Pino Aprile

Terroni (Wops, author’s note), 2010

It is not unlikely for one to know about the utterances, “winners write their truth as history with the blood of the defeated they delete from both” and “we NEVER know enough”, but it has been said that one can only understand in others the pain one has actually felt personally. Thus it cannot be ruled out that the consequences of sneezing at these utterances are not understood for real unless one felt the pain of it firsthand. So when it comes to measure up the gap between the official, mainstream, acceptable, schoolbook “truth” of the winners and the unofficial, marginalised, unpalatable, hidden one of the defeated, when it comes to face and weigh the horrors in the real world, first perpetrated and then buried, as among our many faults we're influenced by distance, nothing better than an example close enough to gnaw at us. Pino Aprile provides us with such an example, close enough to our blood to hurt us awake to the shame of not questioning, inspecting, investigating, and knowing. The spread and clearness of all that is meant by “wop”, by “terrone”, can only be compared to how all that meaning is taken for granted. This label is so much of a paradigm that Italian southerners themselves join in the ranks of their detractors, and even seem to strive to get into the part that is expected of them. That deep is the white rabbit hole. Thus, imagine the order of magnitude of the task of moving through the Alice's looking glass, toward a truth just a tad symmetrical to that fed us by the winners.