Acaya

Premiere: June 22, 2013, Acaya, Italy

Betsy McCall - video
Charles Darius - music
Liz Maxwell - text and performance

Acaya: Pietre e Mare
(Acaya: Stones and Sea)

As part of the spring 2013 Art Monastic Laboratory, three Artmonks hosted a series of interviews with the people of Acaya, an extremely small town in southern Italy. The interviews revolved around questions of personal and cultural transformation, stories from the past, and hopes for the future. From the overarching themes, day-to-day feelings, and actual footage gleaned from those interviews and the region of Puglia, the Artmonks responded with the following 20-minute video piece.

Acaya: Pietre e Mare is both a reflection and an offering, a contemplative study and a way of giving back. By nature, the piece is made by outsiders - a sort of "reverse colonialism," in a sense, as three young Americans set out to intentionally investigate the Old World. In the end, their subjective take on a village is intended to be honest and celebratory.

Full film coming soon.

Texts from the film

 

Abbiamo già compiuto questo viaggio…

We’ve traveled this way before, and we have so much to learn.

When you live near the sea, it becomes part of you.

You know the waves in your bones.

You breathe salty air in your sleep.

You learn lessons about rhythm,

About a different sense of time,

About the nature of Time itself.

And, in this part of the world,

On my corner of the planet,

You can feel,

Viscerally,

The millions who have gone before you,

The inevitability of those who will come after you.

For me, it has always been this way.

I grew up on the rhythm of change.

My father was a mariner

My mother cooks sea urchins

We live from and

Eat from and

Die by the

Sea.

I am deeply aware

That my great-grandmother studied these same shores

My grandfather traversed this same land

To provide for his family,

For my mother,

For me.

When you live near the sea,

You come to know

Deeply

What it is to participate in Eternity.

 

Squarci nel tempo

I think about certain moments

As rips in time.

I think about the way

That sometimes

Something

Irreversible

Happens.

And you have to come to know a

New Reality.

 

C’è una guerra dentro di me

There is a war inside me. C’è una guerra dentro me.

A ripping apart. Una lacerazione.

A constant storm. Una tempesta costante.

 

After the war, it was never the same for me. Dopo la guerra, niente è più come prima per me.

After the war, my family began. Dopo la guerra, ho fatto famiglia.

The lives of my daughter and sons began. Le vite di mia figlia e dei miei figli hanno avuto inizio.

But I was always alone. Ma io ero sempre da solo.

 

Now, I approach the end of my life. Ora, arrivo alle fine della mia vita.

The whole story is unknowable. La storia intera è inconoscibile.

All that I’ve seen will die with me.  Tutto ciò che ho visto morirà con me

and that’s the way it should be. e così deve essere.

I have seen enough for one lifetime. Basta per una vita.

 

The stories of my life are written in my body. La storia della mia vita è scritta sul mio corpo.

You can see heartbreak in my skin. Puoi vedere la mia delusione sulla mia pelle.

You can find the war in the way I walk. Puoi trovare la guerra nel mio modo di camminare.

My most painful memories, I store in my knees, and the burden of

fellow soldiers lives in my back, and her heart somewhere deep inside mine.

Le mie memorie più orribili le tengo nelle ginocchia,

e il peso dei miei fratelli caduti sul mio dorso,

e il cuore di lei nel mio.

But I walk. Ma io cammino.

I show up here every day. Mi presento qui, ogni giorno,

I live on this cliff and I don’t jump. Vivo su questa scogliera e non mi butto.

There is a war inside me and I stay. C’è una guerra dentro di me ed io rimango.

 

I am still a warrior. Sono ancora un guerriero.

I fight to be alive, Combatto per essere vivo,

I fight to have a family, combatto per avere una famiglia,

I fight to love in any way I can. combatto per amare in ogni modo possibile.

 

Is it enough? È sufficiente?

When I meet God at (the) pearly gates  Quando incontrerò Dio ai cancelli perlati

I think we’ll decide together. immagino che decideremo insieme.

I know that I lived the life that I was given  So che ho vissuto la vita che mi è stata data.

And I did my best. E ho fatto il mio meglio.

I believe everyone Credo che ognuno

Has done their best ha fatto il suo meglio.

And this belief Questa fiducia

Allows me to continue. mi permette di continuare.

This belief Questa convinzione

Is the only reason è l’unica ragione

To go on. per andare avanti.

 

Ed abbiamo tanto di imparare…

We’ve traveled this way before, and we have so much to learn.

When you live near the sea, it becomes part of you.

You know the waves in your bones.

You breathe salty air in your sleep.

Yet sometimes the world over takes me

And I cannot find ground.

I could drown in the sea

I might not make it

I pray in bed alone at night

For the mother to take me

And not put me back

I feel the pulse of the sea

And I am reminded that I am not permanent

But something greater lives on.

When you live near the sea,

You come to know

Deeply

What it is to participate in Eternity.

 

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