Alberto Samonà, a man of culture
Alberto Samonà came to our interview as director of Ilsicilia.it. And as a cultural pundit. A man who wrote various books. A journalist, narrator and expert on ‘Sicilianità’.
He talked with a remarkable ease about culture. And especially with passion. As if he wanted to convince us of Sicily’s rich history.
We talked about books, about food. He talked on how he had recently introduced the city to a Neapolitan friend. On how happy he was she had liked his Palermo.
Alberto Samonà, the politician
What we did not discuss was politics. Simply because it did not come up. Simply because it did not matter. Back then.
Rather unexpected he became minister for Culture for the Sicilian government. A right wing government lead by Musmeci. And the same hen became passionately hated.
The voice of discord grew loud. Very loud.
Controversy, not culture
Alberto Samonà you see belongs to the right side of the political spectrum. And the Lega appointed him as minister. A double charge. A contradiction in terms. How could a separatistic movement rule Sicilian culture. Had they not shown a historical disdain?
The controversy reached it hight when Samonà was accused lauding Nazis.
After apologies and clarifications, the storm continues to blow.
Italian precarious politics
In Italy left and right still have a major role in politics. They are more than buoys marking the political landscape. They fuel the dialectic motor of a surpassed model. As by inertia discussions continue. Out of boredom rather than conviction.
This heavy burden weighs on policy making. Italy never shrug the past off. And thus continues to observe labels more than substance.
Though pragmatism is no stranger to politics, labels tend to stick. And impede proper working.
...the harder they fall
Alberto Samonà became ‘assessore’ with the support of the Lega. A political party that used to propose northern autonomy. They now embody the new right. There is a strong resentment toward the Lega. And this eventually fuelled the harsh reaction.
The smear campaign focusses on politics. And not the least on culture or Sicily.
Identity and label
The man we interviewed is different from the man we read about. We may disagree on political choices. But we will not repudiate the man’s cultural background.
It is a paradoxical situation. We have the right man with, apparently, the wrong party. Where it is usually the wrong person with the right party…
At the end of the interview he stated ‘live today, not in the past’. Did he already know what was about to happen?
We wish the man of culture Samonà all the best. And, as Spike Lee said: do the right thing!