MODICA – It is incredible the beauty of Modica that has been handed down to us by our ancestors. A large part of the inheritance stems from the wound of the 1693 earthquake, which was followed by an architectural rebirth that has captivated the entire world. Over the centuries, the people who have lived in this area have been able to find sources of wealth from all the peoples who have passed through, generating scientific and humanistic thought, and agricultural and gastronomic synthesis, by virtue of the strategic position in the Mediterranean area that has made it politically notable and culturally welcoming. In recent times, the city of Modica has been able to make itself loved on an international level thanks to its chocolate, a unique recipe that restores an unmistakable knowledge and flavor of the city, and thanks to enlightened fellow citizens who, with patient and painstaking work, have promoted this product throughout the world.
The city could not fail to fascinate even the cinema, welcoming first of all in 1948 the film “Anni difficili”, when the director Luigi Zampa defined the city “The most beautiful rock garden I have ever seen”. And it is precisely the sinuous dialogue between light and stone, and at night between light and stone, that makes the city appealing to the senses. A story immersed in this harmony allows a location to become a character, a means of dramatization, even an inspiration of emotional and narrative implications. This is why transversal cultural initiatives of aesthetic observation and reinterpretation of the city, aimed at beauty and contemplation, can make an important contribution to the interpretation, conservation and promotion of the landscape, and to the reduction of the modern superfluous. As in cinema, in which many arts come together and converge in a single expression, the initiatives of music, theater, literature, painting, photography and entertainment proposed find an ideal location in the natural stage of the “country in the shape of split pomegranate”.
The opportunity to prepare and propose the city to showcase itself through the candidacy to City of Culture 2020/2021 is an important step of reflection, action and identification of the design, in view of the challenge to the comparison between the cult of history and openness to contemporaneity, to return again to those who are looking for beauty.
The great earthquake has left us with the precious lesson that a city lives when it manages to reread itself. In Modica, there are all the ingredients for giving life, both to oneself and to those who visit. Because beauty is more beautiful if it is shared.
Alessia Scarso – Sicilymag.it 3 marzo 2020