For the XXI Week of the Italian Language in the World, the Italian Cultural Institute of Beijing is celebrating Dante with a rich programme of events and initiatives.
The festival opens on 15 October with the IV National Competition of ‘verbal rhetoric’, dedicated this year to the theme ‘Dante, the Italian language and me’. Organized every two years by the Chinese Association ITAL-DIDATTICA with the support of the Italian Cultural Institute of Beijing, it is one of the most important competitions in the field of Italian language teaching in China for university students on Italian courses.
On 18 October, at the official opening of the Week, the Institute has organized the presentation of the Chinese language version of the Divine Comedy (Zhejiang University Press), translated by Wang Jun, full professor at the University of Foreign Languages in Beijing and president of the Association for Italian-Chinese and Chinese-Italian Translation and Interpreting. The meeting will be an opportunity to discuss the translation choices made by Wang Jun; this will be followed by a discussion panel involving Chinese experts and academics moderated by Wen Zheng, professor and Head of Italian at the University of Foreign Studies in Beijing. To close, there will be a reading of passages from the Divine Comedy by students from the Beijing Foreign Studies University.
On 19 October, there will be a screening of ‘The Sky over Kibera’, a documentary film by Marco Martinelli, founder with Ermanna Montanari of the Teatro delle Albe: the film tells the story of the staging, or ‘bringing to life’ of a reinvention of the Divine Comedy in English and Swahili, as part of a theatre workshop held by the director, which involved 150 children and teenagers in Kibera, a huge slum in Nairobi.
On 20 October, the cinematographic events continue with the screening of ‘Inferno’ (1911) by F. Bertolini, G. de Liguoro and A. Padovan, with a live soundtrack by the saxophonist and composer Marco Castelli.
On 21 October, the Institute will broadcast on its social platforms the ‘Giuseppe Andaloro Piano Recital‘, a concert recorded by Maestro Giuseppe Andaloro (Palermo, 1982) for the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, and produced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the Italian National Music Committee (CIDIM).
The Week will close on 22 October with the presentation of the reprint of the Chinese edition of ‘Dante e la Commedia’ by Raffaele Campanella. Diplomat, writer, essayist and lecturer, Ambassador Raffaele Campanella has devoted over 20 years to the study of the Divine Comedy and other works by Dante. In 2011, he published the book ‘Dante e la Commedia’, whose Chinese translation has been very popular with the local readership.
Throughout the Festival, the Italian Cultural Institute in Beijing will also display the thirty-six works presented on the occasion of ‘Dipingiamo Dante’, an illustrative painting competition open to students from Chinese high schools where lessons are taught in Italian.
The students taking part in the competition had to paint Dante on the basis of certain excerpts from the Divine Comedy chosen by the organizer, using different painting techniques. The competition achieved the objective of promoting the different contexts of Italian language learning in Chinese high schools and bringing Chinese students and readers closer to the figure of Dante.
For more information, go to iicpechino.esteri.it