Kids must play with the earth

Bosnia. Italy. Germany. Spain. And who know show many other countries, how many other faces, how many other stories. A journey-long life. A journey through knowledge made out of phrases, made out of lived experience in the learning process of a code that we cannot comprehend.

It’s been sometime that I’ve been in the camp,
or better, that I’ve been going to their camp.
I try to observe them, but without a mechanical eye.

Nomads have been an interesting subject since forever, they represent an attraction, they stimulate our thirst for understanding and research. How much land did those men touch, how much more will those bare feet touch? Feet that do not cherist asphalt, that do not want a pavement. Feet that do not want designer shoes, nor water, nor soap. They do not want. Maybe. We will never know and it is certainly not up to us to seek the truth of a people that has decided to belong to the world. Stateless in their souls, going wherever the changing seasons give them an ideal weather, they are the masters of time. All of this twists conventions since it is difficult to understand, inconvenient to accept, convoluted to encode. Definitely it is unacceptable for the sedentary culture, complicated to handle for the Western governments. What do they hide, those faces who try to pose behind a camera, but instead get caught in their most intimate and truthful expressions? What are the houses, the everyday sense of duty, what is the sense of time passing by? What is that suspended time hiding through a people that made of time its own sword of liberty and of moving its own credo?

“ There’s a child who is following me.
He constantly observes me.”

Eyes watching. Everything. Eyes that do not ask. Hard eyes like rocks. Swift eyes like the wind. Eyes that have seen many worlds many cultures. Very close relatives of ours who did not accept and do not accept the rules imposed by the structured world made of borders and search for truth through the market laws. Eyes from ancient times which remember that we came from there too, from that remote place always changing from season to season: Central Asia, Aborigines, and Native Americans. We were Nomads as well, our fathers, our ancestors. Those same eyes that today frighten us since they surrendered too to the charm of the material world, losing their gipsy poetry by soiling their hands and passing the dark threshold of the illicit. But maybe it is not their fault: we reciprocally steal from each that which is most dear to us: they steal our material goods, we steal their freedom. Nevertheless, these people have codes, honor, ethics, and culture coming from their past, which made their sense of belonging to every landscape of the world their weapon of liberty: the earth is always the same. Maybe its color might change, its shade, its salt. But the earth is the earth.

“Children must play with the earth”

The earth belongs to the world, but to a rural world, suspended in a space outside the borders of the metropolis, forgotten in the memory of the elderly who live a double life. Once upon a time children in the earth, elderly people nowadays, lost in computers and technologies that they do not understand. The earth belong to who can understand that in that salt resides the secret of our roots, Mother Earth who gave us solid ground to roam upon, soft ground to fall on, warm ground to rest on, cold ground to die on. It is maybe that search for the lost time that in the agricultural nature of mankind gave us our sense of being? Or maybe the search for an identity wandering from land to land, perpetually on the go, in order to find concreteness? A wandering people is a people that understood that a nation is not a geographical border, but a shared soul, a spiritual principal. It is a moving home since a home is not a set of walls, but the people and the cultures. All this leaves its mark, a deep mark evident only to the few who can see it. What does lie beneath this willingness to investigate, to search with a mechanical eye this people of the world?

“Maria is too much, cumbersome, predominant.
Her body dominates the camp. Her body is the camp:
she is the leading matron.”

Maybe, there is the desire – like in the challenge of the man without any quality by Musil – of feeling like inhabitants of the village, but also like citizens of the world. There is maybe the need of making concrete a corporeal matter made out of wind. There is maybe the instinct of stopping, through the corporeal “presence,” sometimes cumbersome, sometimes fleeting, the realization of a dream: the dream of the freedom from the blackmail of the matter. A sense of liberty that is given not by the sense of possession and omnipotence linked to the economic wealth, but by the awareness that, no matter whats, there will always be a Mother Land on which they can set food. Maybe here resides Patrizia Posillipo’s research: she looks at a nomad people as at the metaphor of her own life always hovering between leaving and staying, between belonging to a village and the irrepressible desire to be in the world. Between the desire of being invisible and the need of stopping the matter. Having a body to touch so that we know that we exist. Having a land to belong to so that we know we can go there. Maybe a land to observe from above, trying to keep your balance on a chair, like all the Orcar Saliuvics of the world. Thank you Bruce Chatwin, Thank you Patrizia.

Daniela Piscitelli