From Sicily and Back

From Sicily and Back

For over a year, I’d been looking for Danilo Dolci. I’d searched all over Italy. I’d pored through major publications where news and photos of him used to appear. And I’d tried to get to know the people who worked with him, so that I could understand if he’d really reached the grass roots. But in their piazzas where those not yet totally alienated by TV still met, in their schools where hangovers from the struggle for a new culture and politics were now isolated and docile, among the young and not so young, I’d found few traces of what was once the vast Dolcian universe.

In the Italy of the ’80s, Dolci is a memory, a personality who speaks to people of my parents’ age. For that generation he is a phenomenon of their youth, their first awareness of a new world emerging, after 30 years of dictatorship, as a civilized and humane society.

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Lima