It’s not easy, but let’s try. Let’s try to imagine how a boy between 13 and 16 may feel today who, for various reasons (anxiety, depression, eating disorders), is hospitalized.
If you think we are talking about isolated cases, you are wrong. For now, a national figure does not exist – we are in full emergency – but it is enough to do a quick research, through the main regional hospitals and cross the news articles of the local press to get an idea of the phenomenon.
From Milan to Pavia, from Udine to Rome, passing through Naples and Bari, hospitalizations in the Childhood and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry Departments have doubled everywhere.
The combination of pandemic + lockdown + Dad (by the way, the Community of Sant’Egidio has detected a 13% school dropout rate in Italy, which means that 50,000 pupils drop out of school every year…) is the ‘perfect storm’.
Suffering, often unheard, always on the sidelines of the political debate, sometimes even mocked (like Anita, the girl from Turin who protested to be able to go back to school), many boys have been sucked into “black holes” of the soul from which it is not easy go out.
Sometimes, they are forced to be hospitalized. Which, in the Covid era, means zero visits and limited staff in the ward because they are at the forefront of something else. Few contacts, little hope. How dark can a teenager feel in this situation? What state can his parents be in?
It then takes all the energy and creativity possible to try to rekindle the light. In Brescia, in the Department of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry of theChildren’s Hospital, they succeeded, thanks to ‘Cartoons in the lane‘, a nearly ten-year project of the Avisco Association that has not been discouraged by the complex procedures of distancing and it offered young people in difficulty a visual and poetic horizon “beyond” the ward.
The result is ‘Rhymes of light‘, a short animated film made between January and February by the young patients of the ward, 15 boys between 13 and 16 years, who they translated their emotions into moving drawings, working with a graphic pen on a tablet, letting himself be inspired by some verses of the Friulian poet Pierluigi Cappello (Rizzoli published them a few years ago, with the title Every drop dances the tango. Rhymes for Chiara and other chicks).
Of a poignant beauty, it was born spontaneously. «At the end of 2020 – he says Irene Tedeschi, operator of the association Avisco who conducted the workshop – the themes of lightness and light began to emerge more and more often: stars, flowers, flames and butterflies peeped out in the free experiments of the boys. I leafed through Cappello’s book, along with many others, looking for a text that could contain and reinforce these images and “Rhymes of light”It was a meeting… enlightening! I proposed it to the group, we read it together and after a few seconds of silence, Paola whispered: “I saw something”. We closed our eyes and everyone told the group about the images born during the reading. This is how the film was born, it lit up in the darkness and silence of each of us. Once we opened our eyes, after a brief moment of planning, we moved on to the phase drawing, that is to the realization (digitally) of many slightly different designs that reproduced in sequence create the effect of movement ».
Says Marvisa, one of the young authors: «At first it seemed impossible, but along the way, I realized that it was feasible. It was a team effort, each of us animated a verse. I have provided for the last one. It wasn’t an easy line! (“...light flies beyond thoughts / if it leaves now / then it returns yesterday“, Ed). We have imagined a black hole from which many colored birds come out that take a turn and come back ».
Rhymes of light will be presented in a national preview within the Kino Club section of the 39th edition of Bergamo Film Meeting, a free program dedicated to schools e from 26 April to 30 April it will be available online on the Cineteca di Milano platform.
If you have a minute now, take this #pausabellezza: