XXXIX Giuseppe Mazzotti Gambrinus Prize: Three books on the podium that tell the life of places


Events - published on 22 October 2021


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Source: press office Gambrinus “Giuseppe Mazzotti” Award
The Calabrian highlands between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Ionian Sea, which are attempting a revival starting with the “community of the remaining”, are the protagonists of “La montagna calabrese”
edited by Giovanna De Sensi Sestito and Tonino Ceravolo (Rubettino Editore, 2020), the winning work in the Mountain Section.
Contemporary India, suspended between unstoppable social and technological progress, an unprecedented climate crisis and the re-emergence of seemingly outdated religious tensions, is the subject of
“La tigre e il drone. Il continente indiano tra divinità e robot, rivoluzioni e crisi climatiche” (The tiger and the drone. The Indian continent between divinities and robots, revolutions and
climatic crises) by Vicenza-born journalist Carlo Pizzati (Marsilio, 2020), winner of the Exploration-Travel section.
Finally, the mountain course of the Piave, the engine of Italian modernisation and today one of the most exploited rivers in Europe, is the area investigated in “Le acque agitate della patria.
L’industrialializzazione del Piave (1882 – 1966)” by Feltre researcher Giacomo Bonan (Viella Editrice, 2020), winner of the Finestra sulle Venezie section.
Special Jury Prize to “Tre volte a Gerusalemme” (Three times in Jerusalem) by Fernando Gentilini (La Nave di Teseo, 2020), an atypical diary of an emblematic and contradictory city, in which
the many different identities seem to blur and blend together.
The award ceremony will take place on Saturday 20 November at the headquarters of the Treviso-Belluno Chamber of Commerce, in Treviso, and on that occasion the Honoris Causa Prize will be presented
to Brunello Cucinelli, an internationally renowned fashion designer and ethical and humanist entrepreneur.
The winning works of the XXXIX edition 2021 of the Gambrinus Prize “Giuseppe Mazzotti“, announced today during the press conference held in Treviso at the Chamber of Commerce of
Treviso-Belluno, could be defined as three “biographies”.
However, they do not narrate lives of people but of places that, although very different from each other, have in common the fact that they do not correspond (anymore) to our imagination: “La
montagna calabrese” (The Calabrian mountains) by Giovanna De Sensi and Tonino Ceravolo (Rubettino Editore, 2020), winner of the Mountain Section, investigates the past, present and
future of the mountains that form the watershed between the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas and have characterised the very image of Calabria; “La tigre e il drone. Il continente indiano tra divinità e
robot, rivoluzioni e crisi climatiche” (The tiger and the drone. The Indian continent between divinities and robots, revolutions and climatic crises) by Carlo Pizzati (Marsilio,
2020
), winner of the Esplorazione-Viaggi section, takes us into the highly populated and contradictory India, poised between unstoppable social and technological progress, an unprecedented
climatic crisis and the re-emergence of apparently outdated religious tensions; “Le acque agitate della patria. Le acque agitate patria. L’industrialializzazione del Piave (1882 – 1966)” by
Giacomo Bonan (Viella Editrice, 2020), winner of the Finestra sulle Venezie section, focuses on the Piave River, the emblem of national modernisation and one of the most exploited and
artificialised rivers in Europe.
The book receiving the Special Jury Prize, “Tre volte a Gerusalemme” (Three times in Jerusalem) by Fernando Gentilini (La Nave di Teseo, 2020), an atypical diary of an emblematic and
contradictory city in which the many different identities seem to blur and blend together, is no exception.
The President of the Prize, Pier Francesco Ghetti, former Rector of Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, first of all wished to thank the sponsors, supporting members and volunteers who have
enabled the Prize to reach the threshold of its fortieth year of activity, a period in which the Prize has circulated to thousands of book works dealing with relevant and topical issues, such as
ecology, landscape, tourism, travel, exploration, mountain life and quality craftsmanship. Almost as many authors have undertaken this task, and numerous editors and renowned jurors have evaluated
the works. The list of Honoris Causa is also important.
And all this has constituted a cultural heritage from which other training initiatives have sprung, such as the Mazzotti Juniores and Ragazzi awards or the enlightening seminars of the
Mazzotti contemporaneo’ project.
Intesa Sanpaolo is pleased to support the Gambrinus Giuseppe Mazzotti Prize again this year. – said Rodolfo Laforgia, head of retail area Veneto East and Friuli Venezia Giulia
Intesa Sanpaolo – Our bank strongly believes in the role of culture for the recovery of the country and for the growth and welfare of the community, especially in this period of recovery after
the health emergency. Our presence at the Prize follows the long and consolidated tradition of supporting not only economic, but also cultural and social development, with the aim of enhancing the
history, traditions and artistic heritage of the territories.
The Gambrinus Giuseppe Mazzotti Prize is a treasure trove of new writing that the readers of today and tomorrow will delight in reading. This is why, – points out the President
of the Treviso-Belluno Chamber of Commerce, Mario Pozza
, – the value of this event is important for creating new writing temptations and attractiveness for the Marca Gioiosa. Our business
is often a patron of art and knowledge, and it is in this spirit that the Chamber of Commerce supports the Award and hosts it with great pride in the Casa delle Imprese.
The winners
The mountain restarts from the “community of the rest”. “The Calabrian mountains”, written by the two university lecturers Giovanna De Sensi Sestito (former professor of Greek History at
the University of Calabria) and Tonino Ceravolo (associate professor in Demoethnoanthropological Sciences, as well as an essayist) attempts to offer a new vision of the inland areas, far
from the stereotypes that surround the concept of “living in the mountains”. Clichés that are sometimes romantic, but also misleading, such as those that see the mountains as a place inhabited by
people who are hopelessly poor, where no economy can exist and where, due to depopulation, there is no possibility of even minimal development.
The mountains have characterised the very image of Calabria. With its dense and extensive forest cover, it has conditioned the birth of human settlements on its hills and valleys, linking
millenary routes between them, preserving clearly recognisable sacred places and maintaining forms of economy that could still be functional to contemporary living.
The Calabrian mountains, in their composite reality, never cease to pose new questions: what needs to be done today so that they can once again become an integral part of regional and national
life? How can we rediscover and relaunch their special features, rhythms and vitality? One possible way is to start again from the community of the remaining people, taking care of the landscape,
the meeting place between us, human beings, and the environment that surrounds us.
The spirit that animates the book is also reflected in its publisher, Florindo Rubbettino, an example of “restitution” with his publishing house in Soveria Mannelli, in the middle of the
Reventino, with a history spanning almost fifty years.
Tigrevs drone. “The tiger and the drone. Il continente indiano tra divinità e robot, rivoluzioni e crisi climatiche’ (The tiger and the drone. The Indian continent between divinities and robots,
revolutions and climatic crises), right from the title, expresses the profound contradiction that India is experiencing: The combination of “tiger and dragon” to which we are accustomed (think of
the novel Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the fourth book in WangDu Lu’s Crane-IronPentalogy, and Ang Lee’s film The Tiger and the Dragon), which refers to the conflict between India and China,
is now evolving into “tiger and drone”, underlining the strong opposition within India itself, that between tradition and innovation.
With its 1.3 billion inhabitants, the country is a stone guest at the table of the world’s powers, yet the imagery surrounding the Asian subcontinent seems to have remained in Gandhi‘s
time: a land of Brahmins, peaceful in its poverty, divided into an age-old and inseparable caste system, a favourite destination for seeking oneself and one’s spiritual roots, and at the same
time an eternal source of cheap labour.
Carlo Pizzati, a journalist and writer born in Switzerland, who has lived in the Veneto, the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Rome and for more than ten years in a fishing village
in Tamil Nadu (India), describes a different reality, torn between unstoppable social and technological progress, an unprecedented climate crisis and the re-emergence of seemingly outdated
religious tensions.
The course of modernisation. In ‘Le acque agitate della patria. L’industrialializzazione del Piave (1882 – 1966)” Giacomo Bonan, postdoctoral fellow at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
and research associate at the Laboratorio di Storia delle Alpi of the Università della Svizzera Italiana, born in 1987 in Feltre (Belluno), traces the biography of the river, highlighting the
interdependencies between environmental, cultural and social transformations and their mutual redefinition in the course of the modernisation process. The Piave has been crucial in the history of
Italy.
Long a communication route between the Alps, Venice and the Adriatic, after the First World War it was celebrated as a ‘sacred river of the motherland’ and was the emblem of the modernisation
of the country through the hydroelectric industry, intensive irrigation and mechanical reclamation.
Today it is considered one of the most exploited and artificialised rivers in Europe, and is best known in the world for the Vajont disaster, which UNESCO has called an exemplary case of what
happens when engineers and geologists fail to grasp the nature of the problem they are trying to tackle.
Special Jury Prize
The Prize Jury, chaired by historian Alessandro Vanoli, has chosen to award a Special Prize to “Tre volte a Gerusalemme” (Three Times in Jerusalem) by Fernando Gentilini (La Nave
di Teseo, 2020), a professional diplomat who, in an atypical and extraordinary diary, reveals an emblematic Jerusalem, where the many different identities seem to blur and mingle, in a
back-and-forth between past and present, reality and literary fiction, great hopes and unspeakable suffering. Jerusalem is a symbol not only of a conflict that returns in time, but also of a
unique encounter between cultures, religions, ideas and lifestyles.
The East mixes with the West, the sacred with the profane, the ancient with post-modernity.
A land of conflict, divided in two by the Green Line but always capable of stirring emotions, Jerusalem emerges from these pages as a place of almost scandalous beauty, ruthless and
contradictory, where Israelis, Palestinians, Orthodox Jews, Christian monks, soldiers, women and men from all over the world, ideally united by a special relationship with the city, live side
by side without ever really integrating with one another. With a dry and brilliant prose, Gentilini chooses to recount his years in Jerusalem by letting three voices speak: that of the
places, that of Middle Eastern politics and that of other people’s books.
Recommended works
This year, too, there is no shortage of mentions of works considered particularly deserving: in the “Mountain: culture and civilisation” section, the volume “Ayas. Anthropologia di un
territorio luoghi, leggende, storie e fatti” (Anthropology of a territory: places, legends, stories and facts) by Saverio Favre (Priuli &Verlucca), in the “Esplorazione-viaggi”
section, the books “Cieli neri. Come l’inquinamento luminoso sta rubata ci la notte” by Irene Borgna (Ponte alle Grazie) and “Vite siberiane. Viaggio tra destinini sperduti in una terra
dimenticato” by Filippo Valoti Alebardi (Rizzoli), in the “Finestra sulle Venezie” section, the works “Se l’acqua ride” by Paolo Malaguti (Giulio Einaudi Editore)
and “Serenissimo baccalà. I Tagliapietra dalla Laguna alle Lofoten, andata e ritorno” by Ermanno Tagliapietra and Michela Dal Borgo (Biblioteca dei Leoni Editore).
Collateral initiatives to the Prize
The XXXIX edition of the Gambrinus Giuseppe Mazzotti Prize will end with two important events. On Friday 29th October, from 9.00 a.m. and all day long, at the Auditorium of the Province
of Treviso – Sant’Artemio there will be the seminar “The water clock”, part of the contemporary Mazzotti project, which aims to highlight and award people who have particularly
distinguished themselves for studies, research, achievements and initiatives in favour of the environment (Lampadiere dell’Ambiente Prize).
The theme will be the strategic value of water for human life and the environment and its proper management.
The second event will be a real ‘treat’ offered to its sponsors and supporters.
It is a tribute to Mario Rigoni Stern and Andrea Zanzotto, on the centenary of their births. Both were awarded the Premio Honoris Causa in 2002 and 2008 respectively, and a
lengthy dialogue between the two artists has been recovered in the Prize’s showcases, which will be presented in its entirety, as well as the participation of an Italianist, an actor and a
musician. The celebration will take place on Saturday 4 December at the Gambrinus Park in San Polo di Piave (Treviso).
The award ceremony
The ceremony, which traditionally takes place at the Gambrinus Park in San Polo di Piave (Treviso), will this year be held on Saturday 20 November at 3.30 p.m. in the Sala Borsa of the Treviso
branch of the Treviso-Belluno Chamber of Commerce and will be broadcast on the Award’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
There will be speeches by the winners, as well as the most exciting moment of the ceremony, the counting of votes by the Readers’ Council, made up of 40 people from various spheres of civil
society chosen in the Triveneto region, which will award the “La Voce dei Lettori” Super Prize of € 3,000.00 to one of the three winners of the three sections of the competition.
It will also be an opportunity to present the Honoris Causa Award to Brunello Cucinelli, the Umbrian designer recognised as the “king of cashmere” who sees his company not only as a
producer of wealth, but as a sphere of action to develop and increase the dream of a capitalism that values man.
The Prize is promoted by the “Giuseppe Mazzotti Literary Prize” Association and its main sponsor is Intesa Sanpaolo. It is sponsored and supported by Touring Club Italiano, Club Alpino
Italiano, Regione del Veneto, Reteventi Provincia di Treviso, Comune di San Polo di Piave, Gambrinus Park, “Americo e Vittoria Giol” Foundation, Stiga S.p.A., Montura – Tasci s.r.l.,
Confartigianato del Veneto, Treviso-Belluno Chamber of Commerce, Valcucine – Driade S.p.A. – FontanaArteS.p.A – Toscoquattro S.r.l, Dieffebi S.p.A., Unifarco S.p.A, Latteria Soligo, Greenova
Italia S.r.l., Coldiretti Treviso, Eclisse S.r.l., Confraternita del Raboso, Magis S.p.A., STM Moulding Innovation, Kronosystem Srl, Assindustria Veneto Centro.
For information: Gambrinus “Giuseppe Mazzotti” Award Secretariat, tel. 0422 855609, e-mail info@premiomazzotti.it;
www.premiomazzotti.it

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