Walking Cities: Rome

Sunday 25 September 2016 -
16:00 to 18:00

What is Walking Cities?

The British Council’s Walking Cities programme pairs contemporary writers from the UK with writers from other countries. This year writers will meet in many of the cities that are the setting for Shakespeare's plays, many of which are set across EU Europe, tying in with the 400 year anniversary we are celebrating this year. The paired writers will introduce each other to their local areas, both in the UK and across Europe and will discuss how these places and Shakespeare’s texts have influenced their own writing and thinking. The result will be a series of thought-provoking intercultural podcasts and short films which will be available via our website in October / November 2016. Public events with each of the two writers on location will also take place where live audiences will be able to join the conversation on the relationship our (and Shakespeare's) thoughts have to the places and architectural spaces that we live in or imagine.

Walking Cities: Rome

Walking Cities: Rome will display in two moments: the first one is scheduled on 23rd of September with the walk with the two writers Delia Jarrett-Macauley and Roberto Recchioni, that will be filmed and it will became a short movie availaible in the end of 2016.
The second one is the public event, set in the frame of the Festival della Letteratura da Viaggio, scheduled on 25th September at 16 at Villa Celimontana in Roma, in which Delia Jarrett-Macauley, along with other guests, will talk about their experience and how Shakespeare's works changed their way to think and write.

The Writers

Delia Jarrett-Macaulay

Delia Jarrett-Macauley is a writer of Sierra Leonean parentage, currently based in London. She is the author of The Life of Una Marson 1905-65, and of the Orwell Prize-winning novel Moses, Citizen and Me, and has presented programmes on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. Delia's most recent publication is the groundbreaking collection 'Shakespeare, Race and Performance - The Diverse Bard' (Routeldge, 2016) which explores what it means to study and perform Shakespeare within a multicultural society. In summer 2016, she was Chair of the Trustees of The Caine Prize for African Writing.

Roberto Recchioni 

Born in Rome, he is a writer and a cartoonist, active in the professional comic field since 1993, when he debuted on the series Dark Side (created by himself) for BDPress. He is one of the founders of the independent publishing house Factory. Subsequently, he has worked with StarShop, Comic Art, Rizzoli, Magic Press, Mondadori. He is the creator (along with Lorenzo Bartoli) of “John Doe” and “Detective Dante” for L’Aura and (along with Matteo Cremona) of “David Murphy: 911” for Panini Comics. For this historical publishing house he has made the comic adaptation of the “Chronicles Of The Emerged World” by Licia Troisi. For Astorina he has written the script of several Diabolik stories. He has made the graphic novel books “Battaglia – Le guerre di Pietro”, “Ucciderò ancora Billy The Kid”, “Ammazzatine”, “Asso”. Since 2007 he is one of the writers of the comic series Dylan Dog of which, along with Franco Busatta, is currently the curator. He works also on the comic series “Le Storie” and “Tex”. Along with Emiliano Mammuccari he is the creator of “Orfani”, the first colour monthly comic series published by Sergio Bonelli Editore. He is very influenced by Shakespeare in his works, and he has evoced the Bard’s work throughout his career.

The Festival

“Festival della Letteratura da Viaggio” was established in Rome on 2008 with the aim to describe the world, the places and the cultures through different ways: from literature to geography, from music to photography, from antropology to drawings, from journalism to history. The festival is directed by Antonio Politano, and in the past years it has hosted many important artists like William Dalrymple, Paolo Rumiz, Giovanni Mauro, Ettore Mo, David Van Reybrouck, Ennio Morricone, Claudio Magris, Bernardo Bertolucci and many more. 2016 edition will be hosted as usual at Palazzetto Mattei in Villa Celimontana, near the Colosseo in Rome. The dates for this edition are 22nd – 25th September.

The Walk

The itinerary of the walk incorporates symbols of power and politics in Ancient and Modern Rome, as well as places related to the settings of Shakespeare’s Roman (Coriolanus, Julius Caesar). In particular, highlights of the walk are:

The Colosseum, which is also the starting point for the walk, other than an entertainment venue in Ancient Rome was also a symbol of power, due both to the persecutions of the Christians and of “barbarian” populations and also was a symbol of magnificence of the Emperor;

Via dei Fori Imperiali is the road in which there are located the ruins of the political power of Rome; it was in the Forum that Julius Caesar was stabbed and killed by the senators;

Piazza Venezia was the symbol of power during fascism in Italy; it is interesting to note that the fascist dictatorship took many elements from Roman Empire, creating a link between ancient and modern;

Piazza del Campidoglio was the symbol of religious power in Ancient Rome (there were many temples dedicated to the Gods built there) and the symbol of political power in Contemporary Rome (today it houses the town hall);

Rupe Tarpea is a cliff used during the Ancient Rome as an execution site by flinging the condemned from the cliff to their deaths (Coriolanus should have been executed too before going in exile).

The Public Event 

The public event will take place on Sunday 25th September. A talk about the walk and the relationship with Shakespeare; the moment will be dedicated by  the festival to two  the “anniversaries” as, together with Delia Jarrett-Macaulay, there will also be someone talking about Cervantes’ anniversary and someone talking about Goethe (200th anniversary of “Italian Journey”).