Fishes red, fishes blue

(Effatà Editrice - Cantalupa Torino)

Illustrations by ANTONIO VINCENTI

The tale

If Gulliver's travels by Jonathan Swift offered me the opportunity for an outline of the society and its freakishly behaviour, it was a poem by Stephen Spender to accompany me for all the thematic path of the tale. The poetry is “The unemployed”, and I propose it fully:

Moving through the silent crowd
Who stand behind dull cigarettes,
These men who idle in the road,
I have the sense of falling light.

They lounge at corners of the street
And greet friends with a shrug of shoulder
And turn their empty pockets out,
The cynical gestures of the poor

Now they,ve no work, like better men
Who sit at desks and take much pay
They sleep long nights and rise at ten
To watch the hours that drain away.

I’m jealous of the weeping hours
They stare through with such hungry eyes
I’m haunted by these images,
I’m haunted by their emptiness.




Well, “the sense of falling light” is the atmosphere that I have tried to express in drawing up  Fishes red, fishes blue. The dichotomy between the “better people” of an affluent society perched in its intellectual laziness and the multitudes who lounge at corners of the street and turn their empty pockets out.
That was how the portraits we have every day under the eyes, when we walk the streets of Western towns, are born.

Spifferino (the little fish burting secrets out), ambitious and petulant journalist constantly in search of scoop at any cost, Jonathan, the young alternative with big heart and with great existential uncertainties,

Madam Rossella always in apprehension for the fate of the children that snub " a safe desk in  bank ", Plato, an intellectual enlightened that envy the freedom of the birds ignoring the fact that even in heaven the cuckoo threats the nest of sparrows.

Then the crowd: mistrustful, unsure, hostile to social changes, concerned about losing their security, the match at the stadium, its ethnic identity, on the other hand the fishes blue, the invaders, those who threaten the entrenched structures of the welfare, which make any efforts by selling junk and little hats at the gates of the stadium, in conclusion the hungry people who lounge at corners of the street and turn their empty pockets out.

The immigrants, the illegal immigrants: Turkese, the father who has lost his work in the country of origin, the little Blues who has forgotten the way how to amuse  himself, and then plays tormenting melodies with the flute of Pan.
Then it is easy
that, among these contradictions, appear the poor opportunism of a society indolent, too lazy to question and to understand the great changes of history.
Sometimes, however, as in fairy tales, strange and sudden facts are happening, and then…

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