INVISIBLE CITIES     |     2015

Festival Event: Remembering Italo Calvino: a Literary Happening | 24 Sept 2015
A celebration of Italo Calvino on the 30th anniversary of his death, sponsored by the Embassy of Italy in Wellington and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

For this celebration, six people were invited to each deliver a ten minute personal “reflection” on Italo Calvino. Daniel K. Brown presented his short film Invisible Cities, a Wellington Architect’s Perspective.

“In Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, Marco Polo regales Kublai Khan every evening with new and ever more imaginative stories of the most extraordinary and fantastical cities in the world. One evening Kublai Khan says to Marco Polo, “After all these tales, there is still one place of which you never speak – your own city of Venice.” Marco Polo responds, “Ah, but every time I have depicted a new city, I have actually been describing Venice.”

The moral of the tale is that the cities in which we live are in fact composed of a myriad of the most extraordinary and magical places – but we only recognize them if we open up both our imaginations and our hearts to the extraordinary wonders that they hold within. So let me now tell you a tale of nine Invisible Cities of Wellington. …”

Invitation designed by Leonardo Carta:calvino 1Programme:

REMEMBERING ITALO CALVINO

A Literary Happening

Italo Calvino: un uomo invisibile |Italo Calvino: An Invisible Man

Rory McKenzie

Welcome

Francesca Benocci & Sydney Shep

Opening Speech

His Excellency Carmelo Barbarello, Ambassador of Italy

Six Fragments for an Obituary

Marco Sonzogni

A Sign in Space

Francesca Kurghan & Anastasia Roberts

Palomar’s Calvino

Marta Simonetti

An Invisible City

James Kierstead

Invisible Cities from an Architect’s perspective in Wellington

Daniel K. Brown

Acknowledgments

Eleonora Bello

Remembering Italo Calvino

2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the death of noted Italian journalist, novelist, and short story writer, Italo Calvino (Santiago de las Vegas 1923 – Siena 1985).Victoria students and staff joined in a celebration of his life and work last week at Wai-te-ata Press.

Calvino’s best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy, the Cosmicomics collection of short stories, and the novels Invisible Cities and If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler. Lionised in Britain and the United States, he was the most-translated contemporary Italian writer at the time of his death, and a noted contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The event organisers, Eleonora Bello and Francesca Benocci, both PhD students in the Italian Programme in the School of Languages and Cultures, choreographed an evening across all disciplines and languages. Poetry, multimedia video, drama, film, and prose offerings by Marco Sonzogni, Marta Simonetti, James Kierstead, and Daniel Brown, together with the students Francesca Kurghan, Anastasia Roberts, and Honours student in Italian Rory McKenzie, gave life to an amazing commemoration of the legacy of Italo Calvino. The presence of the Embassy of Italy in the person of HE Ambassador Carmelo Barbarello, capped an inspired creative conversation and opportunity for cross-cultural engagement.

Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <https://www.victoria.ac.nz/staff/news/2015/09/remembering-italo-calvino>

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