Classics in the streets – Aesop in our own way


A project coordinated by: Isabella Tondo e Franco Chinnici

Video edited by: G.B. Palumbo Editore
With the support of: USR Sicilia-AT Palermo

The “Classics in the streets” project was born in Palermo in 2013. It has involved a network of schools, the University and associations of Palermo committed to promote the knowledge of classical texts through the theater, organizing events in the streets and squares of historic districts such as Ballarò and Borgo Vecchio, places with a high rate of immigration, social disadvantage and early school leaving. This project, now in its third edition, envisages to study literature at the gym studios, sewing clothes, mounting lights and plants, painting panels, rewriting the texts, representing them on stage. It is not just to promote “directly” the ancient works, but, above all, to trigger or grow, through the subversive and complaint force of a classic text or its staging, the reflection on the great subject of violence, exclusion, conflict.

In 2015 the project was also actualized at the Ucciardone prison, thanks to the collaboration with the Asvope (Penitentiary Volunteer Association). Last year, the detainees rewrote and interpreted some passages taken from the Iliad and the Odyssey. The show this year, “Aesop in our own way,” tells in a genuine and self-ironic way the path of a group of detainees (with different age, background and character) grappling with the moral fables of the Greek writer. Every Wednesday afternoon, from December to June, the aspiring actors worked under the guidance of Preziosa Salatino, belonging to the Atlante theater of Palermo, in order to learn how to express themselves through their body and their voice and to experience a way to get together and communicate in an unusual way for them. Presumptuous hares, grateful mice, overbearing wolves, unconventional cicadas and hard-working ants were a pretext to reflect on the vices and virtues of the human being. The theater workshop was enriched by thematic lectures held in prison by teachers and experts on the issues of power and violence. Last June 11th the show was staged at the Area Verde at the Ucciardone. Today we present to the city this educational journey, an experience of human and intellectual growth from which we all have to learn.