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Grade with honors.

In the photo, a detail from : ‘Sony World Photography Awards 2023’, Milan - ‘Museo Diocesano Carlo Maria Martini’.[1]



Our memory is not a storage at all, in fact a working laboratory which selects processes and produces reality, that is what most identifies each of us : and if it isn’t in order, the fantasies that emerge do not help or defend. Difficult is to correct one’s naivety which we struggle to recognize, for example the compulsion for revenge, an issue that is unfortunately still current and recurring, even in today’s Civilization.

The 16th Competition, established by regional law in 2008 in Lombardia (Italy) ‘for the affirmation of the values’ of the Exodus from Istria region[2], kept the students busy for this 2024 edition about ‘How the exiles faced the challenge of rebuilding their existence in Lombardia and in the world’[3] : unsuspected names as the chemist Fulvio Bracco, founder of the Company ‘Bracco Spa’ and Ottavio Missoni in the fashion industry, the songwriter Sergio Endrigo as well as others in their normal  professions, involved a work of investigation and discovery from students ranging in age from thirteen and seventeen years old, and their commendable teachers. Up to the peculiar testimony of a former child girl who in 1949 was six years old and ‘hadn’t had the time to learn to read yet’ : today a delightful eighty one year old lady, Marisa Brugna[4] conducted a short and well-attended speech on her own ‘refugeance’ together with the hundreds of thousands of families which, starting from 1945, left Istria and their own homes but – not to irritate the new occupants who settled there after the Armistice of 1943 – few at a time, as if it were a holiday from which they would come back, and so it was not. Because they had to start from scratch, very far from their homelands, after long and painful stays of luck in the various ‘Refugee Collection Centres’ scattered across Italy, often facing distrust even from Italians themselves.

Who will be your partner and who will be instead your boss ? That was the question in the minds of adults who suddenly became ‘refugees’ in that Exodus : a question immediately collected now by the awarded young people present last February 14, because the experience of one’s naivety is as burning as life’s worst wounds, often it doesn’t even make it to the news, resolved in a hostile ‘face to face’. The defense against naivety appears impervious, even obscure, above all surrounded by uncontainable and overwhelming emotions : listening to yourself talking is a work, and it makes school.


Marina Bilotta Membretti, Cernusco sul Naviglio 19 febbraio 2024



[1] ‘Sony World Photography Awards 2023’ is one of the most prestigious competitions in the world for contemporary photography (Milan, ‘Museo Diocesano Carlo Maria Martini’ July 3 – September 3, 2023). The free contest allows photographers from all the world to find support for their talent : in the four competitions of 2023 edition - Professional, Open, Student, Youth – more than 415.000 images participated from over 200 countries and territories.

[2] Before the Armistice of 1943 Istria was in Italy, but after the Armistice it became territory of the Federal Republic of Marshal Tito, now Croatia and Slovenia.


[3] Activity of ‘Regione Lombardia’, the 16th Edition of the Competition school year 2023-2024 “Le Foibe, la strage di Vergarolla ed il conseguente Esodo giuliano, fiumano e dalmata : come gli esuli hanno affrontato la sfida di ricostruire la propria esistenza in Lombardia e nel mondo”, rewarded on last February 14, into the ‘Sala Consiliare’ of Palazzo Pirelli in Milan, the selected works of the 145 students participating : I.T.E.P. ’Galileo Galilei’ - Laveno Mombello (VA) (novel); Liceo ‘Primo Levi’ - San Donato Milanese (MI) (video); Istituto Comprensivo ‘Alessandro Manzoni’ - Cologno Monzese (MI) (audiobook); Liceo Artistico ‘Giacomo e Pio Manzù’ - Bergamo (three videos awarded); Istituto comprensivo ‘San Paolo d’Argon’ - Cenate Sotto (BG) Scuola Secondaria I Grado ‘Enea Salmeggia’ (booklet : special mention in the competition); Liceo Statale ‘Novello’ - Codogno (LO) Scuola Secondaria II Grado (comic : special mention out of competition).


[4] Marisa Brugna, who today lives at Alghero (Sardinia) where she also has her family, testified her own ‘refugeance’ in the book ‘Memoria negata’ – Edizioni Condaghes Srl (2013) of which she is the author.

An incredible winter.

‘Perlasca’[1], by and with Alessandro Albertin.

In the photo: the Alps near Barcelonnette (Provence, FR) on the border with Italy.



Endless winter is the sleep of removal, always by threat, of losing love, or freedom, or even one’s life : a thinking which first and foremost censors, as it is in the arrogance of every despotism, terrible without mitigating circumstances.

Alessandro Albertin is author of the work which, with trained fluency and a special ability to arouse curiosity, is bringing to the scene in recent months. The story is not his, it is Someone else’s who was able, as a matter of facts, to question him to this extent, Someone else who was, precariously balanced, in Budapest in the years 1944 – 1945, at the crossroads never erased that the proclamation of the Armistice of 1943 made a difference for Italy : on the one hand the euphoria for the end of the Second World War, on the other the beginning of a severe persecution and extreme civil war by a defeated and utterly enraged Nazism. In short, something that is not taken into sufficient account when faced to victory – and serious responsibility of all rulers in neglecting – and something cruel at the same time, as every coming back of removal really is in life.

Giorgio Perlasca has just come out of his own war experience, volunteer fighter in Spain[2], at Budapest he is talentedly starting a meat business : but an Armistice is an Armistice, enough with the enemies now ! And he finds himself wanted, just like everyone that Gestapo goes to track down one by one in their houses, elderly and children, women and men, Jews first and foremost but not only : the fury of those who are defeated has no equal. An endless winter, no more seasons. Perlasca has family in Italy, to save himself he retrieves a letter of introduction, written and signed by the general Francisco Franco with which he can ask the Spain Embassy for any help, even at Budapest : and it is here that, together with his own salvation, Jorge – no longer Giorgio – Perlasca finds himself facing the injustice of the Case for which many in Budapest are rounded up, killed or deported in the nearby concentration camp of Auschwitz. Jorge remains at the Embassy, and precisely with that safe conduct, whose power he skillfully manages to strengthen and expand, he recovers the lives of thousands of persecuted people - Spanish Jews first and foremost, but not only - thus disobeying the Law of Hungary. When he will come again in Italy, no one will hear anything from him, Perlasca will resume the life he interrupted and invent a job, getting by in that very difficult post-war period which however the short 1960s would even go so far as to forget.

Doesn’t feel like remembering ? Anyone interested in listening to him ? Recognize the privilege of merit in others ? Perhaps.

Knowing you have saved someone is the certainty of a partnership, so real that it does not seek extras – even if one gets it sometimes. So incredible is one’s psychic occurrence indeed, it doesn’t appear and has thousands and thousands of forms, and even in the winter of life.


Marina Bilotta Membretti / Cernusco sul Naviglio – February 10, 2024



[1] ‘Perlasca. Il coraggio di dire no’, by and with Alessandro Albertin, directed by Michela Ottolini, produced by ‘Teatro de Gli Incamminati’, Milan. Alessandro Albertin has been received last January 27 at the ‘Quirinale’ by the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, on the occasion of ‘Remembrance Day’ : here he read a piece from ‘Perlasca. Il coraggio di dire no’ and also introduced the testimony by Cesare Rimini, ‘Una carta in più’. Graduated from the ‘Scuola d’Arte Drammatica Paolo Grassi’ of Milan, Alessandro Albertin (Padua, Italy - 1972) already brought to the stage ‘Lo Sbarco in Normandia, i segreti di una vittoria’, ‘Marco Pantani, il campione fuori norma’, ‘Prometeo incatenato’ by Aeschilous for the ‘Greek Theatre’ of Siracusa (2023) : he worked with Virginio Gazzolo, Gianrico Tedeschi, Andrée Ruth Shammah, Gigi Proietti, Ugo Pagliai and others.

[2] Known as the ‘Spanish War’, was the long and terrible civil war which broke out following the military coup (July 17, 1936) that brought the general Francisco Franco to power in March 1939, and installed a fascist dictatorship which remained in government until around 1975.

the graft. 

Detail from the fresco by Luciano Bartoli[1] in the baptistery of the parish church ‘Sant’Ambrogio Ad Fontes’, Segrate-MI.



It is a recent film, ‘C’è ancora domani’[2], first feature and excellent debut as director for the good actress Paola Cortellesi : it focuses on what moves one’s mind and that can never be said ‘resiliency’, a term that is linked to the study of inert materials but not to humans because it doesn’t come into one’s law of thinking. Paola Cortellesi doesn’t make a narration, instead she focuses on something that it is not at all neutral, like the imputability of a beginning, and she does it with courage and with skilful lightness : we are as grateful to her also for this, as we are to the excellent Hitchcock[3], certainly her predecessor.

Attributable here is not only her cruel husband, the collaborationist father-in-law, the inert neighbours, the ancient and useless lover : in the lucid transparency of a text[4] of which the good Cortellesi is author too, the attributable person appears to be also the victim, that is Delia, whose defense consists in a desperate estrangement, just fed on little tricks : an estrangement artfully created by her, and of which only at the end we learn that it did not prevent her to remember when things went well with her husband.

Of the three children, the eldest Marcella is who provokes in the adult woman that graft – trigger of a thinking which really hurts : of being nothing, that is, and not only at home but socially, in her own city that was Rome after the end of the Second World War, in that esplicit disorder that the war had kept silent, with the arrival of new allies to democracy but disliked by the loyalists of the old regime whose economy is based on the exclusion of identites. Then it misleads us, we all that are on this side of the big screen, the receiving of a sealed envelope addressed to Delia, delivered to her almost secretly by the concierge : do we forgive her ?

A deception for all of us, no easy pink story behind that envelope, no naivety in the next settling of accounts that turns the tide, so incredible but very reasonable indeed… In short, Paola Cortellesi focuses the non-naive ability to keep a place for the other, for your similar who may ‘occur’ partner : and beasts, that as we know ‘are other than animals’, don’t care about this.

Attributable is naivety, always painful, as it buries a ‘psychic occurrence’ : but, at the same way, attributable and imputable is one’s memory because it is actually ‘work’.

One’s ascribility, or excitement[5], is just the first step as the indication of a crossroads that is not at all obligatory, just an opportunity that our thinking offers us in the shape of an appointment to be elaborated and worked on.

Compulsion is therefore not all our unconscious, there is still free memory that should not be lost : a matter I will take up again.


Marina Bilotta Membretti / Cernusco sul Naviglio – December 27, 2023



[1] Luciano Bartoli (Trieste 1912 – Padova 2009) dedicated himself almost exclusively to religious iconography : his first assignment, already in 1935, was to decorate the church of Santa Caterina at lsola d’Istria, which was followed by commissions for other churches in Udine, Padova, Treviso, Trieste, Issogne (Val d’Aosta) as well as the design of numerous windows. (Information taken from: ‘Un’arte per contemplare. Percorso iconografico nella chiesa di ‘Sant’Ambrogio Ad Fontes’, di Isabella Bertario – 2022; ‘Le nuove chiese della diocesi di Milano 1945-1993’, a cura di Cecilia De Carli – ‘Vita e pensiero’ (Milano, 1994). ‘Sant’Ambrogio Ad Fontes’ is one of the 22 celebratory churches of the Second Vatican Council, promoted in the Ambrosian diocese by the then Archbishop Cardinal Montini, now Saint Paulus VI, and was consecrated on April 25, 1966.

[2] ‘C’è ancora domani’ (2023) has been conceived, directed and performed by Paola Cortellesi. Other interpreters : Valerio Mastandrea, Romana Maggiora Vergano, Emanuela Fanelli, Giorgio Colangeli, Vinicio Marchioni, Francesco Centorame. Presented at the 18th edition of the ‘Festa del Cinema’ of Rome, the film received the special prize from the jury and a special mention as the best first film. It has been produced by Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Gangarossa for ‘Wildside’ and ‘Vision Distribution’.

[3] Alfred Hitchcock (1899 – 1980) directed, among the others : ‘Psycho’, ‘The Birds’, ‘Rear Window’, ‘Vertigo’.

[4] Subject and screenplay : Furio Andreotti, Giulia Calenda, Paola Cortellesi.

[5] In ‘Il pensiero di natura. Dalla psicoanalisi al pensiero giuridico’, by Giacomo B. Contri SIC Edizioni (1998), pg. 54, 95.

Enter the scene.

Conversation with… Elena Polic Greco[1].



Delightful leading actress in ‘The Peace’[2] by Aristophanes in the just ended successful theatre season at the ‘Greek Theatre’ of Siracusa (Italy), Elena Polic Greco has also been one of the daughters of Oceanus  –  as well as Coryphaea and responsible of the Chorus – in the spectacular ‘Prometheus chained[3], so concluding a busy year of teaching in academy which is the ‘Accademia d’Arte del Dramma Antico’ at Siracusa : next September 29 she will committed again with the director Daniele Salvo at Taranto (Italy) in ‘The Spartans’, a modern text by Barbara Gizzi.

“I knew very little indeed at the beginning of ‘my’ academy, which was the Accademia Nazionale d’Arte Drammatica ‘Silvio D’Amico’ at Rome, where I was born : by now I move all year for work, between Rome and Siracusa. But perhaps I knew something more than my classmates, because I often followed my mother on tour… Now however I was so curious, like a sponge, I was thirsty to know, to search in the past, to put some order in what I already knew about cinema and theatre : and I understood that also what I knew until then about myself was not enough, acting required much more of me…

I’ve learned that an actor can be shy, I had Masters who generated in me questions and curiosity about theatre, and it was extraordinary what happened in me : I discovered singing and its richness of sounds and possibilities, and I found my body again – I had lost it, my body, as a young girl because I was convinced that I was not physically adequate… My Masters showed to me that it was not true, and I find myself still thanking them today, because body is fundamental in our work, and it is the body itself that generates the sound when the body is put on the play.

I began to change and to seek, not to give up, to take even advantage of my failures to get to know myself, and to know the other from me. I’ve learned to listen to, and even to laugh on me…”

Do you think that doing theater is therapeutic ?

“I don’t like to think that theater is therapeutic, because a therapy is made to cure a pathology and I would not risk confusing the two professions, a therapist does other studies. Fortunately theatre can be very healthy, and it is my favourite mode. It is a profession that requires continuous study, and a healthy body, a healthy mind. Theater can perhaps be therapeutic in society, but I wouldn’t use the word ‘therapeutic’, I would rather say ‘useful’, also if  there are very few public funding then…

Theater, as a matter of facts, also presents obstacles, and riches too we didn’t know, maybe we wanted to hide… You learn to separate your character, which you even enter, to live with – and with all its quirks sometimes – from the person you are instead, with your history, the contrasts, memory at work, the sensitivity… Perhaps it is in all this that acting offers you a ‘cure’ because it requires you to experiment, to risk, and at last to change.”

As a teacher in Academy, how did your experience change, compared to just acting ?

“Teaching, working with students, I’m passionate about this, it was a revelation for me… The other, in this case, is someone who comes near the same vocation as you : an even deeper experience is looking at the other, listening to him, or her and putting both of them at ease, mainly in the difficulties. Sound, for example is today a neglected experience : little importance is given to sound and a student should be accompanied in his or her discovering.

But, on the other hand, right at Academy sudden new passions are born – there have been students here who are now excellent lyrical singers. In my years as an Academy student I discovered, and suddenly I  became fond of our pleasant Italian language and of the wonderful sound of our talking. The difficult is that often the use of daily speaking – by now it is so synthetized – and the research for ‘truth’ which in theatre is banned by definition, sacrifices sound at the expense of understanding and of concepts : being able to play with vowels and consonants, with the accents of words and the different accents you can place in a sentence, it offers many possibility to communication.    

‘To wet words with sound’ I say, and it is a work I propose, which I gained while carrying on ‘my’ academy in these fourteen years at Siracusa : ‘to learn’ a forgotten Italian as you learn a new language, crossing texts by Alfieri, Tasso, Ariosto about reciting and by Metastasio, according Nicola Vaccai’ method about singing, or Monteverdi with the ‘reciting singing’. And we are able again to speak, so that we begin to ‘talk on stage’ until we enter, we ‘contaminate’ – can we say ? – our everyday life.   

The word then makes itself a ‘significant’ sound no longer singing it, makes itself three-dimensional through the sound, completely new : but getting to understand how the word – and which word – is necessary to convey a message, it takes time, it’s not immediate at all, it takes years…”

What is the goal ?

“It’s better not to getting caught by vague ‘external’ goals and this is difficult too, both for students and in general in our work. For me it’s necessary to have a dream, but also know what you want, what goal you want to aim for : it’s one of the things I ask my students to write and to keep under analysis; dreams are often unattainable but beautiful to imagine, while clarifying what you would like to be is important in order to adjust the shot in a profession which totally involves the life of each of us. Then theater is training, practice, study, also defeat and even failure, and digging deep is not a game, you don’t have to get hurt : mistakes however offer the opportunity we had overlooked… Until you get that ‘feeling’ that it’s okay, an ease that makes you light, incredibly powerful and almost happy, you just want ‘feeling’ it again.

The applause follows, heartfelt : maybe not the prize, it goes through very particular ways. Here, I am convinced that it’s essential we undertake the academy not as a ‘remainder’, the residual choice but as an opportunity to discover our talent and to offer ourselves a chance to work on it without saving, with intelligence.

In our classes, sometimes you need to be able to reassure them, maybe an attachment to the bad memory of being ‘silenced’ because when singing, or dancing they were said they made ‘noise’ or they were ‘out of tune’, and there they remained. On the other hand, when a student already knows the music or sings, he – or she - must be reassured because what he, or she, already possesses will not be lost, will not be forgotten : because this is often what students fear… So, also a lot of work for them to come to trust! Then satisfaction comes, for me it is to witness the discoveries they make while studying, and their reciprocal contagion, satisfaction is to hear their voices singing in the corridors, in the courtyard of our Academy, and even in the alleys of Siracusa!”                                          

Two works by Aristophanes were staged this year : ‘The Peace’ (421 b.C.) at the ‘Greek Theatre’, and ‘Lysistrata’ (411 b.C.), final essay by the students of III year : is there a connection between the two texts ?

“Perhaps the most obvious connection is the urgency of finding peace : but the least obvious one, and often unobserved, is that of those who move the urgency, they are peasants who make the ground fruitable in ‘The Peace’ and, on the other hand, women in ‘Lysistrata’ as they generate children. How much sadness there is in ‘Lysystrata’, how much she herself is connected to nature and how, she too, would solve everything starting from love, from union, from wisdom. Lysistrata, as well as Trygeus in ‘The Peace’, finally realize that intervening is necessary to avoid the worst. This is also why I said that theater can have a social function.”

What part does memory have in acting, and how is cultivated ?

“Our memory collaborates and opposes itself at the same time : there are sentences, sounds, which suddenly come to the surface while you ‘are’ that specific character on stage, any actor knows that and there are different ways to make ‘memory’. I’m very attached to the movement sequence on the scene that I study with mathematical precision, just as I do with studying the text, I create appointments that I fix with repetition : so I alredy begin to build the character as I study, but it’s the director who helps me make it take shape, and working with the director means also to get to change your method. But more and more often the rehearsal period is getting shorter, then our preparation must be much more intensive to be able to get to the first rehearsal with our memory ready…

Becoming an accomplice to your character is essential, then the phrases come spontaneously and it’s a pleasure! In ‘The Peace’ by Aristophanes, where I actually played ‘The Peace’, the director didn’t like to end with a ‘merry’ party, as prepared - perhaps a little cruelly - by the ancient author : Daniele Salvo preferred infact to express worry, and fear too, the warning to a world that insists on dealing with war, for greed and dominance. So my final monologue is drawn from ‘The Phoenician women’ by Euripides (410 b.C), where Jocasta speaks to her sons Eteocles and Polynices. There is a sentence which remained in my heart, and which perhaps we should remember when looking at what happens around us every day : ‘My children, you are running towards a double disaster : lose everything you own, and fall while trying to take what you don’t have’”. 

The prolonged applause of the audience, the clear and perhaps surprising success of this interesting theatrical edition brings us again, as a matter of facts, to the reality of a daily and well-known experience where very few support the much work required to make civilization.



Marina Bilotta Membretti / Cernusco sul Naviglio – September 19, 2023



[1] Elena Polic Greco graduated in 1999 from the ‘Accademia Nazionale d’Arte Drammatica “Silvio D’Amico”’ of  Rome (among her Masters are Mario Ferrero and Vittorio Gassmann) : as a soprano voice, she perfected herself in ‘Singing’ at the A.N.A.D. ‘Silvio D’Amico’; her fluency in English, Spanish, French languages allowed her to be called (2017-2023) to the simultaneous translation into English of the performances on stage at the ‘Greek Theatre’ of Siracusa during the Theatrical Season. In 2021 she received the award RFA for best actress in the short film ‘Tragodia’ (Cinema, ‘Ortigia Film  Festival’) : among others, her own participation in the movies ‘Bianco e Nero’ by Cristina Comencini (2007) and ‘Quale amore’ by Maurizio Sciarra (2005). With the ‘Orestiade’ by P.P. Pasolini (2008) she began acting in the Classical Performances at the ‘Greek Theatre’ of Siracusa, up to the latest ‘Prometheus chained’ and ‘The Peace’ (2023), ‘Oedipus Rex’ (2022), ‘The Bacchae women’ (2021), ‘The Trojan women’ (2019), ‘Phaedra’ (2016), ‘The Supplicants women’ (2015), ‘Coefore and Eumenides’ (2104), ‘Antigone’ and ‘Women at the Parliament’ (2013), ‘Prometheus’ and ‘The Birds’ (2012), ‘The Clouds’ and ‘Andromache’ (2011), ‘Lysistrata’ and ‘Phaedra’ (2010), ‘The Supplicant women’ (2009). At the Academy ‘Silvio D’Amico’ in Rome she was Assistant to the chair of ‘Singing’ for the Master Claudia M. Aschelter (2003-2007) and teacher of ‘Choral singing’ (2017); again in Rome for the ‘LUISS’ she was teacher of ‘Diction and Voice Education’ (2016-2020). In Siracusa, at the ‘Accademia d’Arte del Dramma Antico I.N.D.A.’ she is since 2010 teacher of ‘Singing, Diction and Reciting’ and since 2020 she is also Teaching contact with role of coordinator of external projects with students and teachers, carrying out in addition theatrical activities in the schools on behalf of I.N.D.A. Since 2013 she works together with the Lyceum (High school) ‘Quintiliano’ of Siracusa as an external expert.

[2] ‘The Peace’, by  Aristophanes (421 b.C.), produced by I.N.D.A. www.indafondazione.org Direction: Daniele Salvo; Translat.: Nicola Cadoni; Scenes : A. Chiti e M. Ciacciofera; Costumes : D. Gelsi; Original music : P.M. D’Artista; Direction of the Singing Choirs : Elena Polic Greco (Coryphaea and Peace goddess in the final monologue) and Simonetta Cartia. Main performers :  Giuseppe Battiston, Massimo Verdastro, Simone Ciampi, Martino Duane, Jacqueline Bulnès, Elena Polic Greco, Federica Clementi, Gemma Lapi. With the participation of the newly qualified students of the ‘Accademia d’Arte del Dramma Antico’ of Siracusa.

[3] ‘Prometheus chained’, by Aeschilous (460 b.C.) at care of I.N.D.A. Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico, directed by Leo Muscato – 2023 Theater Season / ‘Greek Theater’ of Siracusa.

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