Friday 21 October, 6.30pm
L’estate prima di domani
Alfio Bernabei presents his latest book in conversation with author Angela Thirlwell, moderated by Helen Pankhurst. Introduced by Katia Pizzi.
The actress Paola Dionisotti will read some excerpts from the book
Alfio Bernabei’s book L’estate prima di domani (Castelvecchi Editore) narrates the little-known story of a group of anarchists, communists and republicans who met in an Italian coffee house in Wales at the end of August 1922 and having learnt of the imminent landing of a ship with a crew formed entirely of fascists, decide to sabotage it, with tragic consequences. The author will discuss the themes of his book with Angela Thirlwell, who is currently working on a biography of Decio and Antonietta Pettoello, a couple of antifascists who lived and worked in Cambridge during WWII. Moderated by women’s rights activist, scholar and writer Helen Pankhurst, granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, leader in the suffragette movement and mentioned in Bernabei’s book.
Free admission, book HERE
Alfio Bernabei is a journalist who worked for the BBC and Channel 4. His articles have appeared in various Italian and British newspapers, including «L’Espresso», «Panorama», «History Today», «Searchlight», and was between 1985 and the 2000 correspondent from London for “l’Unità”. He dealt with the issue of the internment of Italians in the United Kingdom and the tragedy of the Arandora Star in his book “Italian exiles and emigrants in the United Kingdom 1920-1940” (Mursia, 1997) and in the documentary “Dangerous Characters” for Channel 4. His last essay on 1922 was published in the book “Fascism and anti-fascism in Great Britain” (Pacini Editore, 2021). He is the author of plays, performed both in Italy and abroad, in particular in London and Edinburgh. In recent years he has mounted exhibitions on the Italian community in the UK in London (Charing Cross Library, Westminster), Manchester and Dundee
Angela Thirlwell read English at St. Anne’s College, Oxford and lectured in English and Theatre Studies for many years for the Faculty of Continuing Education, Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of a number of books, including William and Lucy: The Other Rossettis (Yale), Into the Frame: The Four Loves of Ford Madox Brown (Chatto) and Rosalind: Shakespeare’s Immortal Heroine (Oberon). She is now working on a story of truth and imagination about the Pettoellos, an anti-fascist Italian family who fled Turin in 1922.
Helen Pankhurst CBE is a women’s rights activist, scholar and writer (her book Deeds not Words: The Story of Women’s Rights Then and Now was published in February 2018). She is currently the senior advisor of CARE International, (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere), a major international humanitarian agency delivering emergency relief and long-term international development projects. She is the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, who were both leaders in the suffragette movement. In 2018 Pankhurst convened the Centenary Action Group, a cross-party coalition of over 100 activists, politicians and women’s rights organisations campaigning to end barriers to women’s political participation.
Paola Dionisotti is an Italian-British actress active on stage and British television since 1975. Among her roles, Lady Patricia Broughall in Forever Green, Aunt Nicholls in Harbour Lights, Lady Waynwood in Game of Thrones. On the stage, she is noted for her Shakespearean roles, including the tavern landlady Mistress Quickly in the acclaimed 2014 RSC production of Henry IV.
The Italian Cultural Institute will not admit anyone showing covid-19 symptoms such as a continuous cough, a cold and a temperature. You are strongly invited to wear face covering during events, maintain social distancing and use wall-unit sanitizers, as a matter of courtesy to the clinically vulnerable. We keep windows open whenever possible to ensure ventilation and thoroughly clean our rooms before and after each event. Thank you for your co-operation.
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