The Belìce/EpiCentre of Living Memory is an open space, always ‘under construction’, since it was not conceived to be a ‘museum’ but an open place where people can meet. It constantly evolves since whoever lives or ‘passes by’ the Belìce area can make a contribution. Every visitor can bring and share their personal stories to help build our shared memory. The Belìce/EpiCentre was established in the framework of the project ‘The Lands that were shaken’, which had been conceived by the following organisations: CRESM of Gibellina, CLAC of Palermo, LeMat of Rome, and Eco of Polizzi Generosa (Sicily), with the support of ‘Fondazione per il Sud’, a bank foundation, and the Provincial Administration of Trapani. At the Belìce/EpiCentre visitors find videos, stories, drawings, photographs, and documents for their fruition. They illustrate the historical conscience of the inhabitants of the Belìce area and tell important yet unknown stories of people’s struggles and mobilization before and after the earthquake of 1968. The story that the words, images, documents tell started in the 1950s with Danilo Dolci, and it illustrates what happened during those crucial thirty years for local and Italian History. At the time, the Belìce was a sort of workshop where innovative practices of social actions were crafted; it is fundamental to know them now to think about our present times.
By surfing through this website, travellers will discover the history of a territory, the Belìce Valley, and of its population, where a very interesting example of participatory democracy was launched starting from the 1960s. Their activities were: organising ‘upside-down strikes’; denouncing social issues; carrying out investigations; Danilo Dolci’s hunger strikes together with other members of his Centre to Promote Full Employment; setting up Citizens’ Committees to promote development in the Belìce area; leading people’s fight to rebuild the Belìce area after the earthquake of 1968.
These are the stories that are told at our Belìce/EpiCentre of Living Memory through virtual maps, talking photographs, videos and documents of the time; these allow for the creation of original itineraries to start travelling across our land with a fresh look.
«The eye needs to be trained to see.
The skin needs to touch to know.
Man needs to keep imagination alive otherwise he dies out.»
(Danilo Dolci, from Il limone lunare)