The second edition of the Floating Voices creative arts contest ends with the awarding of the winners in Reggio Calabria (expected not earlier than Spring 2021 due to the COVID-19 emergency). The ceremony will take place in partnership with Progetto Mediterranea, a sailing, scientific and cultural expedition that has crossed the entire Mediterranean in the last five years, and other local organizations.
This edition’s theme was SOLIDARITY WITHOUT BORDERS, and was chosen with the aim of:
- highlighting the role of Art as an element to elevate consciences, during times when environmental conditions are not conducive to interpersonal exchanges and indeed, these are inhibited by health regulations and the law;
- strengthening relationships and sharing dreams between young citizens on both sides of the Mediterranean; and
- stimulating Thought, which has always driven culture and therefore life in the Mediterranean.
WHO ARE THE WINNERS?
Here is a brief profile of them:
Mohamed HASSAN YEHYA (1993) is an Egyptian writer and film director. He completed a BA in Drama and Criticism at Helwan University in 2016. He has received awards twice for his playwriting in the nation-wide contest organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Youth. He has published some of his short stories online and in print magazines. He recently won a short story contest in a joint project between Radio Monte Carlo and Al-Arabi Magazine, and his story was read on Radio Monte Carlo. He won also the Floating Voices Award 2019 in the Poetry Category/ Southern Shore.
First Prize / Honourable Mention with Bitter Year (original text in Arabic; English transl. ; French transl.)
The Floating Voices 2020 Award for the Poetry category (Southern Shore) goes to Mohamed Yehia for the text of the poem “Bitter Year” which recounts the bitter taste of a year that saw the construction of sanitary containment walls on pre-existing walls among the peoples of Mediterranean. The author has chosen the poetic composition of a poignant popular ballad in which the sea is a spectator of human events and each verse seems to come and go like the waves of the sea. A broad vision is proposed by the poem, which extends to the entire Mediterranean and involves us emotionally both in the tragedy of migration and in solidarity between peoples united by the same sea.
Noël DE LA VEGA (2003) is completing his studies at the Classical-Musical Gymnasium of Arezzo, near Florence, Tuscany. From the marriage of musical arts (piano and percussions) with classical traditions was born Noël’s sensibility and deeply dedication in poetical writing. Born in a family for a third Italian, for a third Mexican and for a last third French (from his paternal grandmother’s side), he was naturally moved to look after new languages and different cultures. Since the age of twelwe years, he entered in contact with no-profit and volunteering initiatives and has shared his house with a Malian political refugee. He partecipated in local socio-cultural events, taught Italian to youngsters in need, joined human rights protest marches. He collaborates with a Siena University’s radio looking at true and free information. Noël’s poetry and writing work is nourished by his social engagement and his already diverse life experiences.
First Prize / Honourable Mention with Mare, Migranti, Disperazione (original text in Italian, with music; English transl.)
The Floating Voices 2020 Award for the Poetry category (Northern Shore) goes to Noël De La Vega for the lyrics of the song “Mare, Migranti, Desperazione”: for its intense energy, even too intense according to some jurors, which shines through the verses. The poem tries to make us rise from the blackness of the abyss of a entirely tragic interpretation of migration. Beyond the musical base – currently there is a lively debate on the poetic value of songs and rap is surely one of the more prolific genres – it is the text itself that gives the rhythm to the almost syncopated reading, with a marked linguistic and rhythmic rhyme. A poem of civil and social condemnation, which historically captures a precise period of our past, the work updates it to warn us of the irreversible decline of civilization.
For the other categories, the works were not judged suitable.