Milan and Ljubljana hosted two press conferences to reveal an ambitious new project in the official programme of the European Capital of Culture 2025 Nova Gorica-Gorizia. Inabili alla Morte (Nezmožni umreti), co-produced by the Italian Mittelfest and the Slovenian SNG Nova Gorica, will include theatre performances, radio plays, a documentary film and a literary publication. The title comes from Joseph Roth's masterpiece, the novel “The Emperor's Tomb” (1938), which inspired the entire project.
It's an interpretation of present-day Europe, based on historical events, and an interpretation of borders and cross-border areas: two Gorizia, two cities at the crossroads of three European cultures – Italian, Slavic and Germanic – which represent together the history of the continent after the World Wars, the divisions that resulted and the attempts to overcome them. The idea of the project was conceived and will be partly directed by Giacomo Pedini.
The project is supported by the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region for the European Capital of Culture. It will include three theatre performances and six radio plays in cooperation with RAI Radio 3, RAI FVG and the Ars Programme of Radio Slovenia. In addition, a documentary film and a literary publication will be produced, from spring 2024 to autumn 2025. All of this will be realized in a cross-border perspective, involving cooperation between the two cities, renowned partner institutions and prominent artists, including writers Goran Vojnović and Paolo Di Paolo, composer Cristian Carrara, actor Natalino Balasso, and director Janusz Kica.
To make this journey through time possible, the project is divided into three parts, or rather three performances, which tell the story of the Trotta family. Their members are the protagonists of the novel “The Emperor’s Tomb”. The first performance, based on a theatrical adaptation of the novel, tells about the collapse of the Habsburg Empire and its consequences. The other two – which will be the result of two new literary commissions, a Slovenian one for Goran Vojnović and an Italian one for Paolo Di Paolo – will again follow the Trotta family’s footsteps and imagine how they would evolve over time: first in the shadow of the Berlin Wall in the 1960s – “Cercando la lingua perduta” (Iskanje izgubljenega jezika), working title –, then in the illusory ecstasy of the early 1990s – “L'alba dopo la fine della storia” (Zora po koncu zgodovine), working title. The three texts will later be transformed into three radio plays and a book (both in Italian and Slovenian). The themes, places and stories evoked by the book will also become part of a documentary film: it will follow the tracks between East and West of this kind of unknown Europe that is “unfit for death” (inabile alla morte).