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The 6th anniversary. Andy and the Volpi Scapigliate – 24th May 2020

Someone of us, Volpi Scapigliate, used to hang out with Andy Rocchelli when he was a young guy, but then losing track of each other while growing up, as sometimes happen. In our memory he was a cheerful and smiling guy. Then after that cursed day 6 years ago, we learnt about the astonishing depth of his work as an adult.

It has been a suffering path, but it has also been a discovery experience. We started with the intention of finding the truth and the justice for a friend, but we happened to find ourselves taking notes and learn about journalism, professionalism and life from a character that left us with much more than what we could imagine.

Andrea has taught us that values as human rights and freedom are not abstract ideals, but can be concrete goals when looked at them through stories and their characters, like the Sloviansk’s children in their bunker. Andy reminds us that for  telling those stories and for creating our own stories, there are not shortcuts: hard work, zero compromises and an extremely high price to pay sometimes. He united us around a universe of stories and hopes in the possibility to do our little piece for shaping a better world.

An year ago now we were finalizing the “Da Barriere a Ponti” project, a venture that showed once more who Andy Rocchelli was and who we want to be as Volpi Scapigliate. Somebody that can inspire a bunch of teenager, millannials that are used to spend their days watching their mobiles, to study instead for months Andy’s work and translate it in thoughts and images, for then filling up the city with colours. Colours on concrete, stories of war and peace, freedom, communications, knowledge, violated rights. It has been a very important experience for them and of us too.

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“La Volpe Scapigliata”: the thread between Andy and Mario

We read it all in one breath.

We cried, we smiled, we got upset. And then all over again. It was tough. And we would never wanted to miss it.

Mario Calabresi is a careful listener and an amazing storyteller, but he also knows very well what it means to die in the line of duty, to be killed, leaving behind little children. He had the courage to tell about himself, writing about the story of his family in a tough book: “Pushing further the night”. Today he tell about Andy, as a link between two different generations, but a destiny somehow similar.

To listen to the “La Volpe Scapigliata” podcast, led us to recall all the memories of the last 6 years in once, starting from that horrific 24th May 2014. We re-experienced the places. The seminary where the funeral was held. The trial in that tiny little courtroom. The walk among red poppers, last Spring. The last hearing in the Sala dell’Annunciata in Pavia, and that emotion never experienced before. It was as release on top of the permanent grief.

Today we feel all connected by that thin thread connecting the institutions, the journalism, the truth and the justice, as well as the thirst for knowledge and telling the stories that were so deeply-rooted in Andy. 

Today we are connected with them. With Mario, with Andy. With their families. Trying to push their nights a bit further again.

Podcast

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A new year

September 27th, Andy’s birthday. He would have been 36 and we like stop and remember him by thinking what we did so far and what is in plan for Autumn 2019.

First of all, the trial. It ended with the 24 years conviction of Vitaly Markiv and the Ukraine government recognized responsible too. The verdict added 7 years more than what the Public Persecutor had requested and that created quite an uproar. Since, as we said many times already, this is not a private matter, but it is related to the right of being informed, we find very interesting the reasons of the verdict, that are expected to go public soon and that we hope are going to be even more relevant of the verdict itself. We commit therefore to report them in this blog as soon as they will be public. 

In the last few months we committed ourselves in spreading among the people the awareness of the trial aiming to identify the responsibility for Andy’s killing. We tried to do that by organizing public meetings and events, that brought people that possibly till then were not even aware of what had happened, or had only heard superficially about it. Through the project “From barriers to bridges”, in collaboration with the Pavia Art School A. Volta, youngsters got to know about Andy’s work that has been brought to the Pavia center, through the jersey’s drawn by the students of the school. Now we are organizing together with the Art School a guided tour together with the authors of the graffiti: they will explain their work, the meaning they wanted to deliver via the images that they created and the relation of them with Andy’s work.

Another project we have in plan is the publishing of a book collecting the fables from the Senegalese tradition that were recorded, translated and collected many years ago in the village of Dabia by Andy and other friends that have been there many times during the years: the trips to Senegal as a youngster and especially the experiences in the small village of Dabia, had been key in Andy’s vocation for photography. The publishing of the material collected in Dabia would be the late realization of an old project in which Andy was involved and was particularly fond of.

These are just a few of the projects that we have in mind, and we are open to receive and take into consideration ideas, suggestions and proposals.

Finally, the most important thing: the Volpi Scapigliate are now an official no profit association… we will share soon information on how to join it, for whoever is interested to support the association.

For us, this is the beginning of a new year, taking on the projects and the values that urged us to create an association: protect and promote the press and information freedom as well as promote  Andy’s work.