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Issue IX

June/August 2016

The truth behind

gluten-free

Massimo Cacciari, the faithless philosopher who thinks of God

70th anniversary

of Italy’s National Day

The many faces of the Mandolin

Stefania Lucchetta’s

source of inspiration

Italy’s Ambassador

PLUS Hands on fire

to Australia, His views on the relations between the two countries

www.segmento.com.au


thatsamorecheese.com.au

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Delicata and Buffalo Ricotta your everyday superfood

Available in the best gourmet deli • Noble Whey Protein • Low Fat Content • Low in Sodium • High in Calcium • Preservative and Colour Free


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WHO ARE WE

“There is nothing more temporary than a permanent immigrant!�

An immigrant is always looking for a home, the further away they are, the stronger is their quest for a home. Italians always have had their roots deeply planted in their millenarian culture but they become completely oblivious to the fact that they have packed their historic and rich inheritance into their luggage when migrating to Australia. We like to hear their stories, we provide them with a forum to articulate their views, whether they are multinational enterprises, successful business people or young disoriented talents. Segmento aims to be the megaphone of the Italian Australian community. Its objective is to become the vital link between their Italian roots and the new culture of multi ethnicity that prevails in Australia.

Daniele Curto Founder and Managing Director

endorsement


OUR

Contributors

Omar D’Incecco

Agata Grimaldi

Hayley J. Egan

Laura D’Angelo

omardincecco@gmail.com

agata.grimaldi@googlemail.com

hayley.j.egan@gmail.com

lauramartina.dangelo@yahoo.it

www.hayleyeganart.com

www.thealrightplace.wordpress.com

Ilaria Gianfagna

Salvatore Rossano

Marco Maria Cerbo

www.justaustralia.it

Archimede Fusillo

santataranta@gmail.com

(Consul General of Italy)

ilaria@justaustralia.it

www.salvatorerossano.com

Ivano Ercole

Elizabeth Wisser

Enrico Massei

Gerardo Papalia

editor@segmento.com.au

enquiry@amalsa.com.au

www.amalsa.com.au

gerardo.papalia@monash.edu

www.amalsa.com.au

Nelly Altson

­Marisa Ferraro

Deirdre MacKenna

nellyaltson@gmail.com

www.oncebittentwiceshy.com.au

projects@dmackenna.com

­Johnny Di Francesco ­ johnnydifrancesco@segmento.com.au

www.galeriadenomad.com

Bronte Dee Jackson

­Fabrizio Battisti

Matteo Preabianca

Valentina Bonatti

bronte@brontedeejackson.com

battisti.fabrizio@gmail.com

drmatteopreabianca@gmail.com

vale@livinglabellavita.com.au

www.brontejackson.com

www.valentinabonatti.com


Gallery

A Destination You’ll Love to Discover Bini Gallery

Contemporary Jewellery 62 Smith Street, Collingwood Vic 3066 Tel. 03 9486 0145 www.binigallery.com.au


Founder and Managing Director Daniele Curto

DANIELE CURTO

daniele.curto@segmento.com.au

EDITORIAL

041 8891 285

Associate Editor Ivano Ercole editor@segmento.com.au

Co-Editor Hayley J. Egan

to be embraced

Graphic Artist Aurora Delfino Creative Consultant Imbarani Poonasamy Photographers Paco Matteo Li Calzi, Daniele Curto. For features, articles and editorial submissions: segmento@segmento.com.au 041 8891 285

For advertising please contact:

The language that deserves

equires

marketing@segmento.com.au 041 8891 285

Cover photo credits Photographer Andrew Sikorski

www.art­atelier.com.au

Translation Support Giulia Aureli

Monash T&I Postgraduate

Contributors Agata Grimaldi Hayley J. Egan Laura D’Angelo Ilaria Gianfagna Archimede Fusillo Salvatore Rossano Marco Maria Cerbo (Consul General of Italy) Ivano Ercole Elizabeth Wisser Enrico Massei Gerardo Papalia Nelli Altson Deirdre MacKenna ­Marisa Ferraro ­Johnny Di Francesco ­ Bronte Dee Jackson Matteo Preabianca Fabrizio Battisti I. Elenoire Laudieri Di Biase Omar D’Incecco Segmento media partner

Reflections upon the concept of communication and barriers that people from different cultures come up against when they find themselves in conversation. Episode One The train journey from my house to Melbourne’s city centre. As soon as I entered the train carriage, despite being a frequent user of Melbourne’s public transport, I was struck by the muffled atmosphere permeating the train so completely. The absence of idle chatter, of conversations shouted down the phone, of greenhorn lovers that clearly lack British reserve and engage in public and very profuse displays of affection. In other words, everyday life scenes for commuters in Italy. I remember with nostalgia fellow travellers killing the time by playing a heated game of “Scopa” during the journey back home after a long day at work. Nevertheless, this lethargy enthralled me and I decided against putting on my headphones, (I didn’t want to depersonalise myself in the infinite and mellifluous world of social media and online streaming music) instead I opted to “listen in” to this silence. I sat next to a family including a mother and her three sons, roughly 10, 7 and 5 years old. An “ordinary” family, I assumed. The mother was wearing headphones and presumably listening to music from her iPhone; the eldest son was playing on his iPad, the middle one was sleeping and the youngest was intent in obstinately picking his nose (hidden by the book he was holding in his hand. No words were exchanged during the journey, nor when, after having turning off their devices, closed the book and put the headphones away, they headed for the doors. It is definitely not the first time that I have witnessed a scene where communication is reduced to exchange of essential information. However, what surprised me this time was the young age of those kids and their apparent disinterest in interacting with each other. Episode Two Reading an article on the difficulties of communication between different cultures. The article in question analyses quite simply the different levels of communication between two people coming from different cultures, by comparing them. Task-oriented cultures such as the Anglo-Saxon culture use communication chiefly as a means to share information, to get things done and set objectives to reach. On the other hand, in Latin cultures and some cultures from Asia (where socialisation plays a crucial role), communication is the tool to deepen interpersonal relationships and express feelings, to listen to the other and base professional relationships outside the work sphere. Episode Three The inconsistency of Italian talk-shows. The better part of the programming schedule in Italian television is made up (some would say plagued) by talk-shows where the host and the guests discuss politics – the shows are cheap and the guests aren’t paid. This way, a handful of narcissist politicians, newspaper directors, pundits, trade unionists, “experts” and know-it-alls (you name it) weekly sit on the plush armchairs of Ballarò, Porta a Porta, Virus, In Onda, etc. Television couches often turn into a hullabaloo, the regurgitation of traditionalist TV. My wife pointed out to me the real inconsistency of Italian talk-shows. Listening to the chitchat, to the irrelevant flow of words and insults, she asked me to explain what was going on and why nearly every day there were groups of people forever talking about this and that on television couches. Candidly, she stated, “It’s funny to me that so many words are said with no consideration whatsoever, when in my culture we’re used to having real actions follow the words that have been said.”

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12 23 28 14

A Thought In the Book of the Genesis, the myth of the Tower of Babel is told. At the time, men were joined together as one people and spoke one language only; they decided to build a tower that could be high enough to touch the sky, so that they could find shelter in case of another flood, and, more importantly, be even closer to God and resemble him as much as possible. This irreverent and pretentious action was punished by God himself with the confusion of tongues. Men started talking different tongues and they scattered all over the earth, as they didn’t feel like one people anymore. Languages are different from language in general, as the former are used to convey information and communicate. Vice versa, language is a code used to express emotion or to explore relationships. Therefore, it is universal as all kinds of language (visual, sign language, poetic, verbal, language of the body and dance, etc.) exist in every people, culture or nation, regardless of the tongue spoken. In this regard, maybe, we can still feel like one... people.

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CONtents

13 Cover Story

GETTING TO KNOW ITALY’S AMBASSADOR TO AUSTRALIA

22

by our correspondent in Italy I. Elenoire Laudieri Di Biase

Regulars You too speak italian

10

Ten Years a Stranger

35

A Future in their Past

37

Soggetti Sonori

32

Ten steps to learn Italian by Matteo Preabianca

Memories from my time in Bologna by Hayley J. Egan

22

26

Francesca Mazzettelli’s story by Archimede Fusillo

Rediscovering the Mandolin by Salvatore Rossano

Roots&Routes

70th anniversary of Italy’s National Day by Marco Maria Cerbo (Consul General of Italy)

Ladies of Leisure

Fashion and coffee by Marisa Ferraro

Hands on Fire

A multi­ethnic army in the work force of Australia by Johnny Di Francesco

34

33 33

31

Amalsa

36

A monstrous talent at drawing monsters

11

Australian Diary

38

by Ilaria Gianfagna

The bleak future of Europe by Ivano Ercole

The sources of inspiration of a 3rd generation jeweller

16

Massimo Cacciari The faithless philosopher who thinks of God

12

Photography as the art of unfolding the unnoticed by Archimede Fusillo

Connecting the present with the forgotten past

The significant change of the skilled migration by Enrico Massei and Elizabeth Wisser

18

Features

by our correspondent in Italy I. Elenoire Laudieri Di Biase

21

Dreaming of a time in tune with our biological self by Deirdre Mackenna

24 35

by Laura D’Angelo

Culture Bites

Tuning in to the real four seasons by Bronte Dee Jackson

32

22

26

Gluten-free: A closer look

28

Ardor Food Co., raising the quality standards of gluten-free products

by Fabrizio Battisti

by Fabrizio Battisti

14

Revealed the extraordinary faculties possessed by rosemary by Agata Grimaldi

15

Avocado Mash recipe by Chef Giacomo Quinti

Segmento Magazine June/August 2016


WORDS Matteo Preabianca

YOU “TOO” SPEAK ITALIAN

SOME CLUES FOR THOSE WHO ARE

LEARNING THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE Below I have tried to briefly list a few clues for those who study the Italian language. I hope it will help them clarify some of the doubts and difficulties they may encounter during the learning process.

USE YOUR MOUTH!

It might seem obvious, but if you want people to listen to you, you have to open your mouth, right? This is especially true if you speak Italian, as we are known for our very lively manner of speaking. Usually, native English speakers are accustomed to a language that doesn't have the same great sound and pronunciation as Italian. This means you have to enunciate clearly by using fully your mouth when you're speaking it.

DOUBLE CONSONANTS

It is important to learn from the very beginning how to correctly pronounce Italian double consonants. We Italians do not throw anything away, let alone our letters! If the word contains double consonants (e.g.: nonno, fatto, stesso, penna), you can assume that they are both pronounced. There is a huge difference between casa (house) and cassa (trunk), for example.

GLI

Just ask a beginner (or even an intermediate student) to utter words like famiglia, agliaccio, cianfrusaglia, and coniglio and his face looks like he has just seen a ghost: “Noooo, I do not want to know the words that contain "gli"! Although you can use English "ll" as in the English word "million" or the Spanish "ll" as in "paella" as a comparison, I think that leaves many still stunned. Surely, the most effective way to learn how to pronounce this cursed syllable is to repeat it until it becomes natural.

THE DAYS OF THE WEEK

The days of the week, except Saturday and Sunday, place the accent on the last syllable. Just look at the end of the word. Take lunedì, for example. Do you see where accent is placed? Very often, students move it where it suits them best. This is wrong! You have to let the sound fall on the accented vowel, not where you want it to be.

R

Rolling the letter r is another nightmare for my students - for all students. In this case, there is also an explanation on how to deal with the language technically, but repetition is the only practical alternative. Try to repeat this like a mantra: “Un ramarro marrone correva su un muro colorato” (a brown lizard ran over a colored wall). Am I enjoying giving you a tongue-twister? You bet I am!

mteachesitalian www.matteoteachesitalian.com 10 REGULARS

C

Let's clarify this blunder: I eat a bruschetta and not a brushetta. Okay? Often, the waiters in Italian restaurants abroad haven’t the slightest idea of how to correctly pronounce the dishes they serve. And the peculiarity of the letter c does not help at all. If after the c there is an i or e, it is pronounced like the famous Indian tea, chai. Conversely, if c is followed by a, o, u, h, then it is pronounced k, for example, chiaro. Clear?

G

g follows the same pattern, more or less, as for the letter c. If after the g there is an a, o, u, h, then it is pronounced as in the word ghetto or spaghetti. Instead, if the g is followed by i or e it is read like a j.

THE SOUND SC ...

If you follow the rules laid out in section 6, you should not have any major problems. Just remember that after sc, if there is the vowel e or i, it is pronounced as the English sh sound like sciarpa (scarf), if it is followed by a, o, u, h, it is pronounce like sq in English, example scatola (box), scopo (goal), scuola (school).

WORDS WITH DIFFERENT MEANINGS

Espresso is a black coffee, not a train. And, try not to drink cappuccino after lunch or dinner. I will not say anything more!

CULINARY MISUNDERSTANDINGS

I'm sorry to tell you this, but spaghetti bolognese and fettuccine Alfredo are not traditional Italian dishes. In Italy, the former is replaced by tagliatelle and the latter was created in the restaurant Lo Stivale (nicknamed “the Boot of Italy”) by the chef Alfredo Di Lelio, and it soon spread abroad. In Italy, no one knows it! Of course, this list could be much longer, but as the famous saying goes: Chi va piano, va sano e lontano (slow and steady wins the race). Remember that in the words of the beloved actor Totò, so ironically crippled, nessuno nasce maestro (no-one was born a teacher).

www.languageretreats.tk


WORDS ILARIA GIANFAGNA

A monstrous talent at drawing monsters

Lucia Petrucci

L

ucia Petrucci, a 26-year-old illustrator born in Fabriano—a medieval little town famous for its celebrated paper mills - left Italy to move to Australia two years ago when she decided to follow her boyfriend. She had no idea that her life would change for the better but, as it turned out, this country gave her the opportunity to harness her peculiar talent. Lucia loves drawing monsters and she does it with great creativity and skill. She started drawing monsters on Post-it notes, sticking them over the walls of the apartment where she lived until her flatmate told her: “You should have a blog and publish your drawings.” She did not go for a blog, but for a Facebook page she called “Monsters in my head” which attracted attention on the web and got her a few commissions to create images of monsters for public and private occasions, even a marriage proposal through a booklet she was asked to design. Yet Italy did not offer her the possibility of developing a truly professional career which she unexpectedly found in Australia. “Thanks to my Monsters” says Lucia, “I have been working for many companies and I also had the honour to be selected for an exhibition called “RAW: natural born artists” where I realised that Australians really liked my drawings. When I first started, I never thought I would be good at it but I still have a lot to learn and to explore in this amazing world”. Lucia studied in Rome where she graduated in Arts and Cinema at the University La Sapienza and then she specialised in visionary and fantasy illustrations at “Academia di Cinema e Televisione Griffith Duemila”. That's when her enthusiasm for drawing started. “I have to thank my teacher Stefano Bessoni” she explains, “who is a great artist with a very deep imagination and inner world. In that moment I really understood how all the visual arts are complementary to each other, Cinema and photography were always my passion, but I never really gave too much importance to the illustrations”.

Lucia already has an interesting resume: she started working at the production of a movie, when she was in high school and then she never stopped, working on a video to a short movie and then she created her own puppets to produce her very own animation movie. One of the most important experience of her life was working at the software of a stop motion project for Stefano Bessoni, called “Canti della Forca”, a book and a film from the German writer Christian Morgenstern. “It's during this year” she says, “that drawing took over me. The illustration is perfect to represent the extraordinary. With a pencil and paper, in a few minutes you can express whatever comes to mind, something true or imaginary. It is a more immediate and less complex art, if compared to painting”. Now she is working on illustrations for a notebook project, and she has many ideas for the future including creating books for children. “Parents shouldn't tell their children that monsters don't exist” she suggests, “but they should teach how to fight and deal with monsters. They are beautifully ambiguous, terrifying and allow children to express and overcome their fears. When we are young we see so many of them and we are scared and fascinated by them at the same time. Ultimately they inhabit our mind even when we grow up. Monsters are our ambitions, our fears, our loves and our failures. They remind us how subtle is the line between controlling and being controlled by our emotions”.

MONSTER IN MY HEAD

petrucci.lucia@gmail.com REGULARS 11


words Archimede Fusillo Photos Jonathan Di Maggio

Photography as the art of unfolding the unnoticed T

he Sicilian in Jonathan Di Maggio likes the theatrics and drama of photography. The vibrant colours and shades of a subject matter—any subject matter, arouse a deep appreciation in this twenty-something Melburnian of the theatre that is life.

“I’ve always appreciated the nuances of photography,” he tells me over a latte in one of Melbourne’s many celebrated laneways. “There is real artistry in composing a photo that is anything but a flat image. A photograph should leap out at the viewer and grab their attention, make them consider more than just the image, but the context of the shot; where it was taken, the conditions, the effort that may have been required to get just the right balance of light, texture and drama.” As a nod to the Sicilian heritage of his father, Jonathan seeks energy in his photos, preferring to capture a subject in moments where the camera is the last thing on their mind, an immediacy that can often reveal things about the subject they were not consciously trying to reveal—or indeed, had no intention of revealing at all. “Even with inanimate objects like a graffitted wall, a neon lit street, the corridors of a cityscape like New York, the aim is to capture something new and interesting, to see the same thing others may have seen, but somehow to do so in a manner that is fresh and hopefully, exciting to the eye and the imagination. The Sicilian in me loves the brashness of showing off just enough to be noticed, but not so much as to be ridiculed. Sicilians have a love of life that truly is second to none, and I strive to capture some of that zest in my work.” With no formal training, but a lifelong passion driving him, Jonathan started shooting purely for his own pleasure, to see if he could indeed capture images in ways that provoked comment from those to whom he showed his work. Beginning with streetscapes of Melbourne’s trendy inner-city suburbs of Brunswick and Northcote, Jonathan built up a folio of work that on a recent trip to New York got the attention of celebrated street and lifestyle photographer Jose ‘Tutes’ Tutiven Franco. “I posted some of my varied work on Instagram and Facebook,” Jonathan explained, “just to put it out there. I hadn’t any plans to be reviewed or commented on, but this amazing photographer took a liking to my material and encouraged me to follow my dream, and today he regularly checks in to see what I’m doing and how.” While his Sicilian heritage has taught Jonathan the value of being in tune with the many vagaries of life, and to having a playful disregard for the cloying absoluteness of rules about how and 12 PHOTOGRAPHY

Jonathan Di Maggio


what to shoot, his maternal Maltese heritage gives him freedom to find the quirky and the unusual in his own personality and make it resonate when he peers through the lens and tries to find that point of difference which is so prevalent in Maltese culture, from its art to its cuisine. “We are a boisterous family,” Jonathan says grinning. “In my extended maternal family you’ll find everything from world-famous magicians to TV and movie stars. For her part, my mother has a keen eye for detail, and fashion and cooking are areas she excels in. Obviously some of this creative vibe was going to rub off on me. That it should have done so in photography I never would have imagined until I started to take the field seriously, investing in equipment and resources beyond the mere aim-and-shoot.” Today Jonathan Di Maggio is in keen demand, his reputation growing mainly by word-of-mouthand a growing body of work on social media. His website-jonathandimaggio.com, has grown from a handful of hits a month to hundreds a week, and his role as a photographer varies from being a fly on the wall at people’s festivities, to upfront orchestration of everything from street fashion shoots to cityscape portraits, including his much admired New York collection.

BELOW A Groom BOTTOM LEFT New York, Christmas Eve BOTTOM RIGHT New York

When we parted Jonathan was on his way to shoot a high-end society event-but was coy to reveal details. “Clients have to know you respect their privacy, even when they let you in up close and personal,” he said by way of farewell, lugging his camera and vision into the distance.

"The Sicilian in me loves the brashness of showing off just enough to be noticed, but not so much as to be ridiculed. Sicilians have a love of life that truly is second to none, and I strive to capture some of that zest in my work” Jonathan Di Maggio

PHOTOGRAPHY 13


words AGATA GRIMALDI

From botany to medicine:

THE EXTRAORDINARY FACULTIES POSSESSED BY

ROSeMARY W

hen I was a student in high school and I had to spend the better part of my afternoons translating ancient Greek texts into Italian, I was always hoping to work on something interesting such as Pliny, Heraclitus or Dioscorides as I enjoyed learning about their herbal remedies for ailments. Pedanius Dioscorides (c. 40-90 AD), a Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist who practiced in Rome during the time of Nero, was particularly interesting to me. His most famous writing, the five-volume “De Materia Medica”, is one of the most influential herbal books in history. An herb he particularly recommended for its “warming faculty” is rosemary. I remember translating and hoping to never have to put into practice this recipe: “Soak rosemary sprigs together with nettle roots and galium aparine in alcohol and you will have a medicine with which to rub the hairy part of the head, in order to induce hair growth”. So far, I haven’t had to use his recipe, as I don’t have any signs of boldness yet. Today, rosemary is recognized as possessing several medicinal properties. For one thing, the plant contains salicylic acid, the forerunner of aspirin. This may explain why massaging the oil of rosemary into joints effectively eases arthritic or rheumatic pain. I suggested this to my partner after cycling the Great Ocean Road (145 km) this Sunday. And he found great relief. Rosemary also contains antibacterial and antimicrobial agents, and is used by modern

14 FOOD&WINE

herbalists to treat a variety of skin disorders, including dandruff. Rosemary is also being studied for its potential anti-cancer effects since initial studies found that its compounds inhibit carcinogenic chemicals from binding themselves to cellular DNA. SAGE published a writing in “The Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology” about the correlation between improved cognitive performance and a rosemary oil component. Rosemary may become useful in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease in the near future. Researchers have discovered that certain phytochemicals in the herb prevent the degradation of acetylcholine, an important brain chemical needed for normal neurotransmission. A deficiency of this chemical is commonly seen in Alzheimer’s patients. Rosemary is also very rich in carnosic acid. According to studies conducted by U.S. and Japanese medical researchers, carnosic acid has powerful antioxidant properties that protect the brain from free radical damage. To put things simply, free radicals are usually responsible for cell damage in the body, but at the same time, a small number of them in the organism is actually desirable as they kill invading microbes and other dangerous substances. As a result, consuming too many antioxidants may be detrimental, as it eliminates too many free radicals, and the body is left without a means to effectively destroy harmful microbes.

However, when too many free radicals circulate in the body, a number of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative conditions develop. Carnosic acid seems to assist in preventing damage from these conditions, reversing the damage and, with regards to the brain, even helping to boost its functioning by increasing blood circulation. This is because carnosic acid responds to a unique condition that researchers are calling a “pathological-activated therapeutic” drug. This means that carnosic acid only targets free radicals when they start to cause damage. From now on, let’s try to make an effort to incorporate this ideal defence against free radicals into our culinary routine.

“The plant contains salicylic acid, the forerunner of aspirin. This may explain why massaging the oil of rosemary into joints effectively eases arthritic or rheumatic pain” Agata Grimaldi


Recipe CHEF GIACOMO QUINTI PHOTOS DANIELE CURTO

AVOCADO SCHIACCIATO Avocado mash

I make avocado schiacciato (avocado mash) in my restaurant because the smell of rosemary brings me back to the place I used to live in and all the memories I associate with it. I can see the rosemary gardens growing around the churches, coming through the rocky ground. This is my land, this is Maremma. INGREDIENTS Serves 3 - 2 bruschettas per person 2 slices of Pane Toscano, dark baked

1 slice of lemon

1 avocado

salt (q.s.)

200 g of Greek feta cheese

pepper (q.s.)

rosemary

extra virgin olive oil (q.s.)

2 tablespoons of homemade pulpy lemon juice Method

To Drink With

First of all, grab the avocado and dice it. Add in chopped Greek feta cheese and 2 tablespoons of the homemade pulpy lemon juice. (To make the lemon juice, use 6 lemons and cut them halfway through without separating the two halves completely. Store the lemons in an airtight jar with sugar, salt and water for six months. Then blend the mixture).

Whites: Pinot Grigio DOC 2013 “Colavita” Cortese DOC 2013 “San Silvestro-Adelasia” Reds: Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2010 “Tolani” Sparkling: Prosecco Valdo DOCG 2014 “Marco Oro”

Mince the rosemary until it’s finely cut, then add it to the mixture and stir until you can only smell it. Add salt, pepper and extra virgin oil to taste. Stir. How to Serve Season the salad with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and orange-infused olive oil. Use a 22 cm plate. Lay the salad on one side of the plate and 2 slices of toasted bruschetta on the other. Spread the avocado mixture on the bruschetta.

When to Eat Breakfast / Lunch / Aperitivo / Dinner

Buon APPETITO!

636A Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122

FOOD&WINE 15


WORDS I. Elenoire Laudieri Di Biase

Massimo Cacciari the faithless philosopher

who thinks of God

A

s well as achieving the status of a leading Italian academic philosopher, the 72-year old Massimo Cacciari has devoted a great deal of his life to politics, holding a seat in the Italian parliament for seven years when he was still relatively young and the office of Mayor of Venice (his native town), for three terms, the last one ended in 2010. He is now retired from active politics but he continues to take part in it as a commentator in television talk shows and as an editorialist for La Repubblica, one of Italy’s major daily newspapers. It is impossible to encapsulate his accomplishments in the space of a feature article especially in regard to his philosophical production. This is a man who has published more than forty books, several of them translated into all major European languages, and who has written hundreds of articles, essays and papers.

of Philosophy at the University of Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan, which he founded in 2002. As he grew as a thinker he decided to face the greatest philosophical challenge of all by confronting himself with the “negative thought” of philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Each one of them, in their own distinct way, came to the conclusion that essentially life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value and rests solely on the individual ability to cope with it before being reduced to nonexistence by death.

The range of his study has gone well beyond the borders of academia, and he has often broken new ground in philosophical speculation with impressive insights. In his most ambitious theoretical books, he shows a masterful command of classical, modern and contemporary philosophy as well as Christian theology. Many of his works deal with very complicated matters, and consequently are far from being accessible to the common reader.

Massimo Cacciari came out of this period of philosophical confrontation developing the idea that philosophy cannot limit its sphere of inquiry to the apparent hopelessness of man’s existence. Even if he is not a believer, he thinks that the true philosopher cannot do without thinking of God. “What is the ultimate thing the human mind can think of?” was the central question he raised while attending a debate on Christian theology to which he answered “God. All philosophers have thought of Him in their own way and for all of them He is the ultimate thought. For Plato God is the utmost good which is unspeakable, inexpressible and incommunicable while for Aristotle God is the supreme Being, the cause of everything, Love that moves everything and is moved by nothing, and whence all creatures come from”.

On the other hand, since its origins in ancient Greece some three thousand years ago, Western philosophy has accumulated an immense reservoir of theories and whoever ventures into it, is likely to lose his way without the guidance of a master. Massimo Cacciari is such a master, a role he continues to fulfil as Dean of the Department

Hardly a “negative thought”. Massimo Cacciari however remains deeply rooted in reality. What is striking in his books or his talks is the way he discusses the unreal with a realistic approach, which is the mark of a great thinker. He is a gentle man but can become very grumpy when he comes face to face with trivial interlocutors.

16 FROM ITALY


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What does he think of death? It depends… for an extreme atheist death is pure annihilation of life that comes from nothing and ends up in nothing. This is the quintessence of nihilism. For the believer it is transitus [passage] to another life, which is beyond life as we know it, and as such beyond human grasp. There is no unequivocal definition of death. The only thing that can be said in general terms is that human beings are the only animal species who think of death and therefore we are by means of not to be. As a matter of fact, death is constantly in our mind and since we constantly think of death, which is the negation of life, we always think of life beyond life. This is the only trait shared by believers and non-believers as well as by all the various faiths, religions and cultures of the world. Do we all have our own life path to follow?

Let’s see how he responds to some questions that baffle everybody’s mind.

Yes, we do. The most arrant scoundrel follows his own path as well as the most consummate sage. It cannot be otherwise. We are those living creatures who are endowed with logos and, whether we like it or not, forced to live in a community. We think of our death and decide the way we want to live. Everybody follows his/her course. There is no pre-constructed itinerary. How can we distinguish good from evil? It depends on what kind of evil we refer to. Sickness, suffering… these are evil easy to recognize. If we talk of evil from a moral point of view, then we must consider cultural and historical differentiations. The idea of evil varies from culture to culture and from time to time. What can be said in general is that evil derives from the incompleteness and flimsiness of the human disposition. We are a multiplicity of identities, interests, tendencies and instincts and if we are unable to reconcile this multiplicity of things we are within and in regard to the others, then evil comes forth. Evil is when we are not in harmony with ourselves and with the others. This is the only thing it can be said of evil generally speaking. Then if we want to go into the specifics and talk about the concrete expressions of evil, we must deal with the historical, cultural and social factors determining the different conceptions of good and evil. Man, from the remotest times, has always been anguished and terrorized by the unknown. Then religion came followed by rationality and philosophy. What does he sees this process? Let me say that this line of thinking is rather elusive because there is no before or after when we look at the implications of being. It is not a matter of religion coming first and then being superseded by reason, nor of religion being something that has nothing to do with reason. This cheap thinking belongs to late positivism. Human evolution did not proceed this way, from myth to religion and from religion to the use of reason, and then to science… this is a ridiculous suggestion. Fortunately, this is not the way human beings evolve, assuming that there is an evolution at all. What has helped him in his life? The fundamental element in my life has been my education, my formative process. It can happen by all means that one is suddenly enlightened; there can be an experience like Buddha’s under the tree or that of Saint Paul who made him fall from the horse. I frankly did not have an experience of such kind but I don’t exclude that it can come about. In my case it didn’t. I have never encountered faith. I am a non-believer. Nonetheless I am also culturally, vitally, existentially interested in the experience of those who believe and I don’t think at all that those experiences are invalidated by reason. Faith and reason are distinct from one another but go on together, and I think they will continue to do so. What does he think the meaning of life is? You can put together what I have been saying so far and something might come out of it. I wouldn’t know how to answer this question. I don’t think that there is something as “the” meaning of life.

elaudier@segmento.com.au FROM ITALY 17


WORDS laura d’angelo PHOTOS DANIELE CURTO

FUTURISTIC MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY the sources of inspiration for a 3rd generation jeweller

LEFT Vacuum 12, ring, Stellite, limited edition 2/6 RIGHT Vacuum 12, ring, Stellite, limited edition 2/6

S

tefania Lucchetta, according to the leading magazine, Wallpaper, is one of the “Top 20 reasons to be in Italy”. She is a talented young jewellery designer from Bassano del Grappa (Vicenza). Her works will be displayed at Bini Gallery in Melbourne, from the 18th March to June 2016, in a solo show called “Jewels from the 21st Century”. Segmento caught up with the artist at the opening night.

18 FASHION

Stefania, your work is so original in both form and material. What is your inspiration? At the end of the 1990s, when I began my career, machinery and technology were my main source of inspiration. 3D Design and the so-called rapid prototyping allowed me to obtain more interesting and innovative shapes compared to classic jewellery. More recently, everyday life and above all, nature, has influenced my creative process. My inner self, including dreams, plays an important role too. My dissatisfactions are the incentive for making new pieces. Moreover, they tend to be different from traditional jewellery in style and materials. In your work materials like resin, polyamide, titanium and stellite are preferred to common gold and silver, and the technologies you use are almost futuristic. Are your production choices random, or are they driven by specific ideas? In my research nothing is fortuitous. Everything is driven by own intuitions. I have always been aware of my choices and I stick to them stubbornly, even if others around me, suppliers included, cannot understand my ideas or provide the right support to my work. It has been challenging but in the end satisfying, to overcome the boundaries around traditional jewellery making.


Stefania Lucchetta

The same attention is given to materials. Because of the increase in allergies to metal, the ones I use are biocompatible, and that means hypoallergenic. Another benefit is that these materials being resistant and lightweight suit my needs more than gold. This allows me to make pieces that are both voluminous and wearable. Titanium and stellite are also incredibly beautiful. Stefania, you’ve got a BA in Literature and Art History plus a Master Degree in Industrial Design. At the end of your studies in 1999 your father, a goldsmith, offered you a job as designer at the family company. You now represent the 3rdgeneration as a jeweller, after nonno Stefano first launched the family business in 1953. In terms of experience, how much have you inherited from your family? Working with my father helped me to acquire, for the first time, a practical know-how about productive processes and market needs. One of my first tasks was related to the functioning of a laser ‘marcatrice’ through which I had created, in a short period of time, a series of jewels to exhibit in an upcoming fair. I really enjoyed using CAD-CAM

software that helped me to understand the ability of machines to quickly and efficiently process and realise my own ideas. As a matter of fact, machines and computers are not a hindrance to a designer’s creativity, as I had the chance to discover in the late 90s, but a new way for the artist to express their desires and projects. What else do you have to say about “Jewels from XXI Century”, the exhibition in Melbourne that you personally attended after making the 21 hour-long trip Down Under? Melbourne is a very welcoming and trendy city. The audience at Bini Gallery seemed quite knowledgeable and really curious about my collection. That really rewarded me for the exhausting long trip, especially noticing that 10 year-old pieces are still considered innovative. In the end the whole experience has given me new incentives to go on in this path and the strength to overcome all the potential difficulties.

FASHION 19


“Machines and computers are not a hindrance to a designer’s creativity, but a new way for the artist to express their desires and projects” Stefania Lucchetta

ABOVE Vacuum 12, ring, stellite, limited edition 2/6 BELOW Vibration 03, necklace, anodized titanium, steel, limited edition 1/2; Vibration 02, earrings, anodized titanium, gold, limited edition 1/2 RIGHT Crystal 82 ring, stellite, limited edition 11/30; Digital, ring, stellite, diamond, limited edition 4/6; Anaconda, necklace, silver 925 rhodium plated, unique piece.

20 FASHION


words Bronte Dee Jackson

CULTURE of BITES Tuning in to the real four seasons not just those set to music by Vivaldi

W

hen my Italian husband first told me that spring in Italy began on the 21st of March rather than the 1st, I thought he was joking.

“Oh really?” I exclaimed sarcastically. “And what date does summer begin on then, the 8th of June?”. I thought he was prendendomi in giro, teasing me. When I realised he was serious my reaction was ‘just one more random thing to remember about living in Italy, Hairdressers are shut on Mondays, Alimentari are shut on Thursday afternoons, and seasons begin on the 21st of the month instead of the 1st’. I didn’t know that the 21st was the Solstice or Equinox and that the seasons in Italy were based on a date that reflected a planetary shift, and an actual change in the environment. I came from a land where the four seasons meant little change in the climate, flora, fauna or human activities. Until I lived in Italy I didn’t understand the seasonal approach to life. Our native flora stays green all year round and the leaves don’t drop, our animals don’t go into hibernation, it only gets cold enough to snow in one tiny corner of our country, and most parts of the country stay so warm that watermelon, pineapple and cucumbers can be grown, and are available all year round. I found that in Rome, as in most of Italy, the seasons were very distinct and easily distinguishable. Winter was very cold, summer was incredibly hot, autumn was full of leaves on the ground, and spring was full of foliage replenishing itself. You could not only feel the difference in the temperature of the seasons, you could actually watch them manifesting themselves before your eyes, and there was no mistaking which season you were in. The changing of seasons also meant

corresponding changes to the types of food available and eaten, the types of wine drunk, what clothes were worn, and what activities were undertaken. These changes were anticipated and taken seriously. I was recently in Rome on holidays in September. Coming out of a Melbourne winter I was relishing the warm, early autumn temperatures, and being able to finally wear my summer clothes. A woman passed me on the street and I heard her say to her friends, “Look at that ridiculous woman still wearing her summer clothes in September! Doesn’t she know its autumn?” One of the new customs I was introduced to when I lived in Italy was the twice yearly Il cambio, the changeover. I listened in amazement to my Italian friends describe how twice a year they took all their clothes out of the wardrobe, packed them away, and replaced them with the new season’s clothes. This included shoes and accessories. I was warned to do this in plenty of time before the season change, which I ignored until one day when I went to work in my summer clothes and sandals on a warm late September morning. During the day it rained and the temperature had dropped 20 degrees. When I left work it was autumn. I was wet, freezing, and spent the evening scrambling for my boots and coats buried in boxes. I never left it too late again. Melbourne’s seasons don’t seem to begin on the 1st or the 21st of the month they are supposed to. I have spent the past five years experimenting with when to do the ‘changeover’. Just as I think I get it right and smugly inform my friends that I have successfully completed an activity that upholds my new seasonal approach to life, I usually receive a phone call a week or so later asking if I am freezing or boiling and do I need to borrow a jumper or be lent a pair of shorts?

Bronte is a Social Anthropologist, and author of “Roman Daze – La Dolce Vita for all seasons” (Melbourne Books). Currently living in Melbourne she spent 17 years living and working in Rome with the United Nations.

REGULARS 21 11


WORDS I. Elenoire Laudieri Di Biase photos Andrew Sikorski

Getting to know

Italy’s Ambassador

to Australia and his views on the relations between the two countries

B

eing an Italian ambassador is not an easy job even in a highly civilized and friendly country like Australia. It requires a great deal of competence in economics, trade, communication and, last but not least, a high degree of fluency in the English language. The current ambassador, Pier Francesco Zazo, who was appointed two and a half years ago, has all these qualities on top of being an affable and urbane Italian gentleman. As for his language skills, he is a polyglot. He is bilingual in Italian and German and a fluent speaker of English, French, Russian and Spanish. Before coming to Australia, he has filled a number of front-line diplomatic positions abroad (South Korea, Sweden, Ukraine and Russia) and at the Italian Foreign Department in Rome. He was born in Benevento, an Italian southern city, 50 kilometres northeast of Naples, which is not well-known outside Italy despite its rich historical and cultural heritage. In ancient times it was the capital of the mountain region of Samnium and was able to stand, for quite some time, against the military power of Rome which eventually conquered it and changed its original name of Maleventum, wrongly understood by the Romans as meaning bad luck, into the more propitious Beneventum. A century after the fall of the Roman Empire, Benevento was settled by the Longobards, a Germanic people who ruled large parts of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774 CE. Benevento’s church of Santa Sofia goes back to that period and, in 2011, was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site as part of a group of seven historic buildings inscribed as Longobard Places of Power in Italy. Ambassador Zazo belongs to an illustrious family. His paternal uncle, Alfredo Zazo, was a great scholar in history, author of many books, founder and life editor of the prestigious historical and literary journal “Samnium”, and creator of Benevento’s Public Library, which holds possibly the largest and most precious collection of books and documents pertaining not only to the history of Benevento but to Southern Italy’s as well. Moving from this condensed background of his origins to his current role as the head of Italy’s diplomatic mission in Australia, his profile is equally impressive. He is knowledgeable in all the facets of the relations between Italy and Australia and talks about them with buoyancy.

“Italy and Australia have outstanding relations,” he says during an interview with our magazine. “In 2015 the bilateral trade reached 4.1 billion Euro which makes Italy the third largest European partner of Australia, after Germany and Britain. Imports from Italy cover a wide variety of products, from industrial machinery and technical equipment to fashion and food. Given the complementarity of our economies, infrastructure and energy will be areas of ever growing cooperation between the two countries. There are 180 Italian companies very well placed in Australia and some of our major defence industries are very well placed in this country. Alenia Aeronautica, 22 COVER STORY

Ambassador Pier Francesco Zazo


COVER FOOD&WINE STORY 23 17


Ambassador Pier Francesco Zazo and his wife Svetlana

24 18 COVER FOOD&WINE STORY


a subsidiary of Finmeccanica, has supplied ten C-27 transport military aircrafts to the Australian Defence. Agusta Westland, another major company controlled of Finmeccanica, provides Ambulance Victoria with helicopters and recently Fincantieri was short-listed in a tender by the Australian Navy for the provision of frigates and offshore patrol vessels.” An area that Ambassador Zazo is keen to expand are Australian investments in Italy and he is happy to mention the acquisition by Westfield Australia of a contract for the construction of a big shopping centre in Northern Italy with an investment of 1,3 billion dollars. “It is a good development,” he says adding that “the Macquarie Group has acquired Sorgenia, an Italian company producing renewable energy, and 40% of the property of an electric power plant being built in the Dolomites region. Trade between the two countries could grow much further if Australia and the European Union would accede to a free trade agreement.” Ambassador Zazo points out that “as a bloc, the EU is Australia’s second largest trading partner” and “Australia and EU have recently agreed to start the process towards a comprehensive FTA.” The push began about two years ago and there are a number of difficult issues to be resolved. Irish farmers are wary of being outcompeted by a flood of high-quality Australian beef and lamb, and the Italian and French food industries want to protect their regional products from similar ones produced in Australia. The Italian Ambassador is aware that this issue involves local Italian food producers that are proud to give an Italian identity to their products. “Italian migrants gave a great contribution to the success of Italian deli products in Australia.

Italy recognizes their merit in making them appreciated by the Australian consumers but it is fair that the local products are not confused with the ones produced in Italy. We believe the consumers are entitled to know where a product comes from and this of course applies also to the Australian products exported to Europe.” Finally, an issue or rather a subject concerning the apparent lack of mutual support when one of the two countries competes to host important international events or seeks a position in an international body. Expo 2015, for example, was contested by Milan and Izmir, and Australia voted for Izmir. Similarly, Italy did not support Australia’s candidature for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council in 2013-2014 and Australia is not inclined to support Italy’s candidature for the 20172018 biennium. Why is it so, considering that the two countries go along so well in all other respects?

Ambassador Pier Francesco Zazo

“It is not a matter of lack of mutual support” reassures Ambassador Zazo. “The fact is that in such circumstances many factors come into play including geostrategic considerations. If, for instance, Italy would have to give its vote in an international competition to either Finland or Australia, it would most likely choose Finland not because Finland is more important to Italy than Australia, but because it is part of the European Union. In the same way, Australia would not vote for Italy if Italy were competing against a country in the Pacific Region. However, this does not affect at all the excellent relations between the two countries that are likeminded democracies sharing the same values.”

Svetlana with the family dog, Tredbo

elaudier@segmento.com.au

COVER STORY 25


words FABRIZIO BATTISTI

For those who do not have a clinical condition, is

I

n recent years there has been an increase in nutritional awareness with many people now following certain diets and food-based lifestyles. This has forced restaurant owners and food manufacturers to meet an ever-increasing demand for products dedicated to specific dietary requirements. Ausfood.com.au reports that the gluten-free section is the core leader in the specialised health food market. According to research undertaken by Innova Market Insights, a company specialised in food and beverage analysis, the consumption of gluten-free products arose by 18% in 2015-16 and among all the new products launched every year in the US, over 10% are free from gluten. So who has created the need for these products? Among them there are certainly those with a physiological inability to process gluten (a clinical condition called coeliac disease), but also many who believe a gluten-free diet is beneficial to their health.

a wise choice or a myth to debunk?

26 FOOD&WINE

In the absence of coeliac disease, is this really the case?

"A common misconception is that gluten is a physical part of the wheat plant. Actually, it is a protein complex composed of two basic proteins" Fabrizio Battisti


A Closer Look Nutritionally speaking, gluten is neither a fat nor a carbohydrate. Another common misconception is that gluten is a physical part of the wheat plant. Actually, it is a protein complex composed of two basic proteins: glutenin and gliadin. These proteins become intertwined, forming what in jargon is called gluten web (or mesh), a precious grid that provides unique elastic and resistance properties necessary to make dough. At a molecular level, gluten is not that different from other common protein complexes. Why, then, the belief that gluten is difficult to digest? And why do so many people feel bloated after eating pizza?

Is Gluten at Fault? Having spent many years researching extra-long rising doughs, I am aware that two apparently similar pizzas can be very different from a nutritional point of view. The secret lies in the kind of sugars ingested through that pizza. As hours pass by, a batch of dough evolves considerably on a biochemical level as a result of the activity of the enzymes alpha-amylase and beta-amylase (the main enzymes that break down starches). These enzymes need a minimum of 24 hours to transform those large, heavy molecules into simpler ones. In other terms, if you knead flour, water, yeast and salt, you let it rest for a few hours and cook it, you will ingest a huge amount of heavy starches that your stomach will have to break down with a rather complex digestive process. If the dough rests for at least 24 hours prior to cooking, the enzymes have enough time to turn a good amount of those heavy starches into simpler sugars such as maltose (a disaccharide sugar composed of two molecules) or even better, glucose (a monosaccharide sugar composed of a single molecule). In the case of an extra-long rising process (over 72 hours) you will basically have pure glucose, the simplest molecule of sugar found in nature, which can be directly assimilated by the body without our stomach having to perform any activity. In other words, it would be like drinking a glass of water and sugar: steady energy pushed straight into the blood with hardly any digestive process. That’s what really makes the difference. So if you feel heavy after eating a pizza, don’t blame the gluten, blame the pizza chef!

Myth Busted If you do not have a clinical condition and you believe that following a gluten-free diet can be beneficial to your body, remember that the scientific community has drawn no conclusions from the hypothesis that gluten is unhealthy. On the contrary, many replacement gluten-free products may be. Gluten has unique plastic properties in nature: it can confer resistance, tenacity and elasticity to the dough. In gluten-free flours, these characteristics are drastically reduced, forcing manufacturers of gluten-free products to use thickeners and additives such as agar (E406), guar gum (E412) and xanthan gum (E415) to try to tackle the structural fragility of gluten-free doughs. In many cases soy flour is also used, in order to improve the mechanical resistance of the dough by means of a higher protein ratio. 90% of the soybeans produced in America (one of the leading exporters in the world) are genetically modified varieties. Best case scenario, the mechanical peculiarities of gluten are replaced with potato starch, corn starch or other heavy starches which are very difficult on digestion, unless the dough rests for many hours.

In conclusion, unless you are affected by coeliac disease, replacing gluten with a huge quantity of thickeners, additives and heavy amids, does not seem a wise nor healthy choice at all, does it?

FOOD&WINE 27


words FABRIZIO BATTISTI PHOTOS DANIELE CURTO

Vince Lotito

ARDOR FOOD CO. U

ntil a few years ago, those who were constricted to a gluten-free diet because of their coeliac disease had very little choice. For a long time, bread, pizza and pasta were just distant memories. In the best case, coeliac people had to settle for gluten-free products that were really far from the organoleptic and mechanical characteristics of their gluten counterparts. In Victoria, Vince Lotito, founder of Ardor Food Co., has been doing an exemplary job raising the quality standards of gluten-free offerings in Australia. It took him more than 8 years of experimentation to develop some top notch products that are currently among the best in the Australian market. His company, based in Thomastown, produces flour, pasta, gnocchi and pizza dough, all strictly gluten-free. Vince now supplies Melbourne’s best restaurants and pizzerias, thanks to his remarkable technical knowledge and an artisanal approach. His gnocchi are handmade one by one, just like Nonna used to, and his pizza dough rests at a controlled temperature for at least 24 hours before being delivered. This period, together with a very small dose of yeast makes its product light and digestible, unlike other industrially produced pizza bases. As we say in Italy, good things need

28 FOOD&WINE

Raising the quality standards of gluten-free products in Australia

time. It is not surprising that Vince’s pastas are subjected to an air-drying process that takes 14 days. Yet, as he told Segmento, restaurant owners still do not understand the importance of providing their customers with an excellent gluten free product. "Often I found myself talking with people who run a business, yet are totally disinterested in what their restaurant is able to offer to people with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity. In their opinion, all products are the same", Vince says. There is nothing worse for a coeliac than sitting down to eat with their friends and seeing how much difference there is between a normal pizza and their own gluten-free little pie looking like a supermarket product.

Although gluten-free products are designed for specific customers, do not forget that they can bring traditional customers. So when it comes to choosing your supplier of gluten-free products, don’t compromise on quality, because a happy coeliac customer will spread the word!


RECIPE BY Chef Guerrino Liuto

e STRAWBERRY MIMOSA CAKE Gluten-fre

CHANTILLY CREAM 4 egg yolks 500 ml milk 150 g sugar 50 g flour 1 vanilla stick 1 lemon zest

INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTS

A recipe by Guerrino Liuto, the 2016 world champion gluten-free pizza maker. (Awarded the world champion for the dessert pizza, 2nd runner up for “kamut” pizza and 3rd runner up for the “diet” pizza - high fibre content for diabetics and sportsman)

SPONGE CAKE 6 eggs 300 g flour 300 g sugar v

1 sachet of vanilla

bp

1 sachet of baking powder

500g whipped cream

PREPARATION In a pot, warm up the milk and add the lemon zest and the vanilla stick, remembering to remove them at a later time. In a bowl, whisk the yolks with the sugar, then add the flour and the milk and cook the mixture in a pot until it thickens.

PREPARATION Whisk the eggs with the sugar, then slowly add the flour, sifted with the baking powder and the vanilla. Once the mixture is smooth, pour it in a 25-cm cake tin that has previously been buttered; bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, then allow it to cool 25 min once cooked.

Allow it to cool down for 2 hours, then fold it in the whipped cream and put it in the fridge.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE Cut the sponge cake into horizontal layers, remove the crust and soak them in vanilla syrup. Arrange a layer of sponge cake on the bottom, spread the Chantilly cream on top and place the strawberries and chocolate chips on it, then cover with another slice of sponge. Repeat the operation multiple times. To cover the cake, spread sponge crumbs over the top of the cake.

FOOD&WINE 29


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WORDS Deirdre Mackenna (Director of “Cultural Documents”)

Connecting the present with the forgotten past tu ne D re am in g of a Ti m e in

grew up influenced as much by the rituals and cultural traditions of his large family as by the environment surrounding him in New York.

wi th ou r bi ol og ic al se

lf

e me fa víve: U Tiémpe du rèllògg mètín'a sére. da rpe cuó vússe stu cu pènziére, e, súl me fér me e Quànn me véve. che e è sèmbe 'n àtu Tiémp sate. pès cu e ènz hèm Dèmàne rèc ch'è sènnàte? nne suó n'i sòn àte Squèrd makes me live: The time of the clock m morning to eve. pushing this body fro p to think sto I en Only wh e that I drink. tim r the ano do I find e again begun, hav will The past tomorrow s you’ve known? am dre the all have you forgotten ise. re 1984, Termoli, Mol Tiémpe’. 21 settemb Giose Rimanelli[1] ‘U Kenna) nslation Deirdre Mac (Tra . one Iann mo Courtesy of Cos

A

s our experience of Time becomes increasingly de-territorialised and virtual, and the pressures upon our lifestyles to achieve, acquire and accumulate seem to mount increasingly, what ability do we have to control the pace of our lives?

We all share the “Tempo Giusto” of childhood, when our experience of life was in tune with our biological self. We would agree, I hope, that the experience was of a simplicity in daily life, when the building blocks are allowed to be connected at a natural rate of time, and the world we construct around us becomes gradually formed. Two writers, with roots in the Italian region of Molise but now living in the USA, explore ideas of Time through their works, as we live it in the un-stoppable, forward motion of lives. Giose Rimanelli and Don DeLillo experienced contrasting beginnings to their lives: one born in Casacalenda in 1926 and the other in an average immigrant household in New York. Early in life, Rimanelli escaped the clutches of rural life but has remained preoccupied with his place of origin; his earlier works Tiro al Piccione and Original Sin (Peccato Originale) deal directly with his departure, and later in life, Rimanelli returned to the language and culture of Molise in Il Viaggio, Molise Molise, Moliseide and other works. “This return to origins, so central to Rimanelli’s most recent works and at the heart of the poems of Moliseide, is a controlled purposeful regression, a remapping and a reordering of one’s life in the light of a deeper and fuller understanding. A regression toward the mythical world of childhood, with its promise of a maternal, archetypal tongue.” DeLillo was born in 1936, the year Rimanelli left Molise for the first time. With parents recently arrived from Montagano in Molise, DeLillo

Widely recognized as one of the most influential fiction writers of the latter twentieth Century, DeLillo’s works explore the themes which characterize Western society at the turn of the Millennium: mass media, the disintegration of the family, the role of the activist, (be it artist, politician or terrorist), and have in turn influenced a generation of writers and artists. Like Rimanelli, DeLillo’s oeuvre reflects anxiety within society and a sense of powerlessness in dealing with factors which determine our lives yet remain beyond our control. “She told him she liked the idea of slowness in general. So many things going so fast, she said. We need time to lose interest in things”. In his novel Point Omega, DeLillo frames the story within a description of Douglas Gordon’s iconic video-installation 24 Hour Psycho of 1993. This influential work is a version of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho that has been slowed down to last 24 hours, turning each frame of Hitchcock’s film into a series of unfolding still images. Choosing an iconic work by one of the most influential directors of cinematic filmmaking, Gordon creates an awe-inspiring temporal and visual experience, which beguiles and intrigues. Only by submitting to Gordon’s slowed-down time can we hope to make meaning of the unfolding events, yet Gordon’s treatment expands the dramatic events to an infinity, from which we can find neither resolution nor conclusion. Giose Rimanelli’s earliest works are drawn from his own observations of the changing society of Molise as he saw it rupture and yield to opportunities abroad, and of the stark challenges found within an often hostile and rarely sympathetic receiving society. By the 1930s many of the communities of Molise had already lost the majority of adult male workers in a trend that would only stabilise, to a much diminished proportion, at the turn of the next century. Such was the odd sense of connectedness of Molise during much of the 1900s that it was often easier to obtain knowledge of society in Melbourne, Perth, Paris or Toronto than in other parts of the Region. Since these early journeys, Molise, and many other similar communities in Italy, has experienced Time as a combination of actual and imagined states. The resident Molisani lived Seasonal Time in communities following a Lunar calendar and the changing seasons, with the colour of the hills and the peel of the church bell regulating the passing of Time. The metropolitan Molisani, living ‘all’Estero’ experienced industrialized Time, mortgaged to the momentum of someone else’s schedule for a future yet to be earned. What was created in between these two enormously different experiences was an imagined space and a timeless Time into which each could project without any possibility of quantification or measurement. “My great-grandfather, who died in our home in 1940, did not remember the year of his birth with exactitude. However, he had a strong sense of the season of the year of his birth. His time was the existential experience of hot and cold, a quality in the air, a tactile experience – not an abstract sum.” After a generation, say 20 or so years, you can start to fold Time to grasp its effects more tangibly. When considered in this way, Rural Time starts to illustrate its yield, often concerned more with what has been conserved rather than changed. But of course, it takes almost a lifetime to learn how to recognise this, and the value of achievements can become difficult to distinguish in a society which has become used to living Time at a rate of minutes. REGULARS 31


WORDS and photo Salvatore Rossano

SOGGETTI SONORI

Mandolin THE ICON OF A STEREOTYPED ITALY, WHICH THE GREATEST CLASSICAL COMPOSERS WROTE FOR

I

have known Mauro for years. Our mothers were work colleagues, and we often hung out together as teenagers, playing at being musicians. He played several instruments, including the accordion and the guitar. We both had long hair (yes, I once had long hair!) and we performed together in local rock bands. Our passion for traditional music was strong and we would frequently visit the local artisan workshops (traditional music hubs), to immerse ourselves in the history of our land. For Mauro, this knowledge also was transmitted through his family (he used to accompany his grandmother as she sang). My parents came from different regions, so I needed to seek out this local heritage and it became familiar only because of my deep curiosity. Our paths diverged for several years, and then we met again in the 1990’s at University. In Bologna people would gather in the squares to share songs, dances and good wine. Traditional music was alive though we were far from home, and we felt that the fight against globalisation somehow included the fierce claim on our musical roots. Mauro played the accordion brilliantly and had also mastered a proficient technique in frame drums. His interest in folk music led him to continue research in Apulia, where he began to attend the barbershops and to learn the art of a beautiful instrument: the mandolin. That's right, the instrument known as an emblem of Italian style worldwide, whose name is used as widely as pasta and pizza, whose music is so often used in Hollywood to belittle the richness of our culture and reinforce the stereotypes linked to Italy. The mandolin’s place in the popular world developed in the 19th Century. Before this though, the Mandolin already had a significant history. Its origins are uncertain, although current studies place the first references to the instrument in the 17th century. As Mauro recalls in an

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interview with me last year at a country house near our hometown, the Mandolin and its music does not only belong in Naples. "We know that there we find the oldest mandolin makers in the world, but musically it was Naples that drew much from the rest of Southern Italy". The Italian mandolin repertoire encompasses a wide variety of music. In many cases, dance music, used mostly in the popular festivals and the old barbershops of Southern Italy. The instrument spread (and slightly varying models were built) in other parts of the peninsula. It was not Naples, but Padua, to appoint the first professor of the mandolin in its Conservatorium, in 1975. A considerably long time after the other stringed instruments. Its use in folk environment has perhaps devalued the instrument in the eyes of Italian musical institutions, who forget that Vivaldi, Mozart, Paganini, Beethoven, and Paisiello all composed for the Mandolin. Now more and more Conservatoriums will offer the Mandolin. Mauro for example, just enrolled at the Conservatorium of Bari. Strangely, however, graduates of the diploma program are not eligible for teaching positions. Yet another discrimination for an instrument that is increasingly chosen by young Italian instrumentalists. The mandolin would surely be given more importance in the current music scene if institutions would assist in its diffusion. Mauro, a gifted instrumentalist, chose the mandolin as his instrument among all others. Or, perhaps it is the mandolin that chose him, enamoured by his hands, and driven by the desire to break free through him, from an identity obscured by stereotypes from which it does not feel represented.

Mauro Semeraro

See the video of Mauro Semeraro playing Sentimento Carovignese at

www.segmento.com.au

The best known and most widespread of this great family of instruments is the Neapolitan model. It has a very deep bottom case, a bent sound table, four sets of double strings plucked with a plectrum, a moveable bridge, and tuning similar to that of the violin. The current type is the brainchild of the Vinaccia family, among the first manufacturers in the eighteenth century and leading innovators in the nineteenth.


words JOHNNY DI FRANCESCO

WORDS MARISA FERRARO

HANDS on FIRE A multi-ethnic army in Australia’s work force

A

ustralia is a multi-cultural melting pot, and our ethnic diversity is one of the things I love most about living here. We are a nation of migrants, and as the child of immigrants, I am aware of just how lucky we are in this country. It’s a gift I wouldn’t deny anyone else either - but as an employer I see both the pluses and minuses of immigrants in the workplace. The issues are not related to the fact that people are immigrants per se, but more so reflect the restrictions that both sides face when employing someone who isn’t an Australian or NZ citizen.

Migrants have been proven to help our economic growth. According to the 2015 Intergenerational Report, around 88 per cent of migrants are aged under 40 and their labour participation rate is 77 per cent - which is higher than our national average. This means that the majority of immigrants looking for employment are young and hard working, plus they have diverse backgrounds that contribute to our country’s economic, political and social strength. These things are of benefit to an employer for the same reasons they are of benefit to the country. A great work ethic cannot be taught, and migrant workers who come armed with a great attitude, a willingness to learn, and qualifications or experience, are an absolute asset to any business. In hospitality in particular, we find that floor staff from Europe consider waiting to be a career, which is seldom the case amongst Australian workers. For this reason, their entire approach to the job is elevated and the impact of this on the customer experience, and the business’ bottom line, cannot be understated. From an employee’s perspective, the wages in Australia are usually far better than they would have been receiving in their home country, so if you find a staff member whose work ethic rewards your business, chances are you will both be benefiting from the employment. On the flip side, employing an immigrant who is not a permanent resident can be a frustrating and/or expensive exercise. Many businesses in hospitality look to those on student visas or working holidays to support their workforce, which often cannot be sustained by permanent residents alone, but visas limit the time they can spend in your business unless sponsorship is an option. Sponsorship of a great international employee is a wonderful thing if your business is able to facilitate it, but the expense to do so is not small. Due to the prohibitive costs, many businesses will employ immigrants who are on student or working holiday visas, but these can only ever be temporary arrangements. Student visas dramatically restrict the hours able to be worked, and this situation often tends not to benefit either party. If you find a great employee, only being able to offer 20 hours per week in a business like mine that operates close to 20 hours per day, 7 days per week, just doesn’t work. Similarly, 20 hours per week often does not assist the worker to create the career that they want. Working holiday employees may not have the same hourly restrictions, but needing to let an employee go after only 6 months – a condition of the working holiday visa - can be equally as distressing for both parties. Both situations and the associated lack of permanency can breed a lack of commitment and/or care, and in the worst cases can lead to exploitation from either side. That said, in hospitality, your staff are the lifeblood of your business – and you may just find that having a staff of incredible workers who can only stay for 6 months, or even 20 hours per week, is a better business decision than hiring a full time roster of mediocre permanent employees.

Send your questions to Johnny at: johnnydifrancesco@segmento.com.au

Ladies of Leisure Fashion & Coffee: the two unfailing pleasures of the Italian way of life

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he two pleasures imbedded in Italian culture and way of life, especially for women: fashion-shopping and having a coffee. I must say I know few women who don’t enjoy both. It’s an irresistible combination, an expression of pleasure and a way of being. Coffee is the most consumed beverage in Italy and a major export commodity. Most people, and especially those who have travelled to Italy, are aware that the day begins with an espresso or a cappuccino. Just as in the morning a woman would pair her work attire with a pair of wedges or small heels, a suit jacket or a trench coat, it is also a way of expressing how she feels. An Italian woman knows how to express how she feels (just ask a man!). Just as coffee is the first point of call for the day, so is what you are wearing. Fashion is one of the things that Italy is renowned for. Most of Europe’s leading fashion houses were born there and reside there. Italy IS fashion. Every major city has streets lined with boutiques. Clothes made with quality, precision and love. Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice. You name it, they have it. From the super expensive to the affordable. It’s how you wear it, work it and feel it. Italy is the Mecca of fashion. What you wear says a lot about you and how you present yourself is important. For an Italian woman it’s part of her being, her ways, her life. Very hard to disagree with that. The culture of coffee drinking isn’t just about the drink itself. Sure, we all have our favourite way of drinking it, whether it be a macchiato, espresso or cappuccino. It’s what coffee does. It brings people together. It’s a ritual that allows people to connect, relax and be. It’s the social aspect of coffee that makes it beautiful. How many times do we say or hear “Hey let’s meet for coffee?” It’s a way of being that’s become part of us because we love what it represents. Connecting, talking, laughing, drinking, meeting new people, just being. There is something therapeutic about the ritual of sitting for a coffee. Even sitting alone watching people whilst drinking your coffee. It’s a break; it’s a form of unwinding, and taking a moment to watch the world go by. When travelling to Italy you will most definitely notice the vast number of café bars that have lots of tables outside and people sitting, talking and observing. Italians take the time to do that. To just stop. Take it all in then continue the day. With the busy fast-paced life that we lead we should do more of that. Maybe Italians got it right. Take the time to smell the roses. What better way to do that then to have a coffee? REGULARS 33


7

words Marco Maria Cerbo (Consul General of Italy)

ROOTS&ROUTES

YEARS AGO

democracy was voted over the antiquated Monarchy reshaping and launching Italy into the modern world.

J

une 2nd is the day when we remember and celebrate the powerful choice, which the Italian people made through a referendum, establishing our new form of government. Such an historical step was taken just after coming out of a tragic war, a repressive dictatorship and a foreign occupation. The celebration commemorates the institutional referendum of 1946 when (by universal suffrage) Italian people were called to determine what form of government (monarchy or republic) would best represent them after the Second World War and the fall of Fascism. After 85 years of monarchy, with 12,717,923 votes in favour and 10,719,284 votes against, Italy became a Republic, and the royals of the House of Savoy were deposed and exiled. With the conclusion of World War II the time had thus come to have a Constitution democratically voted for, and legitimised, by the whole nation. This fundamental Charter had to express both constitutional consensus and the establishment of a national unity. Our identity as a State was redefined by three connected events: the referendum held on June 1946; the election of the constituent assembly; and the adoption of the Constitution in December 1947. These steps did not mean either a fracture or a refusal of the extraordinary path that had led to the Unity of Italy, but rather that our country was transformed and reshaped, in a more democratic and modern sense.

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Change of the Guardia d'Onore by the Corazzieri on the occasion of the National Day of the Republic

2016 marks the 70th anniversary of Italy’s National Day. The Italian Republic is celebrating this meaningful and important recurrence with pride for a nation that has been able to overcome many challenges and in the process has become one of the world’s great leaders. We have left behind the difficult years of the post-war reconstruction and those of political terrorism. We have successfully created a union and planted the seeds of coexistence and harmony among (other) European countries. We have embraced democracy and built a prosperous economy, joining the G7 group. Even through the periods of greatest trials and tribulations, Italy never fell short of its commitment to international peace and security. When speaking of us Italians, words such as ingenuity, beauty, good taste, inventiveness and creativity are the first that come to mind. We also know that they are often followed by other words that are not as constructive. Overall, the balance is positive: as the President of the Republic H.E. Sergio Mattarella said, “Italy has a wealth of positive people and experiences”, and we must express our gratitude to all of them, including those who left our country to find different opportunities abroad and with their dedication are offering an immense contribution to our international prestige. In fact, I have always perceived in the representatives of other countries that I often deal with, greater confidence and consideration for Italy and Italians than we ourselves are at times willing to recognise. Italy is going through a period of both political and economic change. After years of debate, our Parliament approved an important reform of the Constitution, to be confirmed with a referendum later this year. Recently other important provisions have entered into force: a major reform of the labour market; a reform to the educational system; a reform to our public administration that is gradually being enacted and which will increase the efficiency of the state apparatus; an improvement to the taxation system that aims to reduce tax evasion and avoidance and strengthen relations between citizens, businesses, and the State; a reform of the social security system and the partly-realized reform to our justice system. These are steps that have enabled a return to competitiveness and efficiency in our country, whose economy has, not coincidentally, experienced positive economic growth in 2015 and - according to all reliable forecasts - will consolidate this growth in 2016. International financial turbulence, political and humanitarian crises abound in a dangerous cocktail of forces to be counterbalanced and more importantly governed. We must prove equal to this task, engaging in effective actions, firmly grounded in our principles and ideas, relying on the force of our democracy and the strength of our Institutions. This is the style of collegial leadership that Italy advocates, a set of commonly shared ideas and values that help, day after day, to bring together in a trusting and fruitful debate our partners and allies, in the continued commitment to peace, stability and prosperity for all people.


WORDS Hayley J. Egan

ten years a stranger STORIES FROM A DECADE LONG RELATIONSHIP WITH ITALY

Memories from my time in Bologna

I

gave myself an early birthday present this year: a bicycle, with a trailer for the kids, complete with jaunty red flag to keep us visible. It resolved a significant transport problem for our family. I really love riding with my children. It feels like walking around with a newborn baby, because people are constantly smiling at us as the little ones wave from their chariot. The bike means I don’t have to make extra time for exercise, and we can remain a one-car family, even though we live in a small country town. It was also a nostalgic purchase for me. If the second half of my twenties was all about babies, perhaps the first half was all about bikes. They had names, they got stolen, they got replaced, they got me from A to B. So when I started riding again in those last weeks of being a 20-something, I felt like something had come full cycle. Pardon the pun.

Most of my biking memories are from Italy. In 2007 I was one of the 80,000 students that go to study in Bologna every year. The University of Bologna is the oldest in Europe, and students make up almost a third of the city’s population. There are ancient classrooms occupied as squats, graffiti, dark corners and stray dogs. However Bologna is undeniably beautiful, with its buildings the colours of a desert sunset. Yet freezing, with dark snowy winters. Going to uni in Bologna means setting aside a day to wait in line for your student card, and spending nights drinking wine from nutella jars. A second-hand bike is the best method of transport available, and they can be purchased on Via Zamboni for about fifteen euros. I owned three over the years I spent there. I named them Frida (Kahlo), Isabel (Allende) and Eva (Peron), because in your early twenties there is still just enough childhood left over to make you want to name your bicycle. But there’s nothing innocent about the process of buying a second-hand bike in Bologna. They are sold in the arcades in front of the most ancient rooms of the University, guarded lazily by dogs with swollen teats, and filled with heavily pierced individuals who shuffle back and forth with one freshly painted bike after the other. Every student who buys a bicycle there accepts that it will be stolen back before their degree is completed. Cut from the racks while they are in class and sold to someone else. When it happened to me, I complained to my friend Illaria, on our way to buy “Isabel”, the first emergency replacement.

“At what point is the money clean?” Italians don’t do finger quotes, but she raised her hands around the word as though protecting an invisible crystal. “When the person who accepts it doesn’t know that it comes from something stolen!” It was obvious to me. “In Italy we always know that at some point, something was stolen.” she’d replied, as a perfectly groomed eyebrow disappeared under her fringe. “Stealing is human nature. It’s part of the economy.” It was one of the more morally ambiguous lessons from my Italian experience. When my time in Bologna came to an end, I was using “Eva”, the bike I bought to replace “Isabel”, (vanished while I was at the cinema watching The Science of Sleep). On the day I left, I loaded her up with a single suitcase balanced on the saddle. I wheeled her right on to the platform, and left her there. As I made my way down the train with my suitcase, I nearly laughed aloud as I wondered how long it would take for “Eva” to find a new owner. When the train started moving I thought about the way it had felt to coast down the hill through the Porta San Mammolo when the traffic was quiet, or the way I’d stand outside the bar in Piazza San Francesco, drinking wine and balancing on the seat, hours after I should have pedalled off. How safe I’d felt on those nights, once I did start sailing home through the dark streets, too fast, (I thought) for any potential predators. Objects are transient, but memories are much harder to shake. A swarm of commuters covered the platform and I lost sight of ‘Eva’, mine no longer, already released back into Bologna’s bicycle black market. On this side of the world it’s autumn and I’ve just finished a day’s work at an art gallery here in Daylesford. I step out into the crisp evening, unlock my bike from a signpost, no trailer today. Then I jump up on the seat and fly down the hill to Hepburn Springs. It would be strange if my new bike were stolen while I work. It certainly cost more than 15 euros, and Daylesford is no Bologna. But apart from that state of constant paranoia (which my memory has somehow made charming), and despite the little cheer-squad that I tow along behind me, using a bike to get around feels just the same now as it did ten years ago. I plan to spend my thirties riding my new bike. But I haven’t given it a name, and I don’t think I will.

“Everyone has to eat,” she had said with a shrug. Her argument was elaborate. The people who sold the bike would then take the money to buy, let’s say, dog food. The pet shop owner would use the money to buy rice, and so on. REGULARS 35


WORDS ENRICO MASSEI & Elizabeth Wisser

AMALSA MAKES THE LAW WORK FOR YOU The significant changes of the

skilled migration announced to improve Australia’s competiveness From the Director's desk – Enrico Massei Major Changes to Student Visa and subclass_457 visa program An overhaul of both the two most popular visa categories have been announced with some changes effective since 19 April 2016 and further “significant changes” expected from 1 July 2016. The department of immigration has informed a Productivity Commission inquiry into migration that it was working on “significant” reform of the skilled migration and temporary activity visas that are “expected to improve Australia’s competitiveness and ability to attract highly skilled migrants”, according to a report in The Australian. The changes will result in “a new simplified system that deregulates visa requirements, and improves the process for applying for visas, and reduces overlapping pathways”, notes the report.

Explaining that the government has been working on the reforms for a while now, Immigration Minister, Mr Peter Dutton said “The government understands that the current skilled migration and temporary activity visa programs are difficult to navigate…We are committed to a smarter regulation in this area, improving integrity in our visa programs and increasing the contribution of skilled migration to Australia’s productivity and economy” July will see student visa categories cut down to just two subclasses: Subclass_500 (Student) and Subclass_590 (Student Guardian) If you require assistance with understanding the changes and how they may affect you, please contact our help-desk 1300 799 840, and our consultant will be happy to assist you.

From our Migration Practioner’s Desk – Elizabeth Wisser LL.B, GDLP, Registered Migration Agent MARN: 0959122

The first set of changes connected with the subclass - 457 program commenced 19 April 2016. According to the Explanatory Statement the purpose of Migration Legislation Amendment Regulation 2016, is to: • Address inappropriate use of the Subclass 457 program by imposing an obligation on standard business sponsors so as not to engage in recruitment practices, which discriminate against potential employees on the grounds of immigration status or citizenship; • Streamline the processing of Subclass - 457 visa applications by requiring visa applicants to enter the details of a nominated sponsor or proposed sponsor when making internet visa applications; • Remove visa criteria, which require provision of evidence of English language proficiency by Subclass - 457 visa applicants who are already required to demonstrate such proficiency to obtain occupational registration or licensing.

Further “significant changes” accordingly with explanatory Statement (Migration Legislation Amendment Regulation 2016) expected from 1 July 2016: • Streamline application and processing requirements for student visa applicants, in particular by making criteria common to all applicants, including criteria relating to enrolment, English language requirements, financial capacity, and genuineness of application for entry and stay as a student; • simplify a range of requirements including enrolment requirements, financial requirements, and requirements relating to visas previously held if the application is made in Australia; • repeal the provisions relating to the current regulatory assessment level framework and streamline processing provisions. Introduce new requirements to strengthen the integrity of the program by providing a large range of factors for decision makers to assess genuineness and the need for individuals to provide evidence of financial and English proficiency; • revise a condition placed on student visas to make it clear to visa holders of type of courses they are permitted to undertake while holding the particular visa and when a change of course would require them to apply for a new student visa; and • make other amendments to repeal duplicate and redundant provisions and clarify the operation of the relevant provisions.

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Elizabeth Wisser & Enrico Massei.

www.amalsa.com.au enquiry@amalsa.com.au


WORDS and Photo Archimede Fusillo

A future In Their Past part 7

When migrating to Australia as a child meant meeting one’s father for the first time

I saw my father for the first time when I was five years old. My zio, mum’s brother, had been back to Italy several times, so I knew him. When we disembarked from the ship in Melbourne, I ran to embrace my zio rather than my father.”

Such is Francesca Mazzetelli’s first recollection of coming to Australia in 1956 from Calabria, to follow her father five years after he had left the family to find work and make a future for himself and his family in a foreign land.

“I didn’t know who my father was,” Francesca tells me as we sit across a kitchen table in Grumento, a picturesque village in the Potenza region of southern Italy. “He barely knew any of us really.” Such is the depth of her recollection that Francesca pauses and sighs loudly, her eyes misted over, and I understand how intense such memories still are for her. “My father didn’t know me or my sister Connie,” she adds. “He always said that he was sfortunato in this. That he was unlucky in having missed out on getting to know us as children. But he really had no choice but to migrate. He already had three children, a small house, and worked for others. I am the fourth daughter. My older sister was 14 when we moved to Australia. She too had missed out on getting to know dad as a child. He had been away in the war, so she was six by the time he came home from that.” It is apparent that Francesca is both saddened by and yet proud of all that her mother and father had to endure as young people trying to raise a family in very difficult times. There is a quiet dignity in her manner as she recalls her life in Australia as a child and teenager; her English still fluent even after years of being back in Italy with her Italian-born husband. “School in Australia was hard for us kids,” she whispers. “We were relegated, and as I was big for my age I was always put at the back of the room. I was conscious of the fact that we were different. The language, the customs. Other kids had bikes, we didn’t. Such a simple thing, yet so important to us because it made us stand apart. It hurt. Those things that make you feel that you don’t belong, they hurt. We went to Sacred Heart Primary School in St George’s Road Preston. I remember that clearly. And I remember my parents both saying that the bad things would pass. They told us that over and over.” Despite the rawness of her memories of her childhood years in Australia, there is no bitterness in Francesca’s voice as she talks about that time in her life. She is accepting, even resigned, to the fact that this was just how it was. “We were called wogs,” she continues. “I can remember as a school girl being on a bus and seeing an old man who couldn’t speak English struggling to tell the driver where he wanted to go, and other passengers saying - All these dirty wogs come here and don’t know how to say a word. - I was so upset by this that I barked out, You have to thank the wogs who’ve come here and civilised you! -” But even as she tells me this I can see that Francesca is not happy with that younger self that reacted in that manner. And she confirms this when she adds, “I felt both good and bad for saying that.” Perhaps because, despite the difficulties of language and the struggles of customs that marked her and her siblings out as being from another country, Francesca is grateful for the opportunities Australia gave her family, and she is conscious of the fact that her parents did their very best to help them adapt to their new surrounds.

The great irony of Francesca’s life is that at the age of 19, after leaving school at age 16 to go to work— because “the Italian mentality of the time was that boys had to go to school and study and girls got married, and maybe had a little job,” - she married Biagio Lorenzo, himself a migrant, and after making a home for themselves in Fairfield, they went back to Italy in 1971 for what was to be a holiday, but Biagio found that he missed his homeland too much to want to remain in Australia. “Biagio was a friend of my brother-in-law, my sister’s husband,” Francesca explains. “We met by chance when my brother-in-law came to pick up my sister from work and Biagio happened to be with him. We courted briefly and married soon after, which was normal at that time.” Sadly, though Francesca was to suffer two miscarriages and a still-born in quick succession, it was this that encouraged the holiday to Italy, and precipitate yet another, perhaps ironic, change in life direction for Francesca. A native of Grumento, Biagio was reunited with his mother and sister, and with his own eyes saw that many of his friends who had remained in the village had indeed prospered. “Biagio hadn’t moved to Australia because of economic necessity,” Francesca explains. “His family had land and could make a living from it. Biagio went to Australia because he and three friends wanted to see this country they had heard so much about. When we came back here (Grumento), he realised that even those who had less than his family were doing well, were progressing.” It was enough to convince Biagio to move back to Italy in 1972, taking Francesca back to where she had left as a five-year-old to follow her parents in seeking a better future. The irony is not lost on this quietly spoken but eloquent woman. “I didn’t grow up on a farm,” she says. “The closest I’d been to an animal was a cat or a dog, and yet here I now was, working and having a family on the land.” Her parents were not accepting of their daughter’s decision, seeing it as a backward step, yet they did not interfere. “La moglie segue il marito” (A wife follows her husband) she says. “That was the way.” In 1975 Francesca did have a child, a son, but a medical mishap left him with severe eye damage, the result of which was that Francesca spent the next seven years trying to find means of helping him, and this, she tells me, “left little time for worrying about why we had come back to Italy. That was the thing that blocked me insisting we go back to Australia. Once I’d had my family I started to really miss my parents.” Did she have regrets? Francesca considers my question for some moments then says, “No, not now. I miss my sisters and nephews of course. But I don’t miss Australia. I’d only live there if I had to. We have learned to block the bad things about Italy; the things you can’t have. You focus on the good.” She pauses, then adds, “My father came to visit us here before he and mum passed away. My son was three years old then. He’s in his 30’s now, so it was a long time ago. Dad was happy with what he found, how we lived, what we’d made for ourselves.” As she says this, Francesca smiles warmly. The wheel had gone full circle and somehow it had all come together. Her parents had accomplished what they had set out to do, helped make a future for themselves and their children.

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WORDS IVANO ERCOLE

AUSTRALIAN DIARY

The bleak future of Europe

Stockist

list

E

urope, or rather what is left of it, seems to have reached a liveor-die situation. It was pushed from both within and from the outside, and the two are connected. From within, it is smitten by the radicalization of its Muslim inhabitants and the loss of the core structures of its society: the family, marriage, the Christian faith, and all the values it is based on. From outside, it is burdened by mass migration of refugees escaped from their war-torn homelands and economic migrants seeking the benefits of an European life style without bearing the cost. The radicalization of Europe’s Muslim populations is connected to the migration problem. As ISIS consolidates its grip on Syria and loses what support it has among the local populations, it will increasingly seek to export its Islamist ideology and the violence associated with it. One wonders how much the loss of the primacy of Christianity is responsible for the impending demise of European civilization. The EU institutions have made a point of removing all references to the Christian religion and its moral legacy from official documents, on the view that such things will constitute discrimination in favour of one group of Europeans over another. Cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights and also the European Court of Justice are pushing for continent-wide laws permitting gay marriage, easy divorce, abortion on demand, as well as laws banning the crucifix from public places and curtailing the teaching of the Christian religion in schools. The de-Christianisation of Europe is being pursued also through the European Parliament and its Fundamental Rights Agency, charged with the advocacy of human rights at all legislative levels. The Fundamental Rights Agency is led by activists in the cause of “gender equality” and is inherently hostile to the traditional family and to the religion-based morality that shaped it. Europe is dumping its Christian heritage and replacing it with a pesudoreligion of human rights that is aimed at filling the hole left in people’s mind when religion is taken away. The notion of human rights claims to be the ground for moral opinions, judicial determinations and political debate but it stands on slippery ground. If people are asked what is the basis for religion commands or prohibitions, most would refer it to God’s revealed law or the Magisterium of the church. If the question is about what rights are to be considered human or natural or unalterable, the answer would depend on whom is asked and there would be no universal criteria to establish who is right or wrong. Consider the dispute over the institution of marriage. Does it grant the right to marry a partner of the same sex? And if so, why shouldn’t it allow other forms of marriage like polygamy or polyandry? The arguments are endless, and nobody knows how to settle them. As a matter of fact, we are witnessing the removal of the old religion that provided the foundations to the moral and legal codes of Europe and its replacement with a quasi-religion with no foundation. Nobody knows how to settle the question whether this or that privilege, freedom, or claim is a “human right,” and the European Court of Human Rights is now overwhelmed by a backlog of cases in which just about every piece of legislation passed by national parliaments in recent times is at stake. All in all, putting the external and the internal threats together, it is difficult to be optimistic about the future of the European civilization. Pope Francis is trying his best to revamp the original spirit of Christianity but, however inspiring are his words and deeds, he preaches to a society that on the whole has long become alien to the Christian faith and are held hostage by a sense of exhaustion and hopelessness which can overtake people even with a high degree of wealth. Of course, civilization requires some material prosperity but, far more, it requires confidence — confidence in the society in which one lives, belief in its philosophy, belief in its laws and, last but not least, confidence in one’s own spiritual legacy. Will Europeans be able to regain all these levels of confidence? It is something “devoutly to be wished” as Hamlet would say, hoping they won’t behave like Hamlet in dealing with the challenges facing Europe.

38 REGULARS

AIRPORT WEST BRAVISSIMI SCHOOL 1/93 Macnamara Avenue Airport West Vic 3043 ALBERT PARK L’ ALTRO MONDO RESTAURANT 125 Victoria Ave Albert Park Vic 3206 ARMADALE GIORGIO’S RESTAURANT Street Armadale Vic 3143 BEACONSFIELD SERGIO CARLEI WINERY Albert road Upper Beaconsfield Vic 3808 BRAESIDE Freccia Azzurra Club 784 - 796 Springvale Road Braeside Vic 3195 BULLEEN VENETO CLUB 91 Bulleen Road Vic 3105 BUNDOORA FILA OUTLET Brand Junction 2 Janefield Drive Shop T18 Bundoora Vic 3083 CAMBERWELL ANGELUCCI Prospect Hill Road Camberwell Vic 3124 MONACO’S CONTINENT AL DELICATESSEN & FOOD STORE 525 Camberwell Road Camberwell Vic 3124 COFFEE MAX Burke Road Camberwell Vic 3124 CANBERRA FILA OUTLET Brand Outlet Centre Shop T146 337 Canberra Avenue Fyshwick Act 2609 CARLTON/BRUNSWICK READINGS 309 Lygon Street Carlton Vic 3053 BLACK ORANGE BOUTIQUE 380 Lygon Street Carlton Vic 3053 DOC ESPRESSO 326 Lygon Steet Carlton Vic 3053 CO.AS.IT. 189 Faraday Street Carlton Vic 3053 MUSEO ITALIANO 199 Faraday Street Carlton Vic 3053 NERO CARLTON 204-218 Lygon Street Carlton Vic 3053


LA LATTERIA 104 Elgin Street Carlton Vic 3053 NEWSAGENCY 3/4 Lygon Street Carlton VIC 3053 FORZA ITALIA 204 Lygon Street Carlton Vic 3053 400 GRADI CICCHETTI Lygon Street Brunswick Vic 3055 400 GRADI PIZZERIA Lygon Street Brunswick Vic 3055 Abruzzo Club 377 Lygon Street East Brunswick VIC 3057 CBD LA CAMERA Shop MR2 Mid Level East End Southgate Avenue, Southgate CentreSouthgate Vic 3006 MACCARONI TRATTORIA ITALIANA Manchester Lane Melbourne Vic 3000

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DOC PIZZA & MOZZARELLA BAR 22, Main Street Mornington Vic 3931

COFFEE MAX Williamsons Road Doncaster Vic 3108

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FILA OUTLET Direct Factory Outlet Level 1 - Shop T78 201 Spencer Street Docklands Vic 3008 ELWOOD ZANINI PIZZERIA 106 ormond Road Elwood Vic 3184 ESSENDON 400 GRADI Shop 1, 110 Keilor Road, Essendon VIC 3040 FILA OUTLET Direct Factory Outlet Bulla Road Shop T19 Essendon Airport Vic FITZROY

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FILA OUTLET Nicholson Street Fitzroy Vic 3065

FILA OUTLET Direct Factory Outlet Shop G016, 20 Convention Centre Place Southwharf Vic 3006

MACCARONI OSTERIA ITALIANA 201 Queens Parade Fitzroy North Vic 3068

CLAYTON HOME MAKE IT 4/158 Wellington Road Clayton VIC 3168 COLLINGWOOD THE CRAFT & CO 390 Smith Street Collingwood VIC 3066 BINI’S GALLERY 62 Smith Street Collingwood Vic 3066 DANDENONG FILA OUTLET Direct Factory Outlet Corner Centre Shop T59, Dandenong & Grange Road Cheltenham Vic 3192 ROMA DELI 32 Gladstone Road Dandenong Vic 3175 DOCKLANDS WATERFRONT DOCKLANDS RESTAURANT Tenancy 9, 800 Bourke Street The Promenade Victoria Harbour Docklands Vic 3008 FILA OUTLET Waterfront City Harbourtown S/C Shop SCG03 Docklands Vic 3008 FILA OUTLET Direct Factory Outlet Level 1 - Shop T78 201 Spencer Street Docklands Vic 3008

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MARCIANÒ MUSIC 453 High Street Northcote Vic 3070 LIEVITÀ 98 High Street Northcote Vic 3070 IL MELOGRANO 76 High Street Northcote Vic 3070 BAR NONNO 83 High Street Northcote Vic 3070 PRAHRAN/TOORAK CAFÉ LATTE 521 Malvern Road Toorak Vic 3142 OFFICINE ZERO – SLITTI 534 Malvern Road Prahran Vic 3181 PRESTON NOI PIZZERIA 60 High Street Preston Vic 3072 DAVIER HAIR ITALY 4/103 High Street Preston Vic 3072 HOME MAKE IT 256 Spring Street Reservoir VIC 3073 SOUTH YARRA

HAMPTON

ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI CULTURA 233 Domain Road South Yarra Vic 3141

LA SVOLTA 450 Hampton Street, Hampton VIC 3188

CONSOLATO ITALIANO GENERALE D’ITALIA 509 St Kilda Road Melbourne Vic 3004

HAWTORN

ST. KILDA

QUINTI - TUSCAN LIFESTYLE 636 Glenferrie Road Hawtorn Vic 3122

I CARUSI II 231 Barkly Street St. Kilda Vic 3182

SANTONI PIZZERIA 634 Glenferrie Road Hawtorn Vic 3122

SORSI & MORSI 29 - 31 Blessington Street St Kilda Vic 3182

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CIRCA900 PIZZERIA NAPOLETANA 321 High Street Kew Vic 3101 MALVERN SAGRA 256 -258 Glenferrie Road Malvern Vic 3144 READINGS 185 Glenferrie Road Malvern Vic 3144 CAFFE’ LA VIA 252 Glenferrie Road Malvern Vic 3144

THOMASTOWN THAT’S AMORE CHEESE - CHEESE SHOP 66 Latitude Blvd Thomastown Vic 3074 RICHMOND SYLK HAIR BOUTIQUE Shop F36 Victoria Gardens Shopping Center 620 Victoria Street Richmond Vic 3128

ETTO PASTA 216 Glenferrie Road Malvern Vic 3144

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SEGMENTO MAGAZINE ISSUE IX  

Italian Culture Magazine

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