Action #10: Il Porto dell’amore

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“A festive atmosphere usually accompanies the initial stages of a revolution, the destabilizing, spontaneous part, before the start of the process of normalization that tends to channel the revolutionary impetus in order to make it last over time. This festive lifestyle is a typical feature of transitory revolutions, not born to last, but to make a mark, to show a way forward: comets that are fleeting yet destined to remain in the collective memory and have an impact even after their trajectory has terminated.”

Giovanni Savegnago. Scheda critica del libro di Claudia Salaris Alla festa della rivoluzione. Artisti e libertari con D’Annunzio a Fiume, Il Mulino, Bologna 2002

One essential component of a celebration, alongside music, is dance.

“Marches and torch-lit processions, fanfares and songs, dances, rockets, celebratory fireworks, speeches, eloquence, eloquence, eloquence... (...) I will never forget the celebrations for San Vito, the patron saint of Fiume, on 15 June 1920: the square all lit up, the flags, the huge banners, the boats with their flowery paper lanterns, and the dancing...: people were dancing everywhere – in the squares, at the crossroads, on the harbour, by day, by night, always dancing and singing (...).To the rhythm of martial fanfares one saw soldiers, sailors, women and citizens whirling in wild embraces, recapturing the triple diversity of the primitive couples hailed by Aristophanes. One’s gaze, wherever it settled, saw a dance; of lanterns, of torches, of stars; hungry, in ruins, in anguish, perhaps about to die in a fire or under the hail of grenades, Fiume, brandishing a torch, danced before the sea.”

Leon Kochnitzky

Processions and the “Celebration City”
At the hub of the new moral order theorized and practised in Fiume was a festive vein – “the legendary initial and final state of humanity”, consisting in breaking the rules, and suspending the normal progression of time in favour of “a sort of eternal present without past or future”.

(Giovanni Savegnago. Scheda critica del libro di Claudia Salaris Alla festa della rivoluzione. Artisti e libertari con D’Annunzio a Fiume, Il Mulino, Bologna 2002)
(...) Every third day there is a parade, a celebration of flowers and imaginative words, which tell of a new life and the marvels of the human soul, after which everyone goes to eat, flushed with new enthusiasm and renewed Fiume spirit.
The rallies and processions of Fiume form instantaneously, at lightning speed: at the sound of a siren or fanfare, a demonstration comes to life, and spreads throughout the city. (...) One day of celebrations spent here is enough to get an idea of the truly futuristic aspect of these crowd phenomena. The fact that at least half of those involved are women makes them feel fresher and more poetic. (...)

(Mario Carli, Con D'Annunzio a Fiume, Milano, Facchi Editore, 1920, pp. 137-138, p. 143).
(...) A torrential flood of people, holding each other close, stretching from one side of the street to the other, in compact groups surging forwards like waves of a fiendish sea. Songs and voices which sparkle with passion, and shouts of love and fresh laughter and imperious declarations. Men and women mingling freely without a care, without needing to know one another, elbow to elbow, almost as if they were magnetically communicating an implacable feeling overflowing from the people in the grip of a frenzy. (...)

(Mario Carli, Trillirì, Piacenza, Edizioni Futuriste di Poesia della Società Tipografica Editoriale Porta, 1922; pp. 206-207).


Introduction [HTML]

The “Celebration City” [HTML]
Free Love and Artificial Paradises [HTML]
The “Desperados” [HTML]
International acknowledgement [HTML]
Pirate Economy [HTML]
Publishing [HTML]
The Charter of Carnaro [HTML]
The Labarum [HTML]
The League of Fiume [HTML]
Bloody Christmas [HTML]
Protagonists [HTML]