Erri De Luca explains to the Impact Section the creation of the logo of #Giffoni53.

“What is indispensable? It’s giving each other a hand in our time”. From here, Erri De Luca – in collaboration with Giffoni’s creative director, Luca Apolito – created the logo of #Giffoni53. Claudio Gubitosi – founder and director of the Giffoni Film Festival – describes the logo’s backstory: from the call to De Luca to his quick response. “It was an immediate reaction”, says the Neapolitan writer – who is on his third consecutive year at the festival – before Paola Borrini Bisson and Impact’s Giffoners.

The author admits that it is more than an intuition, it is more like “laziness”. “If I come up with an idea, I don’t think of another one. As they say, a good first take! Luca Apolito later shaped the idea in this image. The more I look at it, the more it seems like a hand to read. I mean, a hand that reads our future”.

“A hand has as many fingers as the number of senses”, he explains. For this reason, each sense is linked to a word: sight with cinema, hearing with human voice, smell with earth, taste with bread, and touch with caressing.

The writer lingers on the notion of what is indispensable: “It’s something we feel we must do, something we cannot avoid. When the Ukraine war began – and with it a miserable invasion in Europe – a friend and I bought a used van and travelled there to give a hand where needed. Just a drop in the desert, yes, but no drop is a waste. We came and went many times because we felt indispensable. I went to Ukraine twelve times so far, and that is what I consider indispensable. Indispensable is a mission that comes all the sudden and that you didn’t ask. It suddenly appears on your doorstep, and you say, “I’ll do it”. You cannot avoid it.”

Prompted by the jurors, Erri De Luca talks about his work as a writer and “the unconsciousness of communication. Because writing is not communicating,” he says, “it is something that has to do with one’s intimacy. Unconsciousness of communication is also when I speak. When they assign me a topic, I always go off topic. I used to do that in school, too. So, I can consider myself communication unconscious.”

He reveals: “I have written many stories, but I don’t accumulate experience. Every time, when faced with a story I am a beginner. I am incapable of accumulating experience. I become a writer every time I write a story.”

The final message is, however, about hope. Hope arises from understanding the value of waiting (“I don’t think wasted any time spent waiting”) and the value of time lost (“the idea of loss is to me prolific, it’s not something wasted”). Hope is born from never backing down: “Every time, in the face of a new experience, my feeling is of dismay. Of not being up to the task. However, I cannot help but try to give my answer. Afterwards, I am left with the knowledge that I had that little bit of courage not to back down.”

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