Action #10: Il Porto dell’amore

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La Testa di Ferro
Libera vove dei legionari di Fiume

Unione di spiriti liberi tendenti alla perfezione

Il ballo di San Vito. Primo quaderno della Yoga. Collezione diretta da Mino Somenzi. Cittá di Vita, Giugno 1920

Yoga: Unione di spiriti liberi tendenti alla perfezione
The Unione Yoga entertained relations with Futurists all over Italy, the Futurist-Communist circle in Turin, with the Dadaists in Germany, the Bolsheviks in Russia and Hungary.
They included artists from many Europeans countries and even the United States, who had come to Fiume to participate in the ‘great experiment’ that was taking place there. Through their leader, Guido Keller, they had direct influence on the command of the city, and direct links with other officers meant that they managed to give many political statements of the city government a much more radical drive than they would otherwise have had.(…) They organized a ‘People’s Accademy’ with regular public debates on topics as wide-ranging as free love, abolition of money, destruction of prisons, beautification of the city, and so on.

The Foundation Manifesto of Yoga and the articles in their paper Yoga bear many resemblances to Futurist proclamations. (…) But what distinguishes them from Marinetti’s anarchical Futurism is their Dionysian individualism. Issue number 4 of Yoga contained a long critique of Marinetti’s a-human technology cult that takes out of art what is most precious about it: to give expression to the originality and individuality of the artist. It would be therefore wrong to describe Yoga as a Futurist circle.(…)
(Yoga) members were communists and anarchists, Bolsheviks and William Morris-like socialists, bohemians and nihilists, Nietzscheans and Rosenkreutzers, Rousseauist dreamers and Utopian Proudhonists. Yoga was not a Party with a fixed doctrine, but rather, as Carpi put it, ‘an open meeting ground for all rebellious spirits (…) They tried to attract people not on the basis of a homogeneous political programme, but rather by their principle of diversity and vitalistic spontaneity’.
What brought these rebellious characters and ‘free spirits’, as they called themselves, together was their rebellious attitude against the established political and cultural system. They fest a broad consensus of ‘us against them’, and their adversaries were not only the political cliques in parliament and the social orders who sustained them in power, but also the value system they promoted and upon which their ethics were based (bourgeois morality, rationality of thinking, discipline, work ethics, materialism, greed etc.)
However, there was also a political side to Yoga. It involved subversive tactics through which they sought to overturn the political system that had evolved during the industrial age. Their aim was to replace the ‘democracy of numbers’ with a communist reign of liberty based on syndical organization of producers. A social revolution was to go hand-in-hand with the political revolution and to produce a new concept of identity and individuality.
One section of Yoga, the ‘Brown Lotuses’, promoted the idea of an agrarian democracy of small producers. Amongst them, a race-earth-nature ideology was widely diffused, and they had strong anti-capitalist, anti-industrial and anti-city feelings. Strong doses of mysticism, spiritualism and Eastern mythology gave them an extremely Utopian character, not dissimilar to that to be found in other artists’ communities such as L’Abbaye de Créteil, Monte Veritá or Worpwede. Hoever, other members, who formed the ‘Red Lotuses’, had their feet much more firmly on the ground. They utilized the many international connections of the group to promote their ideas of ‘Moving. Living. Destroying. Creating.’ They were also extremely active in the running of the city of Fiume and the organization of the many festivals and artistic events there. Despite their patriotism they were anti-Fascist and opposed to any narrow nationalism. Their aim of ‘developing and exalting the meaning of race was not to be confounded with Fascist racialism, because it went hand-in-hand with their ‘international conception that promotes the Dionysian race and the race of the spirit by the practical means of Love’.

(Excerpted from Günter Berghaus, Futurism and Politics: Between Anarchist Rebellion and Fascist Reaction, 1909-1944, Oxford, Berghahn Books, 1995; pp. 141-143).


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]