Trieste is a city in the north of Italy, situated in the border with the Balkan countries. It hosts six main communities: Croatians, Greeks, Italians, Jews, Serbians and Slovenians. In January 2016 a curator of its modern art museum -Revoltella- asked me to “solve” a problem, the absence of real dialogue between these communities. Digging on history I discovered the story of the Hotel Balkan/Narodni Dom -the Slovenian house of culture in Trieste- and of a newspaper printed inside, the Edinost. I found in the consequences of the Narodni Dom arson -the rise of the so called Border Fascism- a key point on the issue to solve, and some similarities with the borders’ problems we are witnessing in recent times. The Edinost gave voice to the first antifascist movement in Europe and so the fascists closed it in 1928. Edinost means “Unity”, originally the unity of all the Slovenians living in Trieste. I decided instead to re-open it now, with the help of the local publish house Asterios Editore, as unity of all the people living in the city, as a public space of dialogue between the different communities. Published twice a month for six numbers, every one written by a different community, the new Edinost contains on the front page a chapter of a tale, written in the writer mothertongue and Italian, that ends with a question to which the next writer has to reply. The back instead hosts the readers letters, the memories of the city “minor” communities, and art writers, critics and theatre directors invited to reflect on topics connected to the project. The newspaper keeps the same format, fonts and layouts of the original one.
I’m directing the collective writing giving to each number a topic and title, and associating a different community to each one. The theme of the first issue was the history fiction scenario: What if today the Hotel Balkan reopens in Trieste? A house of the people that host those who pass through the Balkans? In the second number, the Italian chapter, named “The Refugee”, the back was instead dedicated to answer the question: how Arts can create spaces of encounter and dialogue, where to re-discuss unresolved conflicts, giving the possibility to create new versions of an institutionalized truth. The third number started to question the existence and role of the historical communities -the one based on religion, race or geographical origins- in a global society. Furthermore, it gave voice in its back, to the memories of some of the few Armenian families left in Trieste. In the forth number, different communities narrated the Jewish heritage in the city and in the fifth number, the Serbian one. The sixth number reflected on nostalgia, materialisation and de-materialisation of memory in Trieste. The seventh number was instead dedicated to non violent practices to counter fascism.
Citizens contributing as writers are: the Slovenian poet Marko Kravos, the Serbian history researcher Bojan Mitrovic, the Jewish council member Mauro Tabor, the Croatian professor Vesna Piasevoli, the Italian journalist Pierluigi Sabatti and the Greek painter Antonio Sofianopulo.
The newspaper hosted also the interventions of the Slovenian theatre director Marko Sosic, the curator Pietro Gagliano, the art writer Emanuela De Cecco, the art historian Teresa Macrì, the EU parliament interpreter Ravel Kodric, the fictional character Anastasios Ritsos, the poet Charles Simic, the professor of Cultural Policy Jeleva Todorivic, the Max Planck Institute for the study of ethnic and Religious diversity’s professors and researchers Giulia Carabelli, Annika Kirbis, Jeremy Walton, Maura Hametz, Andrea Griffante, Glenda Sluga, Data Licen and Martin Hlavacek, and the students of Croatian Language of the University of Trieste (IUSLIT).