The city of Ravenna is dedicating 30 July to the deep cultural bonds established over the years with Senegal, remembering Mandiaye N’Diaye, who initiated these relations. The day is also in honour of Dante: ‘Di soglia in soglia’ (‘From rank to rank’) is a verse from Canto III of Paradise and in the evening Canto I of the Divine Comedy will be read, translated for the first time into Wolof.
The origins of this day started far away, in Senegal, when the director of the Italian Cultural Institute of Dakar, Cristina Di Giorgio, asked Pap Khouma – a Senegalese who has lived in Italy for over 30 years – to translate Canto I of the Divine Comedy into Wolof, the most widely spoken language in Senegal.
The Italy-Senegal mirror game continued when Di Giorgio sent the translation of the canto to Mauro Petroni, an art expert who has lived in Senegal for 40 years and who is curator of the Off section of the Dakar Art Biennale. Petroni asked seven Senegalese artists to create a series of original works inspired by Canto I, which will be shown in an exhibition in Senegal in November 2021.
It is at this point that we arrive in Ravenna: the Institute of Dakar contacted the Teatro delle Albe, which has been involved in Senegal for over thirty years following the long-time collaboration with the Senegalese actor and director Mandiaye N’Diaye, who passed away in 2014, proposing the publication, together, of a book that would collect testimonies of the cultural ties between Ravenna and Senegal and the creation of this day on 30 July, dedicated to these relationships and to Mandiaye N’Diaye, all in the name of Dante, in the year of the 700th anniversary of his death.
Programme 30 July 2021
- 5 pm – Classense Library – via Baccarini 3, Ravenna
Round Table. A public meeting on the collaboration between Ravenna and Dakar on the first Wolof translation of Canto I of Dante’s Inferno and on Mandiaye N’Diaye’s views and projects.
Speakers: Ouidad Bakkali (Councillor of the Municipality of Ravenna, responsible for international cooperation), Cecilia Piccioni (Central Director for the promotion of Italian culture and language – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation), Serena Cinquegrana (Director of the Italian Cultural Institute of Dakar from October 2021), Cristina Di Giorgio (director of the Italian Cultural Institute of Dakar up to September 2021), Cheikh Tidiane Gaye (poet, writer and co-founder of Kanaga Edizioni), Pap Khouma (writer, journalist and co-founder of Kanaga Edizioni), Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari (founders and artistic directors of the Teatro della Albe), Cristina Mazzavillani Muti (honorary president of Ravenna Festival), Moussa N’Diaye (Ker Théâtre Mandiaye N’Diaye), Raffaella Sutter (Takku Ligey). Tahar Lamri (writer) will chair.
- 8 pm – Tomba di Dante – via Dante Alighieri 9, Ravenna
Reading of Canto I from the Inferno of the Divine Comedy in both Italian and Wolof
Admission to the Round Table is free, with reservation recommended.
For information and reservations: Ravenna Teatro – firstname.lastname@example.org – 0544.36239
The event is realized thanks to the Municipality of Ravenna – Department of Culture and Department of International Cooperation.
The publication ‘Ravenna – Dakar – Piana dei kadd – nel segno di Dante. Teatro – arte – cooperazione – scambi e contaminazioni culturali’ (Ravenna – Dakar – Piana dei kadd – in honour of Dante. Theatre – art – collaboration – cultural exchange)
The book, published by Kanaga Edizioni (a publishing house founded by Pap Khouma and Cheikh Tidiane Gaye) and realized thanks to the contribution of the Italian Cultural Institute of Dakar, collects the versions of Inferno Canto I in Wolof, Italian and French, along with many contributions on Italy-Senegal relations. It presents a series of interviews/testimonies edited by the writer Tahar Lamri such as those with Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari (founders and artistic directors of the Teatro della Albe), Cristina Mazzavillani Muti (honorary president of the Ravenna Festival), Raffaella Sutter (Takku Ligey), and Mandiaye N’Diaye’s son, Moussa N’Diaye. Opening remarks were made by the Italian Ambassador to Senegal, Giovanni Umberto De Vito, and the directors of the Dakar Institute. Also worthy of note is the interview with Mauro Petroni by theatre critic Anna Stefi (doppiozero.com).