San Vittore (Milan), Piacenza, Pavia, Bollate and the “Cesare Beccaria” institute for young offenders in Milan: these are the five prisons that will take part actively in The prisoners ask why, an initiative promoted by non-profit organization L’Arte di vivere con Lentezza and supported by Mediobanca with the co-operation of Tempo di Libri, the annual book fair which will take place in Milan in March 2018.
Based on the schools programme The Why? Game promoted by Tempo di Libri, and the column which Italian author Dino Buzzati used to write for the Corriere dei Piccoli known as The Whys?, “The prisoners ask why” project brings some of the most authoritative voices in Italian narrative face-to-face with a series of questions, or “Whys?”, asked by the inmates of the prisons involved.
“All of us are looking for answers to our questions, people who are in prison more so than most. This is why they write letters, to tell their own stories but more than anything to have answers which on their own they are unable to find”, said Bruno Contigiani of L’Arte di vivere con Lentezza. “Some answers come from books, others from people, allowing them to embark on a journey of discovery. The difficulties faced by them in formulating their questions clearly in the hours they face in prison deserve answers of the same calibre. The prisoners ask why’ project is an opportunity to respond to some of these questions and provide answers to some of their Whys?”, Contigiani concluded.
The questions collected through The prisoners ask why? will be sent in advance to the authors and then answered at a series of meetings arranged in conjunction with Tempo di Libri to take palce in the five prisons participating in the project.
The first meeting was held on 13 February 2018 in the library of the Torre del Gallo prison in Pavia with the author Andrea Kerbaker. The next is scheduled for 21 March with Gianni Biondillo who will answer the Bollate inmates’ questions, while on 22 March it will be the turn of Gianfelice Facchetti at the “Cesare Beccaria” institution. Other meetings will follow at the Piacenza and Milan prisons in due course.
“With this project Mediobanca is reiterating its commitment to promote social inclusion”, said Mediobanca Sustainability Manager Giovanna Giusti del Giardino. Following the success of the Sports Camp we ran for the young offenders at the “Cesare Beccaria” institute in Milan, The prisoners ask why? provides a new opportunity for other prisoners: to have a window on the outside world through the answers given by the authors to their profoundest questions”.
Milan, 27 February 2018