Duration: 60 minutes
It is not often that we stop and think of the suffering of those who have someone close to them setting off in search of a better future without knowing if they made it, if they are well, and if they will ever see them again.
Ambiguous loss is the name given to that feeling experienced by relatives of people who have disappeared, a form of mourning that cannot be processed as there is no body to confirm death. Compounded by legal shortcomings and institutions not fulfilling their roles, the possibility of getting answers becomes ever more remote. Pain is joined by anger and the problem becomes more social.
This is the context for the work of the Labanof, the Laboratory of Anthropology and Forensic Odontology at the University of Milan, directed by Cristina Cattaneo, anthropologist, medical examiner and the author of Naufragi senza volto (Raffaello Cortina Editore, winner of the 2019 Galileo Award).
This authentic crusade, assisted by a number of voluntary organisations, the Italian Navy and the International Red Cross, is presented in the book through the people who lost their lives at sea in October 2013 and 18 April 2015. In the latter case, the ship sank with approximately nine hundred people on board, and the Labanof team carried out autopsies on five hundred and sixty six bodies recovered, as well as the cataloguing of the clothes and objects found, releasing the results to the families of the victims in order to allow them to recognised their loved ones.
Labanof was able to perform a small miracle: “restore a story, an identity and even dignity” to the nameless victims of the shipwrecks in the Mediterranean. What is fundamental now is that politicians play their part, and the “Labanof paradigm” becomes a national and international practice.
Naufraghi senza volto
stageplay by Renato Sarti
based on the book “Naufraghi senza volto”
by Cristina Cattaneo (Raffaello Cortina Editore)
with Angela Finocchiaro and Renato Sarti
video and images Mattia Colombo, Jacopo Loiodice, Valentina Cicogna
music Carlo Boccadoro
assistant Chicco Dossi
technics Jacopo Gussoni
a Teatro della Cooperativa production
in collaboration with Agidi
a special thanks to Gruppo dell’Alleanza Progressista dei Socialisti & Democratici al Parlamento Europeo and to Casa Comune