Friday, April 23, 2010
Italian New Waves: Consoli, Avitabile and Ferrante
The public face of Italy today is una brutta faccia. Silvio Berlusconi's regime is a riotous carnival of corruption, abuse of power, and sexual sleaze; organized crime wields enormous economic power throughout the peninsula and in Sicily; the Vatican intrudes with an ever more heavy hand into Italian politics; and racism, xenophobia, and homophobia are surging. The civil society organization Justice and Liberty raises alarms over the "unequivocal signs of social decay," but much of the populace couldn't care less - they'd rather turn on Berlusconi's TV channels and submit to the mindless mediated reality that historian Paul Ginsborg calls "videocracy."
Given all this, it's up to artists to limn the current malessere... Carmen Consoli, Massimo Ferrante, and Enzo Avitabile, all from Italy's southern regions, have released new recordings that comment on the current situation or evoke traditions and stories of an Italy at risk of being forgotten in the seemingly interminable Berlusconi era.