The Voice of Places

The Voice of Places: the past takes over the present and speaks about itself.
It speaks through the stories of old people recorded by high school students from Rieti; through the black and white photos; through the anecdotes told by the grandpas to their grandchildren. Their memory goes back to the old days when the Rieti river, called Velino, flooded, and forced everybody to quickly change habits and jobs. The past speaks about itself in the only way old people know, halfway between dialect and Italian: like it or not, when the river broke the banks after heavy rain, they had to reinvent themselves from farmers and shepherds to fishermen, they say. The landscape changed too, when the water covered the cultivated fields, it turned them into an undifferentiated and flat scenario (Using a dialect word, the old people called the floods pianara which literally means flattening).
Stories and pictures depict the identity of a city that no more exists, it goes back to life just for one night and imposes itself to the present. Words and images together become a precious archive, symbol of the oral memory, usable for that one night by the whole community during a multimedia, interactive installation called Neighborhoods of the Memory, of which The Voices of Places is part.

With The Voices of Places, which is the voice of popular culture that goes back to the days of a remote past, the citizens become at the same time spectators, narrators and actors.