sexta-feira, 27 de abril de 2007

Relato de Haris Metaxa (en inglés)

14th of July, 2000.

I was flying from Paris to Palermo.
I was to visit Sicily for the first time. Years before, I had graduated in Philosophy in Florence. When I was living in Italy, I had often thought of Sicily, but I had never seriously considered actually visiting the place. I liked to travel on my own and in my head Sicily was full with Mafiosi and with their friends and accomplices, the whole population of the island, in fact. A small island, cramped full with Mafiosi falling from the rim of the gigantic cup that Sicily was.
Not my cup of tea, really!
I cherished choice, the opportunity to disagree, to be different and to change things. I also objected viscerally to women’s subordination and oppression. I was obsessed with the ideals (and ideas) of Freedom, Choice, Dignity. Dream was my attack line. My main belief was that you can force reality to respect you and to take into consideration your (female) wishes.
No, Sicily didn’t seem to allow all that.
So I never went there.
This perfectly balanced picture of a world of freedom against a world of doom was to change soon. As soon, in fact, as my plane touched ground. I was going to discover this hidden island, forgotten from history. Sicily. The whole island placed in a dark corner of our western world, suffocating under the weight of stereotypes.
Discovery was awaiting me.
During that time, my first Sicilian lover was waiting for me at the airport. She was the reason I was undertaking this adventure. I had met her in Paris few months earlier and I had been very surprised to discover that she was gay, professional and honest and, what was an even bigger surprise, she had chosen to remain in Sicily!
Nourished with what? Occupying what social space? Enjoying what visibility and dignity?
Paying what price of solitude and social exclusion?
I had wondered all this time and now answers were going ...

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Photo: After purification in the Ganges
Courtesy of Beatrice Velarde (

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