farmer disappeared: all of the others made it home and, in the following years, decided to meet in San Fedele every June 29 to celebrate their salvation with lunch and a procession thanking the Madonna.

The other part of the exhibit recuperates material from “Guerra, femminile singolare” (War, singular feminine noun), an additional collection of testimonials which has already been presented in the volume, “Al principio d’autunno. Vagliagli, una comunita’ si racconta attraverso la sua festa” (Aska Edizioni, 2005).

This presents works of documentation and historic memory which has been created by Giacomo Scala and Licia Galgani since 1995 as an evaluating activity for the Festa dell’Uva of Vagliagli.

“Guerra, femminile singolare”, is a film from 2002, created from the stories of 23 women who had direct experience with the war. Their stories, in all their drama, demonstrate the force of those who lived through that period.

Says Giacomo Scala, “None of the narrators/protagonists were defeated by the events:  all of those women suffered, but also felt joy; they fell in love, continued to cook, even if they were in hiding or in a home which from one day to the other was filled with other families, relatives, friends and neighbors. That time was conquered by solidarity, friendship and sharing. These high values are not sad. What is sad is that today, in a time of peace, these values seem to have disappeared”.

Cosimo Ciampoli