Pietramala – Chronicles of an Abandoned Village is a sound walk, an audio guide-story, which takes you to the discover one of the many abandoned villages of Calabria region, in the South of Italy.
Accompanied by Aunt Rosa, one of the last inhabitants of the village, you will go up and down the ancient town of Cleto, walking through its narrow streets and its last 70 years of history, years that have changed the face of this community forever.
Pietramala is the ancient name under which many elderly people still call this small village in the Cosenza hinterland.
The adventurers who, sliding down the Tyrrhenian coast, decide to climb the hills full of olive trees to reach this ancient village of medieval origin, will find it as a long strip of houses that glides gently on a ridge of limestone.
If you stop there, getting lost in the steep alleys of its historical center, the village appears empty, abandoned and decrepit. But this abandonment is only a little piece of a broader story, a history of hunger, emigration, job search, bad governance and cronyism.
A story that is waiting for ears ready to listen to it.
The Pietramala sound walk born during a residency and sound research project carried out between December 2016 and July 2017 together with the small community of the historical center of Cleto. During the daily matches of briscola and scopone, the chats in front of the fireplace and the gargantuan Sunday lunches, I listened to and recorded the memories and the stories of dozens of elderly and young people from Cleto. Memories of war and misery, letters from emigrants accompanied by ten-dollar bills issued in the 60s and in the 70s, love stories and ancient songs that were resonating again, in the narrow streets of the village, after a long long time.
The Pietramala sound walk take form from the intimate relationship between these tales and Cleto’s charismatic and silent public space. The village, in fact, like many other uninhabited places in Southern Italy, and like Calvino’s Zaira invisible city “does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the banisters of the steps, the antennae of the lightning rods, the poles of the flags, every segment marked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls”.
Pietramala – Chronicles of an Abandoned Village is an attempt to give a sound and a narrative form to those memories guarded in the rock and in the narrow streets of the village.
A sound walk is an audio story that you will listen while you are walking therefore, to listen to Pietramala – Chronicles of an Abandoned Village, you need:
-your headphones and a mobile phone with internet connection or you can also ask in advance for some mp3 players, already set up, to the organization La Piazza (+39 3898789518 / firstname.lastname@example.org);
-to place yourself at the bottom of the historical center of Cleto in this exact position, once you are there, just press play on the audio track you find at the top of this page.
Pietramala is produced By Marco Stefanelli and Associazione La Piazza
With the voices of Fiorella Caputo, Carolina Pagliaro, Salvatore Mendicino, Antonia Cuglietta, Angelina Caputo, Mario Montuoro, Giuseppe Caputo, Carola Nicastro, Marco Stefanelli, Ivan Arella, Debora Caputo, Leopoldo Puteri, Vincenzo Lepore, Maria Nicastro, Ginevra Sammartino
And the stories of Fiorina Bernardo, Angelina and Giuseppe Caputo, Antonia Cuglietta, Luisa Falcone, Salvatore Mendicino, Mario Montuoro, Carola, Corrado, Giuseppe and Maria Nicastro, Carolina and Maria Pagliaro, Luigi Pellegrini, Rosanna Santoro, and of all the inhabitants I met in the narrow streets of the village
Story editing and sound design by Marco Stefanelli