Giona Tuccini, an associate professor of Italian literature and head of the Italian section at the University of Cape Town, came to Universidad Autónoma de Madrid to work within the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages. Giona specialises in the field of mysticism and religious writing (poetry and prose), and medieval/early-modern Italian literature, as well as in Italian prose, cinema and drama of the 20th century. He says:

“I ran a series of workshops on Accattone, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s first film, which UAM students enjoyed as it helped to familiarise them with the notable contribution Pasolini has made to world cinematic culture. The debate about Neorealism and Pasolini’s early movies was discussed in a theoretical perspective, in order to enhance the students’ understanding of Pasolini’s “Cinema of Poetry” and its “meaning” to European intellectuals of 20th century. Pasolini’s Accattone was examined not only in terms of its relationship with Neorealism but also by taking into consideration the aesthetics of other models, both cinematographic and literary. Particular attention was given to the technical components of the film, such as photography, music, and staging.”

Giona adds:

This mobility was very beneficial not only to the Italian students at UAM but also to the Italian Section at UCT, by enhancing my ongoing working relationship with Professor Bartoli, and by giving us the opportunity to develop new joint-project, at both research and teaching levels. Participants developed a greater understanding of the complex world of a poet in the cinema who cast non-professional actors coming from where the movie is set (the slums of Rome), and drawn into play the noble art of Bach and Dante to voice impoverished individuals’ dramatic existence. During my stay in Madrid I had the chance to catch up with old friends and to dust off my Spanish. I would definitely recommend this experience and would happily embark on the Erasmus+ program again.