My own Sant'Anna

Festa a mare agli scogli di Sant'anna

Every year, on the afternoon of July 26, Aniellantonio Mascolo, along with a couple of guys, arranged the "cuppetielli" on the Sant'Anna rocks. yes, he, perhaps the most important member of our artistic tradition. Even before Christo was packaging monuments and unrolling carpet on the lakes, “our” Aniellantonio with a gesture, which today to make an impression in some quarters semms "performative", transformed the sights: drawing geometries bringing out, in the extraordinary time of the Feast, that set of relationships, symmetries, lines, marks, that History and Nature have partly cleared and that the lazy viewer's eye every day hard to see.

They were really good our grandparents. Not studied marketing, knew little or nothing of tourist flows, ignored the basis of communication. yet they invented the festival, they “invented” our identity, because – let’s face it-, the identity, is lost and found, but it is always a form of self-representation, is a liquid mirror in which reflected the risk of falling for excessive narcissism. And they did it by weaving in a plot large mesh the threads of different traditions: the custom of lighting fires to celebrate the rites of passage, the procession to the sea, lunch eaten on the fishing boats, the use of decorating the boats, the magic of night fishing and, with the passing of the years, even the fear of no longer be there. The fire of the Castle is, in fact, the last real “invention” in the staging of the festival. Most of people believe that it is a simulation of one of the many pirate attacks that feed the mythology cooked and eaten in the consumption of tourists, and partly so. But the effort to ask what constitutes the rock, what the relationship that islanders have had and still have with the “abandoned” citadel so that when on foggy mornings the Castle disappears from view, takes us a deep sense of lost; it is difficult to be performed: it is no mean feat to question the postcard. But the fire of the Castle, which in the edition edited by me in 2014 closed the event, attracts us and delights us to tears because it realizes in experience boundaries
“aesthetic” a fear, a fear that the sublime was the our fathers and still recognize as our own: watching the burning the symbol par excellence of what we are and we have been. It’s great stuff!
Today the main concern of the organizers of the festival is the fireworks. The blow, the caliber, the duration of the fires, the visibility of the same, especially for tourists, obstinate in the idea of the latest generation of guru in communication, cannot mingle with the crowd on the rocks or on the streets of the Borgo of Celsa . Beautiful fires, but who have no relationship to the sites, no     festival, they do not tell anything, they become yet another glossy version of the wallpaper with which embellish our “room” to
accommodate guests.
This is my version of the Celebration; there are a thousand others, all equally legitimate, because another myth that it is hard to sweep away is the untouchability of the tradition, as if this had crystallized forever in all its aspects from the beginning. Nothing could be more false. The representation has always changed from year to year, even radically. And people say: it has always done so, sin of naivete, or pride, comparing the tradition to their chronological age: small thing, as the venerable age is respectable. Long live the Celebration of St. Anna and us!



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Info on Ischia island

  • Surface: 46 Kmq
  • Hight: 789 mt
  • Lat.: 40° 44',82 N
  • Long.: 13° 56',58 E
  • Periplus: 18 miglia
  • Coasts: 51.2 Km
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