Dialogue between Tonino Guerra and Carlo Petrini
Poetry and Memory
Interviewed in March 2011 by Carlo Petrini, Tonino Guerra speaks about “Granaries of Memory”.
- If I say the words “”Granaries of Memory”, what comes to mind?
“I like the words, they give me the idea of good things being gathered together and piled up.”
- This is a project of mine I’ve yet to realize. I think that every village, every city, every community ought to have a small “granary of memory”. By which I mean a collection of video and audio recordings, with first hand accounts of the lives of people who live in those places. The granary stores the seeds that then have to be reused and allowed to flower. The term is better than “memory bank”, don’t you think?
“Granary is a new poetic word, a word that can cause confusion. It’s good when you say something to someone, and at first they don’t understand what you mean and you confuse them. Great things are never clear immediately, it’s afterwards that they become clear.”
- Don’t you agree that we need memory today as a foundation for the building of a new future? How do you see a people without memory?
“It can’t exist. Memory is indispensable. I’ll go even further: when they ask me what history is, what memory is, I always tell the story of my grandfather. As he walked he was always looking round behind him. One day I asked him, ‘Granda, why do you keep looking backwards?’ He replied, ‘You have to, because that’s where the way forward comes from.”
From Carlo Petrini ,"Tonino Guerra: Me, Poetry and Memory", interview published in La Repubblica, March 15 2011.
Video table of contents
Altitude: 629m s.l.m.
Document by: Alessandro Scalerandi
Video by: Alessandro Scalerandi, Tommaso Sarti