I was born in an organised and safe world. At least that’s how I perceived it. A world governed by a logic that may have not always been fair and just but that appeared reasonable.
The war was a black shadow over those lands, close or far, that we looked at with respect and a new sense of compassion.
Before me, a future of meritocratic conquers compensated by an unavoidable dishonesty that, despite being contagious, didn’t win over the honest man. I grew up reading many books that helped me develop my own opinions; the symbolic value of the described commemorating rituals was undeniable. Even though I knew nobody could escape deterioration, I felt safe, away from the horror.
Both the horror of the concentration camps and the partisans’ bravery were undoubtedly too recent and their stories, besides being a warning, inspired emotional virtuosity. What would I have done? Would I have been brave enough to fight cruelty? Would I have given up my life to protect others? Deep inside though I was hoping that certain things would never happen again.
*Photo Copyright: Michelangelo Mignosa
The environment was a vague and pluralistic concept and nature was a treasure from which we could benefit both emotionally and economically. Progress – whatever it meant and beyond any forecast – was made in the name of men. The occasional hiccups and the emerging contradictions were overlooked; at school, we learned about the persecutions with a sense of resentment and distance triggered by a shared sense of security.
Until the great and thriving human evolution started to crumble. New lagers, such as Identification and Expulsion Centres and Reception Centres for Asylum Seekers, were created; anonymous places where the individuality of these sensitive people was and is overlooked. This mass of people confused us, prevented us from seeing their unique value, it turned into a terrifying spectre that scared us. And all the horror we thought we left behind us suddenly came back.
In this scenario of moral decay and alienation, where our action lose all purposes, I believe we need safe harbours where we can restore our humanity and empathy. Beauty, passion and astonishment can help us escaping the increasingly violent pace of our lives.
This blog’s purpose and aims are simple: without shortcuts and with moral honesty, it’ll provide inputs to reflect on complex issues that are not easily resolved. It won’t look at the bigger picture, instead it’ll represent individual stories and their uniqueness as well as our passion for certain matters that can finally be dealt with.
In doing so, Moussa is no longer the umpteenth migrant/immigrant/illegal migrant but something more like a brother/son/friend found after 29 years on this planet. Moussa, just like me, left what he knew to build a better future. Moussa has paid a very high price for his bravery and every night he goes to bed wondering if he’ll ever see his mum again. Moussa is not an immigrant. Moussa is a person.
*Photo Copyright: Michelangelo Mignosa
The blog’s name refers to Antigone because it expresses the need to protect and safeguard the natural laws belonging to every single human being that should never be violated by human arrogance. Antigone embodies a thorny and upstanding heroine inviting us to undertake a journey in our conscience. It is a difficult journey, we’ll be faced with the prevailing mind-set shaped ad hoc by fickle human insolence. Antigone knows that each deceased deserves burial and that human laws can’t prevent natural laws from prevailing. We must be able to acknowledge when human laws endanger the inviolable sacredness of life. Antigone fought alone while we are many and can guide each other towards new ways of thinking with that enthusiasm that is distinctive of great passions.
Ultimately, I hope that this virtual space can be your/our home, your/our safe harbour against horror, your/our oasis for a renewed humanity. I want to thank all the people with whom I have spoken about this project, they all seemed eager to express their views. Thank you all for your help and desire to cooperate. We have a home now, a home where we can all meet.
Ad maiora. June 2015
Translation by Francesca Colantuoni
Italian article by Maria Grazia Patania