Voci della Città (Voices of the City) – reading marathon

The idea behind BookCity Milano (*) in 2016 was to create a cultural event based on reading. An experiment, an exciting blank page.

Voci della Città was hosted in the Visconti Pavilion of Ansaldo in Milan and became a complex collaboration shaped by of dozens of different performers, voices, written texts and sounds.

A collective project in which three “representatives” of the city’s population were brought together:
the Aloud-readers (Lettori ad alta voce), brave citizens inspired by reading
– the professionals: actors, musicians, performers,
– the foreign communities, coordinated within the Forum World City (Città Mondo) by the Municipality of Milan

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino and Lettere luterane by Pier Paolo Pasolini served respectively in 2016 and 2017 as an inspiration and a guide for the consecutive selection of a rich number of texts written by contemporary and classical authors: poems, stories, novels, essays, letters, mini-conferences, testimonies…

In the Visconti Pavilion, aside the main aisle, three stages were installed upon which alternating performances took place. The show lasted 16 hours, the voices of the poets  met with the characters and the music of our contemporary life.

Voci delle città was meant to be a collection of experiences of the fifty-five imaginary cities in which Calvino takes us in his work. As if in this journey to these fictional places we could meet the Artists and the Simple Citizens, their poems, their stories and their songs; therefore, living through their experiences and their imagination.

This expressive material, often unknown, became the protagonist of our long journey during the nights at the Ansaldo building.

The final meaning is that of a grand and unpredictable collective work.

(*) Bookcity is the great participatory festival of books, authors, readers and publishers, located in different spaces of the metropolitan city. Promoted by the Department of Culture of the Municipality of Milan and the BOOKCITY MILANO Association, consisting of fondazione Corriere della Sera, Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, Fondazione Umberto e Elisabetta Mauri and Fondazione Arnoldo and Alberto Mondadori, BookCity Milano is divided into a three-day event (plus one dedicated to schools), during which meetings, presentations, dialogues, readings, exhibitions, shows and seminars on new reading practices are promoted.