Segmento - Unapologetically Italian - Issue XXIII

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live Together How will we

Biennale of Venice - International Architecture 2021

Issue XXIII, June-August 20212021 Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August




egmento’s vision is that the understanding of different cultures and traditions is fundamental for the development of a peaceful and civilized society. This vision is aligned with the aims of the UN refugee agency, which is dedicated to saving lives and building a better future for refugees and displaced communities. Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, recently commended Italy for its efforts to uphold the principles and processes of refugee protection and ensuring access to asylum, particularly throughout the COVID-19 emergency.


UNHCR Needs Our Support

by Raffaele Caputo

supports the UNHCR, and the UNHCR urgently needs our donations.



Italy committed to refugee aid and protection «Italy has confirmed its pivotal role in the reception and protection of refugees fleeing violence and persecution who take the Central Mediterranean and Balkan routes in the attempt to seek safety. The international community must do more to save the lives of refugees taking these perilous journeys,» said Grandi. His comments come after having met with Italian President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, Speakers of the Senate and Deputies’ Chambers Maria Elisabetta, Alberti Casellati and Roberto Fico, President of the Council of Ministers Mario Draghi, and the Ministers of Interior and Foreign Affairs. Grandi also met with Pope Francis to highlight the importance of strengthening the partnership between the Vatican and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Both shared their concerns over the extent of global humanitarian emergencies, with more than 80 million people having been forced to flee conflict, persecution and violence. Wider global support needed While the UN High Commissioner expressed appreciation for the support Italy and the Vatican are providing

Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021

to high numbers of refugees, he also underscored a call for solidarity and wider support from the global community. He is concerned that conflicts around the world seem to continuously multiply, as existing hostilities in many countries seem to only intensify rather than abate, leading to ever-escalating numbers of refugees in need of urgent protection and safety. According to Grandi, the most catastrophic consequences of any war continue to be seen in Yemen, which has forcibly displaced millions of people. The outlook is not at all positive - hunger, epidemics and other humanitarian catastrophes are likely to grow unless the situation improves drastically. At least one child dies every ten minutes due to preventable diseases, and in some parts of Yemen one child in four is now acutely malnourished. More than half the population cannot meet their basic water and sanitation needs. Cash assistance is the quickest and most effective way to protect displaced families in Yemen from falling into hunger and preventing widespread famine. Despite that desperate Yemenis urgently need more aid to survive, the international response to the High-Level Pledging Event on Yemen in March of this year has been described as “disappointing” by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres. The UN appealed for $3.85 billion and was only offered $1.7 billion for 2021. Pledges totalled less than last year’s humanitarian response and a billion dollars less than the figure raised in 2019. «Cutting aid is a death sentence», Guterres said. «The best that can be said is that it represents a down

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payment». «UNHCR and its partners are ready to stay in Yemen, but for this to happen we need additional funds now,» said Jean-Nicolas Beuze, the UNHCR Representative in Yemen. «Through our cash programme, we can make a difference in the lives of millions of Yemenis at a time when they need us most. Nobody is safe from COVID-19 without everyone being safe, and abandoning Yemen now is not an option,» he added. «We know from our assessments that 97 per cent of those receiving our cash use a portion of it to buy food - mostly rice, sometimes onions or tomatoes, and bread,» Jean-Nicolas Beuze explained. «We also know - and this is extremely worrisome - that without our cash, most families will cut their spending on health care, education and products for newborns. Many parents told us they would stop eating to make sure their children have something.» Breuze added that «being on the ground, and being confronted with challenges that seem insurmountable, is, I will be honest, sometimes disheartening. Knowing that donors are behind us, however, give us all strength to continue going the extra mile to make the difference in the lives of millions of displaced Yemenis. I know that we can count on you to stand with us as we deliver lifesaving interventions in Yemen.» Your donation will save lives The work of the UNHCR saves lives every day. But it’s not enough. Right now, your donation is urgently needed to prevent widespread famine. The people of Yemen cannot wait another day. Please donate today to save lives.



Founder Daniele Curto Publishers Phil Peluso and Giovanni Butera

Editor-in-Chief Hayley J. Egan

Consultant Raffaele Caputo

Cover Photo: Photographer Matteo Volpi Contributors to the XXII Edition: Photographers Matteo Volpi Philip Greenwood Giorgia Maselli James Rogers Nadia Arancio Maurice Rinaldi Sonia Barratt Giulia Pafumi

Writers Marybeth Bonfiglio Caroline Smith Kristy Stanfield Gabriel Arata Martina Badiali Jenna Lo Bianco Daniele Foti-Cuzzola Stefano Riela Giovanni Di Lieto Raffaele Caputo Agata Grimaldi Emiliano Beltzer Louis Egan Francesco Bufarini Angelo Pallotta

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Segmento – Unapologetically Italian Issue XXIII, June-August 2021

Editorial I

n this issue, Caroline Smith explores the Venice Biennale, whose theme in 2020 (postponed to 2021) was “How Will We Live Together?”. Curator Hashim Sarkis came up with the theme before the pandemic hit, when he urged architects to imagine spaces in which we could “generously live together.” It’s a direction that feels a bit like an omen to anyone who spent last year wiping pancake batter off their laptop while listening to times tables recited to the rhythm of a skipping rope hitting their coffee table. Sarkis, however, insists that the question is an ancient one, asked by Aristotle, the Babylonians, and every generation throughout history. «This Generation,» says Sarkis, «insists that there is no single source from which the answer can come. The plurality of sources and diversity of answers will only enrich our living together, not impede it.» And so, in this issue, we were inspired to explore diverse ways of gathering, working and living together. Jenna Lo Bianco plans a celebratory dinner party for readers in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand who, at the time of writing, are enjoying a relative return to normality regarding physical gatherings. Gabriel Arata writes about an Italian theatre company that has pondered the idea of gathering in a time of physical distance, and has completely reimagined interactive theatre to ensure that we

Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021

are never deprived of those things that make life worth living - arts, culture and connection. This issue also explores the concept of “armchair travel”. It’s a term I hear frequently on ABC Classic FM (the soundtrack to my days), as the presenters take listeners on imaginary musical journeys (usually to Italy and Austria). Emiliano Beltzer takes this a step further and reviews an Italian album that takes us on an armchair expedition around the world. Martina Badiali refuses to let confinement to her Milan home stop her from writing a travel piece, bringing us an imagined story that is born from daydreams during lockdown. These pages contain musings on living together, from the nostalgia for traditional Sunday lunch, to the power of an online knitting circle, to the way we connect on a macro-economic level. There is something almost quaint, in the time of podcasting and Zoom, about compiling stories to print onto paper and send around the world. The magazine you hold in your hands, whether you find yourself in Singapore, Auckland, Sydney or New York is yet another vessel to share culture, traditions and stories, something which, for us at Segmento, represents just one of the many ways we live together.

A presto

Hayley J. Egan







14 Language a Gift for Life

The UNHCR Needs Your Support

16 TLON: Philosophy in the Digital Age


How We Will Live Together? by Caroline Smith

18 A Lucky Turnaround for Alkantara Fest


Book Review “For Love”

22 The Italian Legend Luna Rossa


by Hayley J. Egan

by Raffaele Caputo

by Hayley J Egan


Under the Cover


What’s On

by Jenna Lo Bianco

by Martina Badiali

by Kristy Stanfield

25 Danteatro: Finding Freedom Through Voice and Movement by Kristy Stanfield

27 Around the World in 7 Tracks by Emiliano Beltzer

30 A Diabolical Riddle by Gabriel Arata

by Elisabetta Giorgi

by Kristy Stanfield

by Raffaele Caputo

54 8


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22 FASHION & DESIGN 34 The Red Thread that Connects by Gabriel Arata


51 A Call to the Italian Table by Jenna Lo Bianco

54 A Tavola Bringing Back Sunday Lunch

38 We’re in this Together...

57 A Labour of Love

by Hayley J. Egan

TOURISM & PLACES 43 An Imagined Journey by Martina Badiali

by Marybeth Bonfiglio

by Daniele Foti-Cuzzola

60 What About a Home-Grown Italian Drop? by Louis G. Egan


46 From a National Disgrace to Italy’s Best-Kept Secret

62 A Natural Business Woman

48 Carnival is a Serious Thing

66 G20 in Rome. A Challenging Agenda

by Angelo Pallotta

by Francesco Bufarini



36 A Close-Knit Community by Martina Badiali


by Agata Grimaldi


by Stefano Riela

68 The Great Reset of Capitalism from Davos to Singapore by Giovanni Di Lieto

Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021


Dongziguan Affordable Housing, 2016. ©Yao Li


hen the Biennale Architettura opened in Venice this year, it sought to address some of the most important questions of our age: How can societies overcome political divisions and economic inequalities? How can we bring people together, and how can architects and others working in public space contribute to this? The exhibition, which was postponed due to COVID-19, runs from 22nd May to 21st November 2021 under the theme “How will we live together?” The exhibition is curated by Hashim Sarkis of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Professor Sarkis has written on similar themes for decades, and has directed multiple architecture projects in Lebanon, the United States, China and the United Arab Emirates.



«The question, “How will we live together?” is as much a social and political question as a spatial one,» he said. «Aristotle asked it when he was defining politics, and he came back to propose the model of the city. Every generation asks it and answers it differently. More recently rapidly changing social norms, growing political polarisation, climate change, and vast global inequalities are making us ask this question more urgently and at different scales than before. In parallel, the weakness of the political models being proposed today compels us to put space first and perhaps, like Aristotle, look at the way architecture shapes inhabitation for potential models for how we could live together.» Professor Sarkis said that participants

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How Will We

Live Together? by Caroline Smith | Images courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

in the Biennale had been encouraged to consider the roles of other actors such as journalists, politicians, social scientists and fellow citizens in shaping urban space, but also argued that architects should be seen as the “cordial convener and custodian of the spatial contract.” Reflecting its commitment to inclusion, the 17th Biennale includes 113 competing participants from 46 countries, with increased representation from Latin America, Africa and Asia. Their projects will be hosted at pavilions located in various parts of Venice, from the Central Pavilion of the Giardini to the Arsenale and Forte Marghera. In addition, “stations” and “cohabitats” will provide visitors with the opportunity to see how architects outside

the competition engage with specific sub-themes such as “Across Borders”, “As One Planet”, and “As Emerging Communities” in their work. There are also pavilions dedicated to specific countries (59 in total) at the Giardini, Arsenale and the historic city centre. The Italian pavilion – promoted by the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali e per il Turismo, Direzione Generale Creatività Contemporanea - is curated by Alessandro Melis, whose work focuses on climate sensitive design. Based at the UK’s University of Portsmouth, Dr. Melis has also been an honorary fellow at the University of Edinburgh and keynote speaker at MoMA in New York, the China Academy of Art, and previously at the Venice Biennale. Stone Garden North Façade, ©Takuji Shimmura

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La Casa de la Lluvia [de ideas]. Courtesy Arcquitectura Expandida



The Australian Institute of Architects had intended to have a national pavilion, with Victorian architects Tristan Wong and Jefa Greenaway directing a project which sought to “highlight the potential of architecture to build cultural understanding between first nations peoples and others with a focus on Australia and our Pacific Island neighbours.” However, they withdrew from the event in April due to restrictions connected to COVID-19. Nevertheless, it is essential that Australian architects and urban planners continue to address the themes of the exhibition, specifically inequalities and divisions within our cities, according to Dr. Julian Bolleter, Co-Director at the Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC) in Perth. «Australian cities are getting less fair and can be said to be fragmenting into different worlds, with people working in higher-paid knowledge-economy jobs living closer to the centre, and people on the fringe experiencing multiple commutes to jobs which often pay much less,» he said. «The Australian Dream is running out of steam for people on the fringes, and the pandemic has been an example of that. People working in knowledge economy jobs like myself can work from home, while others have to go outside the home for work. And research has shown us that punishing commutes really take away from people’s lives, especially the important time they spend with family.» However, he argued that developing

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View of the ferry market in Istanbul. Han Tümertekin, 2019. (Photo: Sena Özfiliz)

“City of Los Angeles,” Sixth Street Viaduct. Courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture

long-term plans for Australian cities was challenging due to multiple levels of government and lack of bipartisan agreement. «The problem is a chaotic system of government in terms of how Australian cities are developed and planned. There’s not a systematic logic: it’s not coordinated between federal, state and local government,» Dr. Bolleter said. This is why the AUDRC has been lobbying for a national vision for cities. «To turn cities around you need sustained planning and parties or interested bodies working together. Otherwise big plans can become just noise.»

Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021




A Gift for Life

Language by Jenna Lo Bianco



recently spoke with Emanuela Merlatti about her experiences as an Italian mother raising children in Australia. Originally from Milan, Emanuela immigrated to Australia via Hong Kong in 2003, and, with her husband, raised two bilingual children in Melbourne. As a mother also attempting to raise my children to speak Italian and English, I empathised with the challenges Emanuela spoke of. Our conversation made me reflect on the many resources and opportunities available to support parents and caregivers wanting to establish and sustain bilingual households. In today’s world of Netflix, YouTube and Spotify, native-language resources are but a screen tap away. Not an Italian language resource? Never fear! Simply change the playback settings on your streaming service and the audio magically flips to Italian. Online shopping has also opened up the world of Italian language


resources. One “click” and you have a plethora of Italian books, toys, games, you name it, at your fingertips. And delivered to your door, no less. Perhaps we take this immediacy of support for granted today. I know I certainly have in the past. Listening to Emanuela speak with such passion and dedication about how she overcame these challenges really made me take stock of the gifts I can pass onto my children, thanks to today’s technology. Emanuela and her family would travel back to Italy annually, spending a minimum of six weeks at a time with family, friends, while also touring. This was a special time for them; enriching, engaging and, most importantly, an opportunity for their growing children to use their Italian language skills in a meaningful way. «For my kid it wasn’t even an option not to speak Italian,» she says. During these trips back home to Italy they would dedicate special

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time, often a whole week, in a città d’arte italiana (a city of Italian art), as a means to explore their language and culture in greater depth. Emanuela recalls how their return journeys to Australia always involved filling a spare suitcase with Italian books, videos and games for their children. These resources helped fill the sleepless nights that followed as they battled jetlag and insomnia. «We have great memories. We spent the first few days with jetlag watching Italian movies during the night, and then watching again and again what we liked the most» she says. Her dedication to raising her children with a strong foundation in the Italian language hit somewhat of a roadblock when they were of school-age. She struggled to find those “in-school” opportunities for her children to continue to study and be exposed to Italian. School “zoning” and geography were the major players in this struggle. The children

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were eventually enrolled in the Italian program of the Victorian School of Languages. They loved their time there, and they really thrived, supported all the while by Emanuela and her husband, who did all they could to ensure their children’s learning translated into “real life use” outside the classroom. Emanuela is dedicated to and passionate about bilingual education in Australia, particularly for Italian learners. «My dream is to see all schools offering Italian as a second language, and to have more bilingual English-Italian schools from Prep to Year 12. I think for a child, growing-up bilingual is a blessing. I think their natural curiosity is even more nurtured when you can really stretch your knowledge in so many different ways» she says. Thankfully, language-learning opportunities have come a long way since the early 2000s when Emanuela’s children were still young. Nowadays families can make informed choices about what suits their needs, and how they want to integrate language and culture into their children’s lives: private language schools, holiday programs, after-hours programs, distance education, bilingual school programs, special curriculum models, and ICT-rich classroom experiences and resources. Italy and Australia have never been so “close”. Emanuela is really proud of her heritage. She implores us to maintain a sense of pride and not let Italian “slip” away from us. She is looking forward to sharing with Segmento’s readers more about her support for bilingual education in Victoria in our next issue.





ntil recently, what came to mind when I thought about philosophy were my high school and undergraduate studies, a compendium of notions and concepts that I was able to understand and explain to others. However, rarely could I find occasion to apply these philosophical concepts in my daily life. For some time now, and more frequently since the start of the pandemic, I have been following Tlon and my view of philosophy has changed. Tlon, as



Philosophy in the Digital Age by Martina Badiali

described on the website, is a “factory and school of philosophy, a cultivator of community, a publishing house, and a theatre bookstore.” The founders and the heart and soul of the project - are Maura Gancitano and Andrea Colamedici, a couple in work and in life who are changing the cultural landscape in Italy. Gancitano and Colamedici address the most pressing issues of the last 20 years, issues made all the more urgent by the pandemic: from feminism to the environmental crisis, from employment instability to self-affirmation and new age movements, and the resurgence of far-right groups among many others. The issues are wide-ranging and are tackled in a spirit of sharing, introspection and open dialogue. Tlon started in 2015 as a cultural events agency and turned to publishing in 2016 with the release of the book Tu Non Sei Dio (You Are Not God). Then it started holding on-line meetings and developing a community on social media. This was not intentional given that anyone who reads Gancitano’s and Colamedici’s books or follows Tlon will know that their position on the digital world is problematic to say the least. But adopting what they call “the digital modality” was born from the need to talk to others about certain issues that were close to their hearts and central to their first book.

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Ideas for some of their subsequent talks, as well as some of their books, resulted from questions that they would not have asked themselves, but that came from people within their digital community. The role and impact of Tlon in and on the Italian cultural landscape became all the more profound when the pandemic struck and lockdowns came into effect. Tlon greatly benefited from the fact that it was already a digital platform - or at least partially digital at the time - for this was the only way to be in the public space and involve people in the present moment. In March 2020, Tlon started the Philosophy Streaming Marathon, which involved five million people, and was in fact the first major digital event in Italy. The “digital modality” may have been a strange beast when Gancitano and Colamedici started to adopt it, but all of a sudden they began to understand it as an innovation that creates a bridge between the cultural and the physical. Over the years Tlon has become an independent bookshop and publishing house that is currently listed among the top 100 in Italy. It still clashes with old ideas about culture and publishing, but perception of its role has changed and continues to change over time. Tlon has gained credibility primarily because its voice is always in the present moment and is increasingly connecting with more and more people by each passing day. Currently on my bookshelf are two of Gancitano’s and Colamedici’s books, La Società della Performance: Come Uscire della Caverna (The Society of Performance: How To Get Out of the Cave), published in 2018, and Liberati della Brava Bambina (Free Yourself from the Good Girl),

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published 2021. La Società della Performance is one of the most important books in my personal development, a book that has answered many questions for me. Why do I always feel exhausted, especially mentally exhausted, by the carousel of work-family-personal interests? Why does engagement with social media more often tire me than relax me? What can I do simply, accessibly and economically to improve the situation? Liberati della Brava Bambina tackles the problems of the female condition in 2021 by calling on feminine archetypes and proposing “Eight stories to flourish”. These stories are mythological, drawn from ancient Greece as well as more contemporary collective narratives, and with the power to either aggravate people’s lives further or to heal. It is this concept that Maura Gancitano uses to help readers find the key to leave behind the roles that have been imposed on them, or at least to be a little more comfortable in them in the meantime. The virtue of Tlon and its publications is the use of philosophy to help us ask questions rather than to give us ready-made answers. I am looking forward to reading Tlon’s most recent publication Prendila con Filosofia: Manuale di Fioritura Personale (Take it Philosophically: A Manual of Personal Blossoming), which I am certain will be deeply engaging but also teach me more about the practical application of philosophy in everyday life.

You can read more about Tlon at



A Lucky Turnaround for

Alkantara Fest by Kristy Stanfield | Photography by Nadia Arancio and Giulia Pafumi


round the world, folk music serves as a source of comfort and connection through good times and bad. In a year marked by fear, grief and separation, it was especially apparent how important art is for the human spirit. With the banning of travel and public gatherings in 2020, the music industry ground to a virtual halt. Among the few live music events that were able to go ahead last year was the folk festival Alkantara Fest in Catania, Sicily. The festival is held in Pisano, halfway between the looming volcano Mount Etna and the sea, with up to ten concerts per day over four days at the end of July and beginning of August. In March 2020, the outlook for the 16th edition of the festival was dire. Just when the organising team were about to launch the final program and start selling tickets, the government announced a nationwide ban on concerts and live events. «The numbers were scary and the pandemic was a serious issue to deal with,» recalls festival director Mario Gulisano. «One thousand people a day were dying, and it seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily things improved in the following months in ways we couldn’t have expected. So we decided to go on and take the risk and



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Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021

things went well. July and August were the most brilliant period of last summer in Sicily.» As it was one of the few live events in the area, it drew an audience that was more fully involved and bigger than ever before. «The people, mainly locals, couldn’t believe that they had a chance to see a concert after months of severe lockdown, when all outlooks seemed grey,» says Gulisano. The organising team did not have to change much at all to comply with restrictions, not even the festival format, which is a series of intimate concerts in outdoor spaces with small audiences and no seating. The main challenge was that some of the international acts weren’t able to travel, including two Australian bands, Mzaza and Santa Taranta. Nevertheless, there was enough time to substitute these for other acts. «Since we try to choose music that represents Europe and its traditions, normally three quarters of our artists are international, but in 2020 this was not the case.» Festivals like Alkantara Fest are incredible


celebrations of diversity that help to bring people together from all different places and cultures who share a love of music. In Mario’s own words, the most important aspects of the festival are connection, human touch, and spiritual contact. «One of the main aims is to allow musicians to meet each other and foster their eventual artistic collaboration. We want them to stay at the festival, to meet other bands, inhale Sicily and its magic and then go back to their lives with a bit of a taste of it. Moving forwards, we want exchange, mutuality, mingling, letting it happen, falling in love.» With circumstances changing rapidly, the future of music festivals remains uncertain, but the Alkantara team are not discouraged. They launched the festival’s 2021 programme in February, which includes some artists who couldn’t travel in 2020, and some from proposals collected at WOMEX 2019 in Finland. «We are hoping to make it better and better every year. That means higher quality, making it more sustainable, having more volunteers, hoping for more grants, but also putting in more work. Tutto more!» says Mario.

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The Italian Legend

Luna Rossa by Elisabetta Giorgi

Aotearoa New Zealand retained the 36th America's Cup, narrowly beating Italy by just one point. Luna Rossa Prada-Pirelli co-helmsman Francesco Bruni is one of Italy’s best sailors. He shared the experience of his fifth America’s Cup, and his fourth with Luna Rossa, with Segmento. Francesco Bruni and James Spithill on Luna Rossa Prada-Pirelli

In this difficult moment that Italy is going through due to the pandemic, how did it feel to represent the country in the America’s Cup? «The affection and support that Italians showed was amazing, it gave us the energy and determination to give our best every day. I know that during the lockdown many Italian fans spent long nights watching what was happening in Auckland. We were happy to give them moments of joy in these times of sadness and fear.» Luna Rossa embraced the Australian sailor James Spithill as one of a few non-Italians in the team. How important is team building and team spirit in a multi-cultural team? «It was a very positive experience that brought together different skills and cultural approaches. I had already worked with James in the past, and this helped to create a relationship of mutual trust and respect.»


How did your family experience this America’s Cup? «I was very lucky because my family came with me and lived in New Zealand for six months. We all quarantined for 14 days in a hotel room, and then we enjoyed the freedom of a COVID-free country. My kids went to a local school and loved the Kiwi lifestyle, I noticed that sport plays a key role in the lives of most New Zealanders and sailing is even part of the school curriculum. The rest of the family in Italy went through a roller-coaster of emotions, but were always cheering us on. In Italy sailing is often considered an elite sport, while in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand it is a very popular sport. Do you think it’s just a cultural problem? «I strongly believe that it is about policy. Providing training boats to local sports clubs is the first step in making sailing accessible to children. In New Zealand I really appreciated the fact that my children spent a lot of time in the sea. Boats, surfboards and kayaks are for Kiwi kids what soccer balls are to Italian kids.»

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Luna Rossa Prada-Pirelli and Team New Zealand.

The Prada-Pirelli Team used Maori language to greet the country that hosted the crew for so many months. Did this acknowledgement of culture make you reflect on your own relationship with your language and culture? «I am Sicilian, from Palermo, and even though I often spend long periods abroad to compete or train, I feel a strong sense of belonging to my land, and I am proud to represent the Italian brand abroad.» Yours was the best Italian boat so far to participate in the America’s Cup. Will the Prada fashion magnate Patrizio Bertelli and Luna Rossa try again? «Yes, Patrizio was happy about the result and I think there is the determination to try again, in three or four years’ time, in New Zealand or elsewhere. We demonstrated we are a great team and can compete at the highest level.»

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Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021


n the soupy air of a Brisbane summer night, a small group of curious people gather in the Judith Wright Arts Centre of the bustling Fortitude Valley. We come together with a willingness to play, to experiment with sound and movement through the space, guided by our intuition, spontaneous impulses, and the directions of Eleonora Ginardi. We recite from Dante’s Divine Comedy, “Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura …”. We repeat the passage softly to ourselves, mindful of tone and intonation, we chant them louder like an incantation, and we shout them at the tops of our voices. The words ricochet off the walls and ceiling, they soar out the windows to the streets below, and for this moment Dante is alive in the room with us. Facilitated by Eleonora Ginardi, a trained actor and performer of over 20 years, these Viva Voce classes for non-actors, centre around the goal of complete vocal and physical freedom. Run in association with Danteatro, The Dante Alighieri Society of Brisbane’s own theatre company, the Italian influence in the classes is strong yet subtle enough that it’s inclusive of those with no knowledge of the Italian language. Eleonora guides us through movements large and small, fast and slow, uniform and varied, with an emphasis on playing with and exploring modes of expression, different ways of carrying oneself and different ways of being. Drawing on influences of the Suzuki method, Impulse Training, Meisner and Butoh, each class unfolds in an unexpected, and often very silly way; a powerful evocation of the inner child. I met with Eleonora to chat about her theatre work and the concept behind Viva Voce. What became evident through our conversation was Eleonora’s captivating skill as a storyteller, as she carried me through her migration story, her acting and theatre-making journey, and her

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Danteatro Finding Freedom Through Voice and Movement by Kristy Stanfield | Photography by Jacob Paint



connection to her heritage. «I have a love-hate relationship with Italy. It seduces me and then it slaps me in the face and kicks me in the guts and I come home crying. But then I go, “Oh, hang on a minute. You’re calling me again.” And I go over.» Eleonora spent the early years of her life in Castiglione di Sicilia, a little village in the foothills of Mount Etna, before her family relocated to Australia in 1972. Two adults, three children and one suitcase travelled by boat on a monthlong voyage around the Horn of Africa, docked in Melbourne and caught the train up to Brisbane, stopping in Sydney to visit relatives on the way. Eleonora recalls the surreal feeling of returning to her village at the age of 18 for the first time since leaving. «I got dropped off in the village square and I said to my Mum and Dad, “Let me see if I can find my way home. I think I remember.”» She ventured past her old school and found the old family house virtually untouched. Some of her toys were still there, and childhood memories came flooding back. «It was pretty overwhelming returning to my childhood after so long.» Eleonora found herself drawn to performance as a remedy for low selfconfidence that plagued her all through her schooling. «English was my second language. If I had to do any reading aloud in the classroom I would sweat profusely because I had a little bit of an accent. The thought of public speaking terrified me, except when I was in theatre class. It was kind of okay to be silly in the theatre room. I think acting was a way of confronting my fears.» This too was part of the motivation for creating the Viva Voce workshop for


people who are not actors. «It goes back to giving confidence. If you keep smiling, eventually you will be happy. If you use your posture right, it is almost like an affirmation for your body. By finding affirmations for us in a non-acting world, we can have a better, more confident life.» Eleonora’s smile grows brighter as she talks me through her fascination with verbatim theatre, a form of performance which involves the embodying of true stories by using unchanged dialogue from people who have lived experience of a chosen event or subject. «I’ve been now recently drawn to more truthful shows and I want to remove the word “acting” because I don’t feel like I want to act anymore. I really love verbatim. I want to tell stories.» Eleonora is a curious spirit, eager to learn and forever striving to further her craft, she raises the subject of potential further study. «I’m interested in psychology - that’s kind of what you do anyway as an actor and a performer. Look around us now and everyone’s posture is so different and that tells a story. If you’re trying to relive somebody else through performance you have to look closely at how different people move, and think “Why are they sitting in that posture? What’s making that person smile that way right now?”». Inevitably Eleonora wonders what her life would have become had she not migrated to Australia. «Who I would have been in the village? Would I have gone on to further education, done the work I do now and still be attracted to performance and the arts? Or would I have not done that? We used to have a chestnut farm which would’ve been alright, or perhaps I would’ve been stomping on the grapes …I don’t know».

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in 7 Tracks by Emiliano Beltzer


ound Trip (Blue Mama Records, Native Division Records, December 2020) is the latest album by Alessandro Stellano, a Neapolitan musician who has been based in Melbourne for the past five years. Bassist, guitarist, composer and educator, Alessandro keeps his connection with his hometown and culture alive, from a distance. In this album, Alessandro says he «proposes a parallel: seven seas, seven tracks, seven musical worlds. It is a heterogeneous album, which could be classified as instrumental world music but also understood beyond stylistic limits.» In that sense, it is quite different from his previous album, At Home (2012), in which the improvisations and compositions sound more like Avishai Cohen’s “contemporary” jazz aesthetic. Here, Alessandro appeals to his life experiences as a musician in his travels around the world, and together with a select group of Neapolitan musicians, he creates another type of trip. The album begins with Dali, a track with sounds between pop and jazz, at times reminiscent of music like To the End of the World by Pat Metheny. Maybe it’s the style of the guitar solo, and perhaps, in a little way, because of the use of non-

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Album Review

Around the World

lexical vocables (melodies without text produced by the human voice). The piece itself raises an interesting rhythmic complexity that varies between regular and irregular time signatures, especially in the main melody. The general feeling is a rather friendly, accessible sound, evoking something perhaps less harsh than clocks melted in the desert of time and memory. In El Diez, the second song on the album, the soprano saxophone and the accordion are added to the already present bass, drums, piano, guitar and vocal line-up. The nylon string guitar also appears, giving the song a more acoustic, “folky” feel. Here, Stellano pays tribute to one of the most idolised characters in the history of world football (particularly in his hometown of Naples), Diego Armando Maradona. It also shows us another side of his personality, and his interests apart from music. The video that accompanies El Diez is an interesting animation depicting Maradona and the city of Naples. From here the album takes new directions. In Back Home, the third song on the album, there is prominent electronic programming (all by Stellano himself). The melody of the song is carried by the guitar, which at times even sounds



credits Tony Guido Piano, Keyboards Luca Mignano Drums, Percussion Marco Spedaliere Saxophone Alessandro Liccardo Electric guitar Vincenzo di Cirolamo Acoustic and Electric Guitar Antonio Caiazzo Accordion Alessandro Stellano Bass, Programming and Effects, Composition

distorted. The rhythm is regular, with a back beat and with reggaeton edges, and the general sound is somewhere between rock and electronic, until around the middle of the piece, where a new section appears with sounds from the Middle East, and the inclusion of a violin solo. With respect to the first two tracks, almost everything is different. The sound is very polished and there is a lot of post-production. One for Cecil (perhaps dedicated to Cecil Taylor?) is another turnaround. Right from the intro, the piece takes us toward sounds that, in our euro-centric collective imagination, are related to Africa. There are marimbas, shakers, and rhythms in 6/8. An example of this style of music is the song Chamutengure by Zimbabwean musician Thomas Mapfumo. The backbeat is added to the Afro rhythm, creating a more modern sound, and on this groove it is the bass that carries the main melody. The last minute of the song changes to a Calypso rhythm (a Caribbean genre directly descended from Afro music). This coda leaves us with the geographical area for the next piece, Los Tres Companeros. In salsa-style clave (another one of those denominations that can end up meaning nothing), the song is a mix between rumba pop and guaracha, although with an intricate musical form, full of cuts and changes of rhythm and groove. Turning towards the East comes Sol Levante, the second last song on the album. The unmistakable sound of the Japanese koto is mixed with other instruments that


appeal to the imaginary of Asian music (a Javanese gamelan can also be heard in there). This is the slow track of the album, located in an appropriate place, after those Caribbean “upbeat” rhythms. It has a slow back beat, and even rain sound effects. It is perhaps the most stripped back of the whole album, few notes in its melody, with a lot of “air”. The last track honours the desert. Desert Wind presents a groove and a melody that immediately refers to the Sahara desert. Africa is present again, this time in a very different version. On modernsounding drums and distorted electric guitar, the saxophone and melismatic vocables reappear. To this are added the lute and percussion. It has overtly rocker moments (almost heavy metal) with an electric guitar sound reminiscent of Nguyen Lee, and a powerful soprano sax solo, perhaps one of the most “jazzy” on the album. As a hidden track (if you have ever listened to music on a CD you will know what I’m talking about) a jam on the same theme, between bass, drums and sax, brings almost free jazz sounds. I couldn’t stop thinking of the first Pastorius album, Jaco from 1974. There is something for everyone in this new album by Alessandro Stellano, where the presence of natural elements, the use of suggestive titles and the iconic sounds of some of the most influential music of modern culture manage to generate the idea of a soundscape and a musical journey. Fasten the seatbelts of your imagination.

Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021

True Crime 30

A Diabolical Riddle by Gabriel Arata


n February of 1958, Domenico Modugno’s Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu was still the number one hit across Italy. On the evening of the 24th, a Monday, in Turin, anyone at home or in a bar, even at work, would have heard it played on a radio. Except for Mario Giliberti, and perhaps one other person. That same evening an unknown man called the police from a phone booth. «I killed a man near the river Po,» he says. But the police do not take him seriously. The next day a cryptic letter arrives at Stampa Sera, Turin’s newspaper. It leaves journalists puzzled. Meanwhile, Giliberti, a 28 year-old worker at Fiat, has missed work for several days and his colleagues have started to wonder where he might be or what may have happened to him. One of them heads to Mario’s apartment and what he finds will haunt him for the rest of his life. The police arrive at Mario’s small apartment shortly after having been called. The detectives find two espresso cups sitting on the kitchen table. At the base of the table they notice something that appears to be blood, and a trail that leads to the base of the bed where Mario, dressed in pyjamas, lay dead, his body and face carefully covered with blankets. When unveiled, the body showed eighteen stab wounds were inflicted mercilessly. A murder weapon is not to be found, and never will be. On the floor near the bed were scattered a bunch of photos, each depicting the victim next to someone who has been cut away. That someone will always remain a mystery. Missing are a few of Mario’s


belongings such as photo-cameras, alarm clocks, and some jewellery. But carefully placed for the police to find is a message, “You will manage to find the murderer,” it reads, with some of the words seemingly deliberately misspelt, perhaps as a ruse to divert the attention of the detectives. Something else is puzzling for the police. That delicate and caring last gesture of covering Mario’s face. Today it is considered a clear sign of a very close relationship between the victim and the culprit. In 1958, however, it was somehow considered irrelevant. When the police arrived at the apartment, the journalists from Stampa Sera were still attempting to decipher the anonymous letter. They eventually cracked it by individuating the final syllable of each line, which revealed the address where the body was found - Via Fontanesi, 20. In addition to the riddle was a message that seemed like an attempt to communicate a motive. The letter reads, “Once the victim and I were friends and wore the same uniform, then he betrayed me as though I were a dog. He was happy today so my vendetta was successful. I hope you find his body before it decays. If you read the letter attentively, you will find the address where my perfect crime was committed.” The letter was signed Diabolich. The body was found on the 25th of February and Mario had been missing since the 15th, and when combined with the progression of decomposition, it was estimated his murder was committed on the 14th, Valentine’s Day, the day of lovers.

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Both the police and the press groped in the dark. They had no concrete leads on a killer or a motive until they discovered a photo hidden in a pocket of Mario’s wallet. It was a photo of Mario with another man, who, unlike the other photographs found at the apartment, had not been cut away.

Diabolich kept writing letters to the press. Some were likely forgeries, but some were proved to be authentic. Cugini was eventually released after a few months in response to growing evidence that Diabolich was still out there. Fear struck the city of Turin for years, until Diabolich wrote a final letter in

The man was soon identified as Aldo Cugini, a young scion belonging to a very wealthy family and apparently related to Pope Pius XII. Public opinion was generally in support of Cugini, people found it hard to believe that such a wellto-do person would have had anything to do with the victim, and which would have also implied a homosexual relationship. Yet Aldo’s handwriting was matched to that of the killer’s letters, and he was charged with the murder, though he always denied having engaged in any sordid relationship with Mario.

which he stated: “My crime is not a game to repeat”. Thus, it would seem that the crime was one of passion and jealousy the motive. We will never find out the truth about this crime, but, as the perfect plot for a fiction, in 1962 the name on the letters at least inspired the Giussani sisters, Angela and Luciana, to create Diabolik, one of the most popular comic characters ever created in Italy.

Segmento Magazine XVII March/April 2021



Book Review


For Love

by Hayley J. Egan

FOR LOVE by Cristina Neri Lake Press, January 2021

eleased in January 2021, For Love is a children’s book set in the Aeolian Islands, written and illustrated by Cristina Neri and published by Lake Press. The story begins as a child awakes in a bedroom overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. The rich descriptions of the child’s world reflect a dreamy state as she slowly arouses, eats a peasant’s breakfast and moves slowly into the day with her father, who takes her to work on the land where the rhythm of his hoe (baboom) punctuates their philosophical conversation. “Why does the bee exist?,” asks the child. “For love,” her father responds, and the

Section Review 32 Book

child continues to explore the natural world while asking similar questions of her father, to which the answer is always the same. An emotional climax is reached when the child hurts herself falling into a prickly pear, and through her tears, asks her father, «Why do spines exist?» «For Love», he replies. Children will enjoy the lilting prose and the repetition which conveys the book’s message. «For Love!,» they will anticipate the father’s constant reply, and will recognise the simple rhythms and rituals that hold a child’s day together. Waking up, having breakfast, exploring the garden, watching the sun rise higher and higher in the sky, and

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returning home when the day is done. A good picture book is illustrated in a way that compliments the text, offering something more than the mere reflection of the action as it is described in words. For Love certainly does this: while the text carries the story, the illustrations are filled with details that tell the reader more about the characters, their lives and their surroundings. The illustrations, ink on clayboard, are intricate and detailed in a style reminiscent of wood etching or lithography. A limited, muted palette is used, giving the book a calming minimalist style. Some details of the drawings are realistic, others are

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deliberately naïve, in a style that evokes the screen-printed, mid-century style made popular by Maurice Sendak. For Love is an exploration of the relationship between father and daughter, connection to land and pain in the many ways it presents in life. The prickly pear becomes a simple metaphor for life’s hurdles, presented in a way that any child is able to understand; a tumble and the subsequent shock and physical pain. The gentle message is that pain exists so that we might experience comfort, a beautiful sentiment to share with the little ones in your life.

Book Review


The Red Thread that Connects by Gabriel Arata


he precautions of social distancing and lockdowns have cost us a lot when it comes to art and culture. Theatres have remained tightly shut all over the world for the past year and a half, which compelled lovers of the performing arts to remind themselves that the Renaissance followed the Dark Ages. One Italian theatre company, however, didn’t want to wait for the next Renaissance to put on a show. The Franco Parenti Theatre in Milan found that 2020 was the perfect time to put on an insightful, bold and creative work titled Il Filo Invisibile. Directed by Corinna Grandi, and written by Andrea Rizzolini and Marco Morrone, this ground-breaking piece reimagines the way the world experiences theatre. Andrea Rizzolini explains, «The show comes from the perennial question: What is distance? Is there really such a thing? Where did it come from? To what extent does it deny us our humanity?» Il Filo Invisibile is a study of distance. «You’re asked to leave everyday life behind, and to inhabit for an hour and a quarter, a space that is on the border between reality and fiction, where you can rediscover firsthand what it means to be human in the light of the experience of wonder,» says Rizzolini. The idea for Il Filo Invisibile comes from the Japanese legend unmei no akai ito (which translates literally as “red string


of destiny”), according to which all of us come into the world bound by a thread that connects us to our soul mate. This red thread of destiny keeps shortening day after day until our destiny is fulfilled. When tickets for the show have been purchased, 26 of the audience members are sent an envelope wrapped in a red thread, containing instructions to follow and a particular object. The 26 people represent the 26 letters of the alphabet. Andrea randomly picks five letters that will correspond to five people who will take an active role in the show. Inside each envelope there is an object, each of which represents a metaphorical invisible thread that will link the protagonists of a story. The theatrical space is, of course, Zoom. The absence of a stage in a theatrical space allows Il Filo Invisibile to play on the illusion of distance. And it works because when we’re in this “space” called Zoom, as spectators distance no longer exists. We’re all in the same non-space. When we are close in soul and in story, distance is an illusion and closeness is real. Andrea likes to think that if this invisible thread really exists, it is a thread that unites us as human beings and therefore makes us share the joy and suffering of every other person around us, allowing us to gather, even for a moment, and even at a distance.

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A Close-Knit Community by Martina Badiali


uring the pandemic, Italy (and the rest of the world) rediscovered an ancient medicine for the soul and for the hands. A craft that is present in almost everyone’s life, yet sometimes forgotten. Knitting is a craft which, until a few years ago, was part of the collective memory linked to elderly hands, to the intimacy of the home, or perhaps to the semi-industrial manufacturing that has guaranteed the economic development of many areas in central and northern Italy. So much Italian excellence in textiles involves knitting (just think of the highly-prized yarns of brands such as Loro Piana, and the colourful timeless creations of Missoni). Today knitting is flourishing as a craft and as a hobby. Covid gave both men and women the impetus to learn something new, to keep their minds busy during long lockdowns, and to find ways to reconnect with each other. The success



of companies such as the Spanish We Are Knitters or the Italian Bettaknit, which supply kits consisting of yarn, needles and patterns, is telling of the rising trend. Il Sole 24 Ore, one of Italy’s most prominent newspapers, published an article in March titled “The Sweater of Happiness: The Knitting Boom as an Antidote to the Pandemic,” noting the very strong cultural and economic impact that knitting is having on a global level. Loretta Napoleoni, author of the book The Power of Knitting: Stitching Together Our Lives in a Fractured World (2021), in which she traces an autobiographical history of knitting, is an authoritative economist, journalist and lifelong knitter. Loretta argues that knitted garments can represent the antidote to fast fashion. A hand-made garment, whether knitted or crocheted is now perfectly acceptable in work, recreational or cultural contexts. I started knitting in 2015, after learning

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Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021

International Virtual Knit Night Instagram @ivirtualknitnights/

Parliamo di Maglia

But then I found the International Virtual Knit Night, an international knitting group, ideal for English speakers, which I really enjoyed. Then, with the onset of the pandemic, and Italy was one of the first countries to go into nationwide lock-down, I felt the tremendous need to connect to people in my own country. I founded the virtual knitting group connected to my podcast. Twice a week (and even more depending on availability), we meet to knit, keeping each other company, providing mutual support and courage through one lockdown after another, even if only through videoconference, but in the hope of one day meeting together in person. Knitting even in its extreme simplicity, (two sticks and a thread of any kind are enough to produce a piece of fabric), has not only dressed people for centuries, it has kept people connected. Today, thanks to new communication tools, it returns to keep communities and people together - and with surprising benefits. I can only conclude with a pearl of wisdom from Elizabeth Zimmermann, the Grandmother of modern knitting, written during the oil crisis of the 1970s and dedicated to her readers: “Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises.”


(and forgetting) the basics as a child. This quickly became an obsession, thanks to the discovery of Ravelry, the huge online portal for knitters throughout the globe, difficult to navigate, but full of treasures. In 2019, I started recording a podcast titled Parliamo di Maglia (Let’s Talk about Knitting), which I work on in my free time, trying to connect with the best of Italian and international knitting culture. This passion led me to discover important characters in the world of knitting and beyond, such as Elizabeth Zimmermann and Barbara Walker. It has also meant my family is dressed with increasingly intricate and satisfying creations. However, in the past six years I’ve not managed to find a knitting group that is a perfect fit for me. As Rachel Matthews tells in her book The Mindfulness in Knitting: Meditations on Craft and Calm (2016), a knitting group that suits us is not a simple thing. There are groups for all tastes, all ages, all stages of life. One of the most moving moments in her book (which I recommend to anyone who wants to bring mindfulness to their knitting), is when the author recounts her experience of joining a knitting group to deal with grief. For me, after trying various social knitting gatherings, I just never found the right fit.



We’re in this Together, but Separately Interior Design Closes the Door on Open-Plan Living by Hayley J. Egan


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hen Italy went into lockdown a little over a year ago, newly married couple Fabio and Margherita bought a paintbrush and a tin of paint and set about transforming their Roman apartment. «We hadn’t really spent much time at home before then,» says Margherita. «You just get into the habit of going to work, stopping for a drink or something to eat on the way home, and you’d only come home to sleep.» Even as the vaccine rollouts across the world are giving some of us a glimpse of a post-Covid world, there is no denying that the pandemic changed the way we view the home. Our bedrooms have become offices. Time previously spent commuting can be spent in the kitchen, which may now seem a little smaller since we’ve mastered that perfect shortcrust from scratch. We are spending a bit more time in the dining room than we used to, so ideally there should be space in the lounge room for an exercise mat. «Eighteen months later and I am still working from home,» says Fabio. «I spend all day here and I’m glad I took that time to refresh my home and make it a welcoming space.» So how is it, exactly, that the pandemic has influenced interior design? The most noticeable change in design trends has been the decline of the open plan. After decades of large, wall-free, loft-style spaces, according to Justina Blakeney of Jungalow, the internal door is finally making a comeback. «The need for rooms with doors, windows, and some privacy will start to make a

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reappearance,» says Justina. Fabio agreed. Known in Italy as the cucina all’americana, his open plan kitchen has seemed a bit less appealing lately. «Margherita is always making these elaborate cakes and tarts now, even when we are not in the red zone, she is in the habit. The mixer is going all day,» he laughs. Though he hasn’t completely closed the kitchen in, Fabio has built a frame that separates the kitchen from the lounge and dining room, and also houses an indoor vertical garden-another trend we can expect to see more of. Danielle Blundell of Apartment Therapy says that indoor plants are a way of “bringing the outdoors in,” and adds that this idea can be reversed by adding comfortable lounges to outdoor spaces on patios and balconies, creating an extension of the indoors.



Concept by Tommaso Spinzi

Green walls are also expected to be prominent in 2021, possibly because of the soothing qualities of the colour that reminds us of nature and the outdoors. Whatever trends we choose to embrace, Italian designer Tommaso Spinzi says that a home should «tell a story through furniture, art and objects.» According to Spinzi, design trends are secondary to the idea that people create a home that reflects their personality and their specific needs. «The goal is not to impress people, but


“to recognise [oneself] in every detail of the space.”» Fabio agrees. «It’s not that we want to change who we were before the pandemic,» he says, «we are married, but we are two people with different passions, different jobs, different hobbies, different lives.» «The world has changed», Margherita adds, «and the fact is we are both at home more now. We want to be able to comfortably live together, in a home that reflects who we are.»

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Cosenza - Italy melbourne- australia | Australia Ph: 0410 860 036 eMail: Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021



An Imagined


by Martina Badiali

From the safety of home, Martina Badiali connects with the beauty of Valle dei Mocheni through her friend’s posts on Instagram, and dreams of the trip she will take when travel is possible again.


n my list of places to see when travel is again a part of our lives is Valle dei Mocheni. Not far from the city of Trento, it has kept its charm intact, preserving a profound, authentic,

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and intimate dimension. For several years now, I have come into contact with this wonderful territory through Vea Carpi, a woman who changed her life in the early 2000s,



seeking a return to the simplicity and slow rhythms of a country lifestyle. Vea tells about her work and her territory through her Instagram profile and her website, filled with stories and images of the local cuisine, as well as the arts and crafts made from the fleece of the sheep. After years of looking at Vea’s photos and reading her stories of the valley, I have been longing to completely immerse myself in this unique Alpine atmosphere. Through a local guidebook kindly sent to me by Vea, I begin an exploration of the place I’ve only known through words and images, and prepare for a trip that I hope will come alive as soon as the pandemic subsides and we are allowed to move freely between regions. The mountains of Valle dei Mocheni can be seen from the city of Trento, which, according to the guidebook, can be reached in about half an hour by car. I can also expect to come upon an environment different from other alpine valleys - that is, uncontaminated by mass tourism. The people, culture, traditions, language, architecture, vegetation and the geographical characteristics contribute to the valley’s uniqueness.


Valle dei Mocheni has been inhabited since 1200, a period in which il maso the regional word for a typical farm - was defined. Most of them include a traditional farmhouse and consist of about 20 hectares of land dedicated to cultivation and the raising of livestock. The self-sufficient characteristics of the farm, an isolated micro-world, have contributed to the area’s cultural isolation, preserving over the centuries the customs, traditions and local language. Rich in ancient traditions linked to the cycle of the seasons, the valley offers visitors evocative moments linked to local folklore and traditions. Culinary traditions are never lacking in Italy. The cuisine of Valle dei Mocheni is strongly linked to peasant life and is based on simple ingredients like milk, cheese, potatoes, meat, sauerkraut and turnips. Although the produce is basic and simple, when wisely cooked, complex dishes are born from them. The food is often cooked on woodfire, maintaining a delicious, nostalgic, smoky aroma. I am pondering what the best season to visit the valley would be. For me, each season has its attractions. Winter is a time of peace and silence in the snow and ice. Spring is the ideal time to discover traditions and enjoy the awakening of nature. In the summer there is maximum activity: all the museums are open and there are many events. In autumn, the foliage would provide a picturesque backdrop to a hike. Whenever it may be, I’m looking forward to discovering Valle dei Mocheni and its seasonal rhythms, its traditions and authentic cultural peculiarities.

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Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021



From a National Disgrace

to Italy’s Best-Kept Secret by Angelo Pallotta

Matera - Baslicata


s an Italian immigrant in Australia, people sometimes ask me which part of Italy I am from. This happens not only with Australians, but also when meeting fellow Italians for the first time. Now I would never say Carbone, a tiny village of 500 inhabitants, as not even people from the same region might know where this is, let alone Australians or other non-Italian citizens. I wouldn’t even say a village in the Potenza province, as this might still be too narrow a description. I usually say “from the south”, keeping it quite vague and general, but still giving an idea as to my approximate place of origin. Depending on the interlocutor, I might then be asked to specify which region in the south. This is when I proceed to tell them the name of my region, Basilicata, often adding a visual description along the lines of «if you picture Calabria, right at the bottom


of the “boot”, I am from the next region up». While it is perfectly understandable that non-Italians not know where Basilicata is, I find it disconcerting that not even Italians do! Therefore, to remind Italians of their own country’s geography, as well as to introduce everyone else to this beautiful southern region, I have taken the liberty of compiling some interesting information about Basilicata. Basilicata, or to use its ancient Roman name, Lucania, is a region in Southern Italy bordered by Campania to the west, Apulia to the north and east, and Calabria to the south. For those needing a more visual description, it is the arch of the foot in Italy’s boot shape, with Calabria as the toe and Apulia as the heel. It has two coastlines: to the west, a small stretch of the Tyrrhenian Sea (approximately 30 km, on which is located the wonderful town Maratea, home to the imposing statue of Christ the Redeemer); and to the east, a much longer stretch of the Ionian Sea. The region is made up of two provinces, Potenza and Matera, with Potenza being the capital city. Apart from the beautiful coastlines (white sand beaches to the east and picturesque rocky bays to the west), it is the most mountainous region in the south, with notable mountains and ranges such as the Pollino massif, the Dolomiti lucane, Monte Vulture and Monte Alpi. Matera, once dubbed a “national disgrace” by Alcide de Gasperi (the Prime Minister of Italy from 1945 to 1953), was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and elected European Capital of Culture in 2019. With its

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picturesque and other-worldly sassi (rock caves used as dwellings), this town, one of the oldest in Italy, has often been chosen as the setting for many movies, such as The Passion of the Christ (2004), Quantum of Solace (2008), Ben Hur (2015), Wonder Woman (2017), Mary Magdalene (2018), and No Time to Die, the new James Bond movie to be released this year. And long before Matera was heritage listed, it was also the location used for Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Il vangelo secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to St. Matthew, 1964), and Francesco Rosi’s Cristo si è femato a Eboli (Christ Stopped at Eboli, 1979), both of which are classics of Italian cinema. While rich in natural resources and beauty, the region has historically been rather poor, especially when compared to the north of the country. During the reign of the Borboni in Italy’s south from the early-to-mid 1800s, the State confiscated and sold off much of Basilicata’s territory, which had formerly been owned by the Catholic Church. These lands became the property of a handful of wealthy aristocratic families, with the average family not seeing any economic or social benefit after Italy’s unification (prior to 1861 Italy was divided into ‘kingdoms’). This resulted in civil unrest and insurrection which came to be known as “brigandage” (brigandaggio), with the Borboni sent into exile and the Church encouraging the peasants to rebel. Basilicata experienced mass migration during this time and, much later, after World War I and World War II, mainly due to poverty and lack of growth opportunities, towards the Americas and Australia.

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In more recent times, Basilicata has undergone a sort of revival, generating much interest for its natural beauty (national parks, beaches, historic and “ghost” towns used as movie settings), but also, over the past decade or so, for its ever-growing truffle industry. While not as well known as the northern variety (from the region of Piedmont), the tartufo of this region is certainly just as prestigious and highly-appreciated by connoisseurs and the wider community alike. Pristine national parks, breath-taking seascapes, delicious food, historic towns, churches, castles and cathedrals - Basilicata has it all. This region went from a “national disgrace” to what The New York Times described as Italy’s “best-

Sassi di Matera

kept secret”. Basilicata acknowledges its humble origins and past hardships while venturing into the future with renewed optimism, holding steadfast on to its ancient customs and traditions while opening its doors to a new, more prosperous era.



CARNIVAL is a serious thing by Francesco Bufarini

A Rumit


s soon as the Italian Carnival is mentioned, what immediately springs to mind is Venice and its wonderful 18th century style masks. Carnival is, by definition, the overturning of convention: from the time of ancient Rome it was a period celebrating experimentation and suspension of the rules. Its appearance has changed and adapted over time but the spirit of experimentation survives to this day and not only in Venice. Carnivals are prevalent throughout Italy, so let’s take a look at some of Italy’s lesser-known, but wonderfully outrageous carnivals. Years ago I was invited as a musician to play in Basilicata at the carnival of the small town of Satriano. The town is very quaint, with dozens of handcrafted murals representing ancient local legends. One of these is the Rumit, a tree with arms and legs. On the day of the carnival, hundreds of these figures descend from the forest in an incredible scene that evokes the Lord of the Rings.


The Rumits, with their cowbells, invade the town, creating a sea of leaves, music and joy. It made me think that there was more to this festival than masks and dressing up. The costume highlights the link with Mother Earth and launches an ancient ecological message: nature gives us life and food, and we are a part of it. We are the forest. Another carnival that deserves recognition is that of Montemarano in Campania, which has music as its main focus. In fact, this town has its own special Tarantella that is played only at carnival time. Hundreds of local musicians compete to see who can play the loudest, the longest, and the most cheerfully, creating almost a month of frenzied dancing and joy. A very unique experience. If we go up in the Alps of northern Italy to the small town of Sappada, we find a completely different carnival. Here, mysterious and somewhat grotesque

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Carnival of Montemarano (Avellino). Photo by Emiliano Migliorini

figures called Rollate appear on the streets of the village. Tall men dressed in furs, and hoods with wooden masks over their faces, and who walk around armed with brooms and noisy cowbells. They take every opportunity to scare you and knock you over the head with their broomsticks. There is a saying, “at Carnival, every joke counts”. We next land in Le Marche, a region rich in secrets and curiosities and home to another peculiar carnival. The ancient carnival in Fano, dating back to 1347, has as its centre a parade featuring allegorical floats up to 16 metres high. The floats represent famous people or news events. In fact, every year there is a different guiding theme, demonstrating how much such an ancient festival is also capable of making you think about current events. from these Rio de Janeiro-style floats over a tonne of candy is thrown down onto the crowd. It is not uncommon to see people with umbrellas upside down collecting as many sweets as possible!

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Another unique and almost unknown carnival in Le Marche is that of the "Castagnolo Festival" in my home town of Monte San Vito. The party begins days after the rest of Italy has concluded the festivities. Castagnolo is a fried cream cake typical of the region and is cooked in the streets during the festival. All normal enough, you might say, except that at dinner time, from the windows of the town castle dozens of sausages are launched with a parachute, and a flashing spaceship loaded with salami is dropped from the town tower. You can only imagine the crowds and the human pyramids that are created to grab at least one of these flying sausages. These are just some of the strangest examples of carnival in Italy, an ancient festival from which we still have important lessons to learn - such as getting involved, overcoming our limits, being brave and, above all, remembering every now and then to stop and have fun.




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A Call to the Italian Table by Jenna Lo Bianco


have pondered on how Italians understand and accept a number of socio-cultural norms when they are called to the table. Sometimes as part of a traditional celebration or ritual observance (as, say, with the passing of the seasons, or the end of Lent in the Christian calendar), but more often than not as an occasion to just get together with family and friends. Whatever the case may be, two concepts come to mind: the gathering of people (riunirsi or incontrarsi), and the gathering of produce (raccogliere). It is obvious that the two concepts are intimately connected given that food is often the main reason for why we gather. But to find out what it takes to be a good Italian host I turned to chef Kara Mallia, who has extensive professional experience in private and commercial kitchens in Italy. Kara immediately pointed out that there is a big difference between hosting in a

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commercial setting, such as a restaurant or catered event, and hosting in a domestic environment. Hosting a lunch or dinner in the privacy of your own home can be formal and have an element of ritual, as in a commercial setting, but the boundary between the dining table and the kitchen is done away with, both spatially and psychologically. «It’s about being present, guests socialise, drink and engage in discussion with a host who is most often also the cook,» Kara explained. Which means that both the kitchen space and the dining space are shared between host and guests and is expressive of their intimacy. Enjoying the company of others while in the kitchen only heightens the conviviality of the occasion - just imagine you and your guests nibbling on crostini with a glass of wine in hand, and chatting while waiting for the water to boil to cook pasta. Food is a vehicle for imparting love - love for those gathered - and when steeped



in tradition the food is engrained with memories. When it comes to family recipes that Italians hold dear to their hearts - and palettes - it’s of no wonder why they find it difficult to be open to change. «Italian recipes passed down from generation to generation rarely change if ever. Nor do our expectations of how they will taste, smell, and the emotions they may evoke,» said Kara. But Kara has been known to be playful with the plating of traditional family dishes. «The recipe never changes,» she said, «just how it is presented.» Although Kara has a strong foundation in hearty Tuscan cuisine, her approach to Italian food has been described as “delicate” and “feminine”. She takes big flavours and presents them with refreshingly graceful touches, such as using edible flowers and sprigs of rosemary. She also serves meals on vintage crockery for a rustic touch, but always lets the food speak for itself. Given the abundance of Italian foods at our disposal in Australia, Kara invites you to follow her special Tuscan-styled menu to enjoy with friends and loved ones. It’s a winter menu, and one that allows you to be “present with your guests”.


While good food and a host’s engaging nature are typical of an Italian meal, Kara has a closing reflection to share the décor and the ambience of the dining area are also important. Given that winter is upon us, she suggests that the tone of the dining space would do well with shades of amber, green and brown to reflect the earthy, rustic nature of Tuscan cuisine. Though not “traditional”, Kara likes to dress her dining spaces with up-cycled bottles of wine, glass vessels, candles, olive branches and wild flowers, all to help set the scene for a hearty meal. Why not draw upon these pearls of wisdom and gather Italian-style this winter? Be guided by Kara’s generous spirit and genuine Italian hospitality, and, above all, a love of good food.

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An tipasti A generous tagliere platter to share, with an abundance of cured meats, rustic wheels of cheese, honey and marmellata, pickled vegetables and olives


A selection of crostini, slices of crusty bread topped with fegatini, peperonata, mushroom puree and olive puree Panzerotti (fried pizza dough balls) served with stracchino and prosciutto n


Tordelli Versiliesi, stuffed with mortadella, pork and beef mince, swiss chard, soaked bread, egg, parmigiano and pecorino, served in a traditional ragù n

Se condo

Rosticiana, slow cooked pork ribs, cooked in white wine, garlic, rosemary, fennel seeds n


Crispy roast potatoes, wilted seasonal greens n

Do lce Crostata made with seasonal fruit or homemade marmellata, served with prosecco Followed by caffé and a digestif (Kara suggests Amaro del Capo for its warmth after a comforting meal)

kara’s menu


A Tavola

Bringing Back

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Sunday Lunch by Marybeth Bonfiglio


ack in the old days, our family would gather after mass and we would spend hours eating together. It was worth having to sit through a boring mass as a kid because I knew afterwards we would be able to run wild and eat the best food, including all the dolce we wanted. We typically gathered at my Nonno’s house. All his siblings lived on one end of his street, and at the other end was Our Lady of Loretto, a tiny church that my grandparents built from stone when they arrived from Italy. After Sunday mass, everyone just walked down the street, stopped quickly in their homes, changed their clothes, grabbed the food they had prepared to share, and headed to my grandfather's house. My Nonno would bring out all the bottles of homemade wine and bitters. He’d put Tony Bennet on his record player and lay out the good silverware on red and white checkered tablecloths. Fast forward a couple of decades and nobody goes to mass anymore, the elders have all passed on, and people got so busy with their nuclear family plans that Sunday lunch became extinct. Gathering together to share food and loud conversation seemed to have faded with the busy schedules of the modern world.

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Sunday would come and go without a celebratory marker to remind you that a new work week was about to begin. And on top of that is the most recent global issue, the pandemic. An entire year without actually gathering together to share food can really reawaken your old memories and remind you how important reserving one day for food and togetherness is. Not being able to be close to your people brings an ache to your heart and entire body. If only we had taken advantage and eaten together more often when we had the chance! Where I live in the United States (Oregon), we still cannot gather indoors because of the pandemic. Recently my local Italian friends and family have decided that for our physical and spiritual health, we had to bring back this old tradition, and do it in alternate back yards every week. For our Sunday lunches we all make a couple of things to share that we used to eat growing up. We bring things like: fennel fritters and sausages, olives, scaccia (a delicious regional food from Ragusa, Sicily), pasta with fennel and sardines, slow-cooked meats, homemade ricotta, jams, polenta covered in bitter greens, caponata with fresh bread, tiramisu, cannoli, fresh seasonal fruit, biscotti, homemade amari, and wine. Lots of wine. We set the

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table outdoors, sit down, and we eat. We eat and eat. The kids run around and remember what it’s like to be well-nourished in the community. We tell stories about the Nonni and Nonne, who taught us the specific dishes we are sharing with each other, and we talk about the ingredients they used as new immigrants with little resources. We describe the regions they came from, and commiserate with each other about how badly we all want to return to Italy. We promise to keep these lunches alive. And after too much wine and food, we take turns playing the pizzica, and, as poorly as we all play it and sing it, we imagine the ancestors dancing and laughing in joy around us, they are the ones who have unknowingly brought us all together. In this way il pranzo della domenica is reborn, fulfilling our need to connect, to honor the grandmothers and aunts who worked so hard to make dishes for us to enjoy every Sunday. By doing this, it feels like we have not forgotten the truly healing rituals of our culture. Gathering together is one of the most important and nourishing things we can do to honor our elders, and who fed us until we felt like we were going to burst.



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A Labour of Love

Giorgio Linguanti from That’s Amore Cheese shares his recipe for success by Daniele Foti-Cuzzola


ince its inception in 2008, Melbourne-based That’s Amore Cheese has grown to become an Italian-Australian institution. The brand’s signature dark blue packaging has become synonymous with high quality Italian cuisine around Australia. What started as a mere curiosity and hobby for founder Giorgio Linguanti has since grown into an expanding business that boasts 60 different types

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of cheeses, a Cheesery Deli & Café in Thomastown, sister brand Cannoleria by That’s Amore Cheese, and a team of 100. The company now exports their locally produced cheeses to markets in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea. But for Sicilian-born Giorgio the recipe to success required more than just amore. There was curiosity, hard work, determination and sacrifice involved



too. Like many migrant success stories, Giorgio’s Australian dream came about during a difficult period in his life. «I was living in Sicily until I was 31, and there was a moment in my life where I needed to restart from scratch,» says Giorgio. He decided to see what Australia had to offer when an uncle who was living in Melbourne invited him to come over. Not long after arriving in Melbourne, it became apparent that Australia would be his new home. However, Linguanti, who came from an advertising background in Italy, didn’t speak much English and knew that in order to make it work in this new country he would have to make some sacrifices. «I approached Australia in a very humble way,» he says. «I was not thinking about my background. In Italy I was focused on advertising. That was my speciality and my skill, but when I came to Australia, I couldn’t speak English, so I couldn’t do an advertising job. I worked in a fruit shop. I learnt everything I needed to. I gave it my best and was working around 100 hours a week.» Giorgio also made a conscious effort to avoid relying too heavily on the Italian community. «I couldn’t speak English, so I forced myself not to read the Italian newspapers and not to listen to Italian music or watch Italian television. I tried to stay away from that, not because I really wanted to, but because I needed to integrate with the community here and learn English.» After a year, Giorgio left the fruit store and started working in a cheese shop, where his curiosity grew. «I would ask questions like, “why is the milk different from yesterday?”» He eventually called


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his brother in Italy and asked him to send a book about cheese-making. «I started to buy milk and make cheese for myself and my family. The passion started then and I discovered my real talent in life: cheese-making. I started to make cheese that tasted like cheese made in Italy. For me, it’s easy to taste a piece of cheese, then produce it. It comes naturally. I discovered this was my talent.» By 2008, Giorgio had left his job at the cheese factory and started That’s Amore Cheese. His first product was the Bocconcini Leaf, a leaf of mozzarella that can be rolled with other ingredients, and he ran the business on his own.

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«I was doing production in the morning, I’d wash everything, I’d put the stock in the van and then go out for delivery. Leaving home at 3 o’clock in the morning and then come back at 8 o’clock at night. A few weeks later I hired one person, then another one and another. Now we are a team of nearly 100 people.» Giorgio credits the company’s success to their commitment to educating and promoting authentic Italian cuisine while using high quality ingredients. «People in Australia were calling cheese made with cow’s milk pecorino, but in Italy pecorino means it comes from sheep’s milk. We explain things like that to people, and educate them about what they are eating. And this is what sets That’s Amore apart in the market. We are about knowledge, education and good flavour. We buy top quality milk and that’s why the flavour of our cheese is outstanding.» Part of That’s Amore’s rapid expansion is due to Giorgio’s passion and determination to educate the public about Italian products. From the Cannoleria, which uses their authentic Italian style ricotta, to their events and sagras and constant development of multiple new cheeses each year, Giorgio hopes to expand the knowledge and appreciation for high quality and authentic products. «What we do is all about passion and love. We love what we do, and we make everything with love.»

Cannolo Siciliano



What About a

Home-Grown Italian Drop? by Louis G. Egan


talian wine is world famous and it’s very easy to see why. Just the mention of Chianti conjures up images of rolling hills contoured with leafy green vines, a great table complete with a fresh tablecloth, which overhangs and sways in the breeze, steaming dishes made of fresh local ingredients, and in the centre, waiting to be poured into the stout glasses placed by every plate, a bottle of red wine (an old wicker-based fiasco if you’re a romantic). Wine grapes, though not native to Australia, have been grown and cultivated here since the arrival of the First Fleet. After a few failed crops in Sydney’s Botanical Gardens, diversity and production expanded greatly on the arrival of James Busby in 1832 with 363 carefully documented vine cuttings taken from a trip through the wine regions of Spain and France. Today, of the 130 varietals grown in Australia, 89 per cent of production is taken up by just 10 varietals, and 60 per cent is taken up by just four: Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Despite Australia’s significant Italian population, the Italian grape varietals



have taken a while to gain any traction, and are still considered “alternative” varieties. Some Italian grapes, particularly Dolcetto, can be found in records from Victoria in the late 19th century, though it wasn’t until the late20th century that some producers started bringing Italian grapes and wine-making traditions here to Australia. After some trials in Barossa and Mudgee, the first successful plantings of Sangiovese (Chianti’s shining star) began in South Australia’s McLaren Vale in 1985, starting with Mark Lloyd of Coriole Wines, who said he wanted to try something “not French”. The trend continued to the point where South Australian Sangiovese has become a common sight on wine lists around the country. Sangiovese is a grape that really demonstrates the soil it’s grown in. Sangiovese maintains its Italian black fruit, herb and tomato leaf notes, but with a distinct Aussie twist that calls you back to the pale sandy soils and eucalypts of the McLaren Vale estate. Sangiovese can also make a wonderfully aromatic rosé. Since the 1990s in the Hilltops region of NSW, Freeman Vineyards have been

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making a Rondinella Corvina blend in which the grapes are dried out before pressing, concentrating the flavours in a fantastic take on the Amarone style from Valpolicella DOC in north-eastern Italy. «Rondinella and Corvina grapes thrive in the local terroir - continental cool climate, elevation, and granitic loam soils. They ripen later than conventional varieties like Cabernet. Ours won’t be picked till later [in April],» says Jane from Freeman Vineyards. These wines are bold but controlled, with prominent aromas of cherry liqueur, cinnamon, dark chocolate and green pepper, and can be cellared for over 10 years. Apart from this uniquein-Australia Veneto blend, Freeman also produce a number of other Italian varietals, including Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. In Victoria’s King Valley, Italian grape varietals are taking hold in a big way. Populated by Italian farming families, tobacco was the traditional crop. But in the 1970s a change in government policy led to the phasing out of tobacco, and many farmers turned to wine production. This began with the more “traditional” (in the Australian sense) varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Shiraz, but soon producers began to look towards their Italian heritage. In 2000, Dal Zotto wines planted the first Prosecco grapes and King Valley Prosecco became instantly popular for those seeking a relaxed-yet-sophisticated sparkling wine.

Au t u m n and Win te r Pairing s

Try a rich and spicy Barossa Valley Nero D’Avola with some roast boar with fennel, sage and rosemary.

The Italian trend continued and the King Valley’s cool climate has made a perfect home for white Italian varietals such as Arneis, Garganega and Pinot Grigio, and reds like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Barbera and Montepulciano. Climate change has fast become a major issue for winemakers in Australia, with our already harsh climate becoming even more extreme. This is leading winemakers to plant more and more heat-tolerant varieties. Examples of these are found in Fiano and Nero D’Avola, both grown in abundance in the hot, dry climes of southern Italy. Fiano, a white grape originally grown in Campania, with prime examples from Avellino DOC, is now being grown all over Australia, from Queensland’s Granite Belt all the way to Western Australia’s Margaret River. Nero D’Avola, native to Sicily, is now being grown in fine examples in South Australia, across the inland Riverina and Riverland Districts and even as far north as Queensland. These two varieties are becoming very popular among winemakers and consumers and we can expect to see them a lot more in the future. Italian grape varieties are definitely a surging trend in Australian wine, which not only adds a long overdue diversity to the wine market here, but also gives us an opportunity to take a great-value sensory journey to Italy and back.

A dry and aromatic King Valley Nebbiolo pairs fantastically with a wild mushroom risotto.

A Margaret River Fiano will light up with some grilled salmon and asparagus.

ABOVE Photo by Philip Greenwood

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Business woman A

N atu r a l

by Agata Grimaldi

Catherine Cervasio is a pioneer in the skin care industry. In 1994 she founded Aromababy, the first brand to use natural and organic ingredients for baby care products. She credits her Italian father for instilling in her a strong work ethic, the importance of family and a passion for natural ingredients. Agata Grimaldi spoke to Catherine about entrepreneurship and the development of Aromababy. What excites you about business? «The idea of owning and running my own business always brings with it a sense of “freedom” and that excites me. I have the freedom to be creative, to work differently and to think outside the box. I think entrepreneurship today is very different to say twenty years ago. Flexible working arrangements and creative thinking are now not only commonplace,


they are actually encouraged. » What is your advice to budding entrepreneurs? «I always advise people to do lots of research around their idea, about the market, the target audience, the geographic region, competitors, and barriers to entry. This might include engaging an Intellectual Property specialist to ensure your trademark(s) and domain names are available and

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Catherine Cervasio founder and CEO Aromababy

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then protected. Before starting out in business, ask yourself some questions. What size do you want your business to be?» How will you fund growth? How will you balance personal and business commitments if your idea does flourish? «You need to be resilient, focused, tenacious, patient, disciplined and passionate. You need to love what you do because you may be working harder than you’ve ever worked in your life.» How did Aromababy come about? «I started my business by accident. I was retrenched only weeks before Christmas in 1993 and newly pregnant with my first baby. I became involved with researching ingredients in baby care products because I was concerned that many commonly used ingredients appeared to be linked to skin irritation and potential health issues. At the time, over 25 years ago, “natural” and “organic” were little-known. I searched for products and found there was nothing natural available for babies and definitely nothing I was confident to use on my own baby. I began to experiment with natural and organic ingredients and developed what would be become the beginnings of Aromababy.» How did you tackle the several skillsets needed in starting a new business? «To be honest, I really fumbled my way through during those early years. I returned to study and completed a Diploma in Aromatherapy and then trained as an Infant Massage Instructor. These two qualifications supported me in running educational workshops, not only in Australia but eventually overseas where we began selling within a few short years. If you are passionate about what you’re doing, it comes through authentically in your


conversations. This is why I was able to engage both potential store buyers and new parents. Having some experience in accounts as part of my very first job meant that I was reasonably familiar with managing money. When the time was right, I employed someone to take care of the financial side of the business which freed me up to focus on marketing and product development.» How has your business evolved since you started? «Aromababy was way ahead of its time. There were no other natural baby skincare brands on the market. It was important to educate people and to do this I participated in a number of exhibitions, at both trade and consumer level. This provided the platform to reach more retail buyers and more new parents. Having products on retail shelves in Australia meant that overseas buyers soon came knocking on my door. Our early export markets included Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and UAE. The sector has certainly come a long way, the market is now over-saturated with choice. To sustain growth we were forced to focus on export where high value was placed on efficacy and safety. This was a great decision. It has enabled us to continue as a niche brand in Australia, but with some of our overseas stores selling Aromababy for twenty years now.» What are the products you are most proud of ? «Our superstar product is the Barrier Balm. This beautiful, unique, natural and organic balm is an allpurpose soother. The base oils used are carefully chosen and create a light barrier to help protect the skin, while the organic actives, including calendula, evening primrose and chamomile, are used in specific percentages and work together to help support skin repair and

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reduce inflammation. Similarly, our Stretched to the Limit duo (cream and oil) has been a godsend to thousands of women with stretchmarks (including before and after pregnancy) who were looking for nonpetrochemical-based formulations to help moisturise dry, dehydrated and itchy skin. I love both of these products and use them daily. I’m also a huge fan of our heavenly aromatherapy candle, which is made in Australia using pure essential oils, to commemorate our 25th anniversary.» This issue of Segmento is inspired by a question asked at this year’s Venice Biennale, “How Will We Live Together?” We thought this question could be applied to people, communities, even nation states, and to businesses, especially one like Aromababy? «Aromababy has always been about paying it forward and giving back to the community. I've always been a big fan of togetherness and of embracing other cultures both in my private life and in business. Whether the connection is with immediate community or extends to people in other nations, I believe

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having authenticity in your connections is critical. Becoming an exporter early on in the Aromababy journey meant I had regular exposure to other cultures, which is something I really love about global business. Having a genuine interest in another's perspective enriches our lives. Over the years, at Aromababy I have made a point of inviting groups of business women from around the world into our showroom to engage in conversation and to learn. I have also raised my sons with a sensitivity to other cultures. Children are now being raised as part of a global society, which is fantastic.» Is life-work balance possible when you run your own business? «Absolutely! Not only is life-work balance possible, finding that balance is crucial to having the best possible experience across all areas of our lives. There’s no point being in business if you’re not able to structure time to simply take it all in and breathe. In a world where I am surrounded by essential oils and use aromatherapy on a daily basis, it would seem crazy if I didn’t stop and smell the roses.»




in Rome

A challenging Agenda

by Stefano Riela


he G20 is a gathering of the leaders of 19 countries and one institution, the European Union (EU). This year it will take place in Rome on October 30th and 31st . It represents 80 per cent of the world economy, gathered together in the eternal city. States are part of international institutions that manage and coordinate policies, like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). These institutions have grown to encompass almost every country of the world. However, the major industrialised countries of the West found the need to meet in smaller and more homogenous “Groups”, hence, the “G”. It all started in the early 1970s when the Bretton Woods system of quasi-fixed exchange rates collapsed and the first oil crisis was about to begin. The US organised a group with Germany, France and the UK (G4) to share macroeconomic initiatives between its members. The (G4) later expanded with the entry of Japan (G5), Italy (G6) and Canada (G7). The EU has attended the G7 since the


late seventies as a non-enumerated participant. The club opened its doors to Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and in 1998 the G8 was created. Russia, however, quit the G8 in 2017 following the annexation of Crimea. The G20 was created in 1999 after a series of financial crises: the Mexican peso crisis, the Asian and Russian crisis, and the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management. This unveiled the interconnection of capital markets and the need to involve other big economies along those of G7. Following the 2008 financial crisis, the G20 went beyond a gathering of finance ministers to involve heads of state and government. In 2008, the economic weight of G7 countries was 52 per cent of the world GDP, well below the 70 per cent of 1992 and, since then, the G7 has lost even more to reach 45 per cent in 2021. Meanwhile, the 12 countries that complement the G7 in the G20 – China, India, Korea, Russia, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Argentina and South Africa have increased their overall weight from 12 per cent in 1992 to 33 per cent in 2021.

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It is unknown whether the summit is to be held in person this year during Italy’s Presidency. Last year, during Saudi Arabia’s Presidency, it was held virtually. We do know that the Italian Presidency has announced its agenda: • Ensuring a swift international response to the pandemic – being able to provide equitable, worldwide access to diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines – while building up resilience to future health-related shocks. • Promoting the creation of new jobs, social protection and food security; thus ensuring a rapid recovery while reducing inequalities by bridging the digital divide. • Confirming a firm commitment to protecting our climate and our common environment and promoting a more efficient use of renewable energies. This agenda looks quite ambitious, especially if we consider the increase

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in heterogeneity in G20 compared to G7. While the members of G7 are all democracies, within the G20 there are three authoritarian regimes (China, Russia and Saudi Arabia) and one hybrid regime (Turkey). Though we can predict it will be easy to find a broad consensus on the above-mentioned priorities (more vaccines, more jobs, more environmental protection), democratic countries cannot turn a blind eye to humanitarian issues or the infringement of civil liberties. This signals that liberal democracies will have a fight on their hands, and must leave no stone unturned to put an ‘End to History’ as imagined by Francis Fukuyama in his bestseller book The End of History and the Last Man (1992), published after the Cold War.

G20 2020, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia



The Great >Reset Of Capitalism from Davos to Singapore by Giovanni Di Lieto

Giovanni di Lieto, International Trade Specialist asks whether The Great Reset will bring real change or just more of the same?


he World Economic Forum Special Annual Meeting 2021 will convene in Singapore on the 17th to the 20th of August to further develop the Davos Agenda. The Forum will gather global stakeholders to address the steps for global recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, is adamant that we can emerge from this crisis a better world, if we act quickly and jointly. In his latest book, The Great Reset, Schwab writes that the changes we have already seen in response to COVID-19 prove that a reset of our economic and social foundations is possible, and that this is our best chance to instigate stakeholder capitalism. Thus, Schwab urges a new social contract to reform education and working conditions together with the transformation of key industries, from oil and gas to tech. In short, Schwab calls for a “Great Reset” of Capitalism. But it’s an ambitious goal that begs the question: Can global capitalism be saved from itself, by itself, despite itself ? To attempt an answer, first we need to


consider that the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset Initiative is the vanguard of an ideological re-foundation from above, which is expressly proposed by the elites for the elites facing the abyss of an existential crisis due to internecine economic conflict, faltering political domination and social revolt from below. For Schwab and his acolytes, it is a question of taking up the challenge posed by the evident failure of the neoliberal economy and by the end of its economic, political and cultural hegemony that became globally entrenched after the Cold War ended. The COVID-19 pandemic cruelly made evident that amoral shareholder capitalism within a context of small government is simply no longer sustainable. So, after more than three decades of neoliberal determinism, what is to be done to save capitalism according to the World Economic Forum? Reading through the Great Reset Initiative, one may have the impression that the COVID-19 pandemic converted Schwab into a bleeding-heart liberal. More cynically, one may add that he is expediently repositioning the World Economic Forum at the spearhead of a reprise of neo-classical liberalism.

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Be that as it may and whatever the political labels in use, the Great Reset of Capitalism is the Trojan horse of an elitist attempt at class re-aggregation in the face of the evolving balance of power between the US and China. Basically, the Great Reset Initiative sounds a lot like a job application template for seasoned executive leaders in the post-pandemic brave new world. But in substance it is more of a face lift for the henchmen of 1990s neoliberalism who are vying to turn its demise into their own success. I

guess that this shift has already procured prestigious new jobs for septuagenarians like Joe Biden and Mario Draghi, so others will surely follow in their steps. A sure indicator of such politicoideological expediency is that the whole conceptual framework of the Great Reset Initiative is based on complexity theory, which explains change in systems by way of interactive feedback loops operating horizontally and interdependently (see figure below).

The Global Risk Interconnection Map Source: World Economic Forum Global Risks

Anyone wishing to seek a comprehensive explanation of economic redevelopment, or a teleology of social change, would therefore be disappointed. The World

Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021

Economic Forum offers no holistic narrative in this regard, and it beggars belief that the Great Reset of Capitalism may occur from above by the old neoliberal



leadership who have no consciousness of hierarchically-ordered links and causal mechanisms of change within a social system. Taking into account the Global Risks Interconnections Map, the COVID-19 crisis is essentially interpreted by Schwab as a very powerful accelerator of disparate, if intertwined, dynamics. But then where is the real, effective change in the social contract coming from? Note that Schwab calls it the great reset, and not change. A reset is inherently the act of setting the same thing again, sure enough differently in process but not in substance. Indeed, when the Great Reset Initiative looks at technological reorganisation, the emphasis is on the acceleration of digital transformations and changes in consumption and regulation. For instance, COVID-19 introduces elements of uncertainty, including the choice between saving lives and the economy, in the link between economic growth and employment, monetary and fiscal policies, the alternative between deflation and inflation, the fate of the US dollar as the global reserve currency, and the decoupling of global supply chains. But then I ask how on earth can social rearrangement move towards a new social contract from dynamics of widening inequality trends, which exacerbate every crisis with stimulus packages glutting the equity markets with low-interest capitals? Is the resumption of "big government" all there is to the Great Reset of Capitalism? In this respect, it is hard to think that re-industrialisation and social welfare problems can be tackled with integrally


marketbased solutions, unless the delicate balance between public and private (indeed the raison d’etre of the World Economic Forum) will shift decisively back in favour of the former. If I am reading this right, the World Economic Forum is then arguing for global capitalism with Chinese characteristics. Indeed, on the geopolitical level, it is all but a question of managing economic growth through the deepening rivalry between the US and China, as well as navigating the trends towards a new regionalization of corporate value chains addressing pandemic and environmental risks. Of course, all of this falls in line with the corporate and governmental greenwash which does little more than kick the can of effective climate change policies down the road and into the lap of future generations. Though greenwashing is coherent with the World Economic Forum’s big picture, as in reality it is only about climate reset rather than change. In conclusion, Schwab is certainly right to point out to the economic elites of the world that, despite the fact that their wealth is continually increasing, doing nothing is not an option. Nevertheless, the Great Reset of Capitalism which is being set up in the air between Davos and Singapore seems poised to disappoint the masses who wake up every morning on the wrong side of capitalism. It is encouraging that the World Economic Forum is even contemplating a Great Reset of Capitalism, but it remains to be seen whether a radical change of system is instead required to benefit the many and not just the lucky few.

Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021

Undercover the

Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021



Undercover the


the Mould by Kristy Stanfield

Kristy Stanfield spoke with artist and physicist Matteo Volpi about his upcoming exhibition Back to the Mould, which is a breaking down of borders between art and science.


ou would be forgiven for thinking that these psychedelic images have been digitally enhanced. On the contrary, they are the result of a collaboration between art, science and nature, a beautiful and chaotic coalescence of photography and biology where photographic film is the canvas and mould is the brush. The artist is Matteo Volpi. He works as a physicist at the University of Melbourne where he conducts research observing particles and investigating dark matter.

In his spare time, he is a passionate photographer, creating these fascinating “biological remixes” of photographs using mould. Volpi’s love for photography and painting began at a young age, and he studied classical photography through high school. At the age of 18 when most of his peers were asking their parents for cars or scooters, he asked for his own darkroom. He says he’s always been quite experimental with film: «I tried different techniques; freezing the film, boiling the film, even burning the films to create a kind of magic effect. I was attracted to using film in an unconventional way. I’m curious, so I like to investigate and I want to go deeper into things and see how they work.” After leaving school, Volpi earned a Physics degree, completed his PhD in Barcelona and then went on to work at the European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, before relocating to Australia in 2011 for a postdoctoral position at the University of Melbourne. His interest in mould began in 2017 while at CERN. «In the basement there was a huge desk full of thousands of film slides taken in the ’80s and ’90s regarding

The House of Italian Leather, Victoria Market, Melbourne, December 2020


Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021

McLaren Vale’s Wheat, South Australia, December 2020

experiments before the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest particle accelerator that we have now. A few drawers were placed on top of the desk because they had been completely destroyed by mould. It was really disgusting. Of course I reached in and took one of the slides and when I saw what the mould had done, I thought, “Finally, I’ve found it! This is what I have been looking for for so many years!” In partnership with JeanYves LeMeurs, Matteo Volpi launched VolMeur, a collection of mould-ravaged photographs exhibited at CERN in 2018 and then in New York in 2019.» Since his discovery at CERN, Volpi has been experimenting with mould on his own photographs. In 2020, the seven months of lockdown in Melbourne allowed him extra time to delve deeper into his craft and his analysis of the process. «Playing with mould has changed my perspective of photography in some ways. The first rule of photographers is to save the film in a humidity-free place and what I’m doing is the opposite. And I’m also starting to use the flash again because if I have an object in the centre

Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021

surrounded by darkness, I can create a frame of mould that destroys the border around the object and creates a magic effect.» So how does it work? How is it that mould can create such stunning artworks? Volpi explains that because mould is a type of fungus, it grows in multicellular filaments which are like fractals (patterns than repeats themselves on scales of decreasing size) and create these amazing branch-like effects. The brilliant colours are not the mould itself but rather, the result of the mould’s destruction of the coloured layers of the photographs. «The mould destroys the layers of film as it searches for proteins to eat. It eats through the silver bromide and gelatine in the film so you get that degradation through the layers of colour from black down to red, down to yellow and down to white. It depends on the way you cut the rainbow (of the film) and start to mix the colours as to what colours you will get from the mould eating through the remaining layers of colour. So, for example, if I want to have more of this mould effect, I should start with a dark

LasagnaLab, Windsor, Melbourne, March 2020




and @backtothemould on Instagram

Tricolore, Melbourne, 2019-20

More at

Central Park, New York, December 2019. Before and after the mould treatment

picture. A picture with a lot of white in it would not leave the mould anything to eat. It would just go down to the plastic and not create anything special to look at.» The process of “moulding” photographs in this way can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few decades. «It depends on humidity and it also depends on the type of mould. If it’s more aggressive it can destroy the film in a month. On the other hand I have a mould sample that takes a year or more. And then you have the original CERN collection of images which was created over 30 years by accident. I’m collaborating with biologists to identify different types of mould. It’s a work in progress. I’m just experimenting here with my 100 petri dishes, checking on it every few days.» In his art and science both, Volpi is an avid observer. «Particles are billions of times smaller than mould but we are still speaking about looking for tiny things and how they interact with matter. You will never observe electrons or positrons, you observe the interaction of the particles with the matter. Similarly, the naked eye can’t see the mould but you can see the interaction it has with matter. » Matteo Volpi is passionate about sharing his technique and his dream is to run open workshops on methods of experimental photography. The Back to the Mould collection will be exhibited at the Museo Italiano (189-199 Faraday St, Carlton VIC 3053) from 10 September to 12 November 2021. In the meantime, Melbourne residents might be lucky enough to spot one of the artworks in an empty shop window or tram stop as part of the Picture Windows project.

Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021

What’s on Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021



Maleny QLD

Spicers Tamarind Retreat

Sydney NSW

Italian Cooking Class Winter Menu

Australia for UNHCR World Refugee Day This in-person lunchtime event will also be live-streamed and includes a panel of speakers from around the world - from former refugees to high-profile supporters of UNHCR. Join us to celebrate and learn from the incredible strength and resilience of refugees, and show your support as they face unprecedented global challenges. Bookings are essential. For further information contact or book directly via world-refugee-day-2021

18 June 2021 161 Elizabeth Street, Sydney 2000

Sydney NSW

Smeg Australia Italian Design Day On the occasion of the Italian Design Day, the Italian Trade Agency Sydney in partnership with the Italian Cultural Institute Sydney and Smeg Australia, have invited renowned Architect Luigi Rosselli to present a talk titled The House of the Future: Innovation, Sustainability and Beauty. By invitation only.

15 July 2021 at 6.00pm Smeg Showroom, 2 Baker Street, Banksmeadow 2019

Griffith NSW

Yellow Tail Park, Yoogali The Griffith Italian Festival

Organised by Quattro Events the Griffith Italian Festival is a fun-filled afternoon bringing people together to embrace and celebrate the Italian culture in Griffith. Everyone gets to enjoy locally made Italian food and wine, live music and entertainment. It’s an event not to be missed. For further information contact or call (02) 6962 8400.

28 August 2021 Yellow Tail Park 647 Mackay Avenue, Yoogali 2680

Noosaville QLD Life’s A Feast

Italian Long Lunch Cooking Class Discover the simplistic and fresh approach Italians take to cooking and prepare an authentic traditional Italian meal. The menu includes Assorted Crostini, Eggs with Salsa Verde, Porcini Risotto with Truffle Oil, Prosciutto wrapped Fillet of Pork, Sautéed Green Beans with Toasted Almonds, Panzanella Salad of Mixed Tomatoes and for dessert Chocolate and Walnut Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Cream. For further information or bookings contact

Connect with your Italian by creating an inspiring menu with one of the talented chefs at Spicers Tamarind Retreat. The class includes lunch, one glass of wine, an apron to take home, and a recipe book with all the dishes cooked on the day so they can be recreated at home. For further information or bookings contact or call 1300 311 429.

19 June and 17 July 2021 88 Obi Lane South, Maleny 4552

Elwood VIC

Elizabeth Peddey School of Cookery and Gastronomy Grow Your Kitchen Confidence: Mediterranean Cooking Course Courses are designed to demystify Mediterranean home cooking for beginners. Creating a meal that everyone sits down to enjoy is one of the most cherished elements of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. You will be exposed to a variety of seasonal ingredients, traditional recipes, and kitchen wisdom that empowers you to cook Mediterranean cuisine at home. Each course runs over a six-period from date of commencement. Winter term commences 15 June 2021 Spring term commences 23 August 2021 For further information or to make a booking contact Elizabeth Peddey on 0419 505 438 or email

20 June 2021 91 Lake Weyba Drive, Noosaville 4566


Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021

Melbourne VIC CO.AS.IT

Italian Cinema Forum: Chiamami col tuo nome Talk by Dr. Mark Nicholls Dr. Mark Nicholls concludes the current season of talks on Italian cinema with the 2017 film Chiamami col tuo nome (Call Me By Your Name), directed by Luca Guadaginao. Hosted by CO.AS.IT in collaboration with the University of Melbourne and the support of Multicultural Museums Victoria. Bookings are essential. For bookings or further information go to

15 June 2021 at 6.30pm 189-199 Faraday St, Carlton VIC 3053

Melbourne VIC CO.AS.IT

A Journey Back to Origins: The Lives of Italian Migrants Through the Eyes of Their Grandchildren A presentation by the editor and translator Concetta Cirigliano Perna, A Journey Back to Origins is a bilingual anthology containing 44 stories of Italian migrants as seen through the eyes of their grandchildren. The stories collected in this anthology offer an interesting socio-economic portrait of both Italy and Australia from the early 1950s to the first half of the 1970s. Bookings are essential. For bookings or further information go to

29 June 2021 at 6.30pm 189-199 Faraday St, Carlton VIC 3053

Melbourne VIC CO.AS.IT

Bello Onesto Emigrato Australia Sposerebbe Companesana Illibata Presented by Raffaele Caputo

To mark the 50th anniversary of the making of Bello onesto emigrato Australia sposerebbe companesana illibata in 1971, Raffaele Caputo, contributor to Segmento, will discuss the place of Bello onesto in the context of the Australian film industry at the time, as well as talk about a number of the film’s themes and visual motifs. Bookings are essential. For bookings or further information go to

27 July 2021 at 6.30pm 189-199 Faraday St, Carlton VIC 3053


Italian Embassy, Cultural Centre

Italian Film Festival Organised by the Cultural Centre of the Italian Embassy Singapore, the annual Italian Film Festival showcases the best of recent Italian cinema. Held in the first two weeks of June, the festival offers a unique selection of Italian movies for all tastes. Tickets go on sale from 20 May. For further information email or call +65 6250 6022.

Opening night Golden Village VivoCity, 1 HarbourFront Walk, #20-30, VivoCity Singapore 098585 2-6 June Golden Village Plaza, 68 Orchard Road, #07-01, Plaza Singapura, Singapore 238839 10-13 June The Projector, 6001 Beach Road, #05-00, Golden Mile Tower, Singapore 199589

New Zealand

Selwyn College, Auckland The Great Italian Artists Presented by Cristina Capri Michelangelo, Giotto, Caravaggio, Raffaelo were some of Italy’s great artists. Always wanted to know more about their art and lives? This is a sixweek course exploring the art and lives of some of the great Renaissance and Baroque artists and the fascinating times they lived in. For further information or to register your interest go to or call +64 9521 9623

28 August to 29 September 2021 at 7:00pm 203 Kohimarama Road, Kohimarama, Auckland NZ

New Zealand

Selwyn College, Auckland

When in Rome Presented by Cristina Capri Rome: the very name conjures up excitement and romance. The intending traveller to Italy will be introduced to some little known places and local favourites as well as major tourist attractions. For further information or to register your interest go to or call +64 9521 9623

28 August 2021 203 Kohimarama Road, Kohimarama, Auckland NZ

Postponed until further notice due to COVID-19

Segmento Issue XXIII • June-August 2021



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