During the summer I spent time in Bologna at my parents flat. Often sit in a nearby park listening to the stories of elderly women who sit under the trees to enjoy a little fresh air. The park is dedicated to the memory of the feminist and activist ‘Teresa Noce’. She lived in Paris, Moscow and went to Spain to witness the Spanish Civil War. Teresa also edited the periodical La voce delle Donne in 1934 . A character in my piece ‘Parallel State’ is inspired by her and in the world of the play she exists in two different realities. On marshlands where Theresa helped the Resistance of WW2 by delivering parcels filled with food and ammunitions. And also on an urban estate filled with high rise tower blocks, Theresa has come back to observe how people live now. The past is a camouflage and it’s influencing the present. Her powerful voice can still be heard speaking of the challenges women faced then and still face now. Theresa tells us that she was born free and didn’t want to live in fear. Like a lioness of the tribe who hunts for pride. That’s why she embraced the dangers of being a fighter for the Resistance movement. The concept of freedom has changed through time. When do you feel free? Is it that moment when there is nothing to do, no responsibility? Or is it in a pleasant and relaxing experience when swimming or walking the dog in a park? Isaiah Berlin a philosopher says that there are two sorts of freedom. Negative freedom and positive freedom. Negative freedom consists of having nothing to do and therefore no pressure, and positive freedom which is when you make a choice and dedicate yourself to reach your goal. Positive freedom is in self-development: doing something you really want to do. Like settling scores or scrubbing things off our to do list or otherwise striving for a common good. How can we identify which type of freedom we really need?
(Drawings by Roberta Gotti