Identity according to the “Fedeli d’Amore”

Let’s start by imagining the existence of a third way. It’s extraneous to the disjunctive dichotomy of this world that believes in the logic of this or that, yes or not, above or below, true or false. Since it is evident, even in the language that tries to understand it, that everything is extremely complex, intertwined, implicit. And in constant motion. In acceleration. Starting from identity, which is what we are talking about here: this would mean that there is a third road that lies between abandoning oneself to identity ideologies (nationalist, racist, fascist) and letting oneself drown in the homogeneous sea of currently called globalization.

The identity of each of us is in fact a victim of the alienation of identity, even if on a scale and with radically different aspects. And it fights against this alienation.

It’s No longer limited to the factory and its lines nor it’s more limited by that form of acquisition of identity called class consciousness. There is no struggle without identity.

A man without identity knows only how to desire without ever tapping into fulfillment. He is a slave to himself and at the same time a servant of the dysantropomorphized power.

Power is a mirror and in that mirror the man who no longer has any identity neither dimension, keeps looking at himself, not even the one identity that Marcuse still recognized at the end of the last century.

Recognizing himself in him, defending power, he deludes himself to defend himself.
No revolution, no change is possible without them being identities.

It was once said that a revolutionary subject is needed.
Fighting against identity in the name of the struggle against identity ideologies is to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Let us then try to hypothesize that it is worth for this problem of identity what was valid for the ‘nobility’ by the autumn of the Middle Ages. Let’s try a Stilnovo movement approach. Let’s start  from Guido Guinizzelli and his

 

“Al cor gentil rempaira semper amore /

Love always corresponds to the noble heart”.

 

The whole theory of ‘kindness’, of the new ‘kindness’ by Stilnovo is based on the notion that nobility (ie gentleness) is not inherited, but acquired.

“Gentleness” is the product of a choice, in some ways the exercise of a right: the right to improve and refine, to become more and more suitable, to welcome Love.

 

Fere lo sol lo fango tutto ’l giorno:
vile reman, né ’l sol perde calore;
dis’ omo alter: «Gentil per sclatta torno»;
lui semblo al fango, al sol gentil valore:
ché non dé dar om fé
che gentilezza sia fòr di coraggio
in degnità d’ere’
sed a vertute non ha gentil core,
com’ aigua porta raggio
e ’l ciel riten le stelle e lo splendore.

 

The sun strikes full upon the mud all day;
 It remains vile, nor the sun’s worth is less.
“By race I am gentle,” the proud man doth say:
 He is the mud, the sun is gentleness.
Let no man predicate
 That aught the name of gentleness should have,
Even in a king’s estate,
 Except the heart there be a gentle man’s.
The star-beam lights the wave, —
 Heaven holds the star and the star’s radiance.

Translation by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 – 1882), “Canzone: of the gentle heart”, appears in The Early Italian Poets, first published 1861

If we replace the Guinizzelli’s nobility to the citizenship right, it follows that we do not were born citizens, (Gentil per sclatta torno / By race I am gentle –  I am noble by birthright), from this point of view we become citizens, and we become fully only in the moment in which we recognize ourselves in that particular set of values, traditions, norms and laws that underlie that particular society.

This means a series of things: whether any human being has the right to be, to feel fully European, or Italian, French, etc., or whether this right is exercisable only to the extent that the norms, laws, values ​​that are the essence of that citizenship. Only when you are able, to say it with Guinizzelli, to be ‘gentle’.

But it also means that those who reject such values, for example by humiliating women through the imposition of certain ways of dressing (the burqua) or even mutilating them to prevent them from fully living their sexuality (infibulation), he can not imagine being entitled to this citizenship. Accepting these practices, because of a misunderstood sense of ‘respect’ of other cultures or of other religions, to declare, that is, ‘kind’ who is not at all, it will just mean to throw into the arms of racist ideologies those who, in reality, have nothing to do with them.

 

Scotellaro says

 

I am a blade of grass, a thread of grass that trembles.

And my homeland is where the grass trembles.

A breath can transplant a distant seed”.

 

I am and I have the right to be a citizen in every place where ‘the grass trembles’, even very far from my homeland, only if I am able to recognize myself in that ‘tremor’. And I acquire  this right, as in the stilnovo mood, thanks to my ‘kindness’ that is my ability to harmonize my trembling with the trembling of those who share with me a specific social, ethical and legal pact.Wherever I can recognize myself, wherever I choose to recognize myself in full autonomy and freedom

Image by Salvatore Lavieri

 

Originally published on FattoQuotidiano Online, March 18th 2019, read the original here

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Poet, writer and performer.
He is one of the European pioneers of spoken word and spoken music and has introduced in Italy the Poetry slam.

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