The 21st edition of the Week of the Italian Language in the World, the international cultural event dedicated to the celebration of the Italian language, kicked off on October 18 and will last until October 23.
Established in 2001 in collaboration with the Accademia della Crusca – the institute of linguistics and philology of the Italian language -, the initiative is carried out by the italian diplomatic-consular network and by the Italian Cultural Institutes, which every year work to promote and spread the Italian language all over the world.
Each edition of the Week of the Italian Language in the World is assigned a specific theme, which connects the multidisciplinary meetings and conferences that take place during the event. This year’s theme will be “Dante, the Italian”, to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the death of the “Supreme Poet” Dante Alighieri.
The event was presented during a press conference held in Rome on 14 October, with the participation of Deputy Minister Marina Sereni, journalist Serena Bortone and Cecilia Piccioni, Central Director for the promotion of Italian culture and language at the Italian Foreign Ministry. The press conference was also attended by members of other government organizations that have contributed, in the different spheres of their activity, to revive and reinterpret the work of Dante in the contemporary world.
Language, said Deputy Minister Sereni, “is important not only for our compatriots abroad and for people of Italian origins” who through the study of the Italian language can rediscover their cultural roots.“It is also important for those who choose to get closer to our country, attracted by its history, its culture and its products”. The language, therefore, is “the first ambassador of the Italian country system” in the world. A “thread wisely woven by Dante over 700 years ago and which since then has held together the different souls of our country”.
The main promoters of the event are the Italian Cultural Institutes (IIC), which have the function of spreading and supporting the development of Italian culture in the world, offering information and logistical support to public and private operators interested in Italian cultural events.
In Brussels, the IIC will organize the screening of several films and documentaries. Each event will be attended by Italian guests: on 19 October, journalist and editor of the newspaper Le Soir Christophe Berti will meet journalist Federico Rampini; on 20 October the director of the IIC Brussels Paolo Sabbatini will interview Italian poet Donatella Bisutti; finally, on 22 October, there will be a meeting with Lina Prosa, author of the theatrical trilogy on immigration “La Mer dans la gorge”.
At the IIC in Los Angeles, Dante will be celebrated with a digital exhibition of 150 artworks, inspired by Dante’s face, made by Italian artists Milo Manara, Emiliano Ponti and Nicola Verlato.
The program also includes a conference and an online event, during which actor Joe Mantegna will interpret some verses from Canto III of Dante’s Inferno, followed by the speeches of Prof. Alessandro Carrera of the University of Houston, Massimo Cacciari, Gianrico Carofiglio and Giulia Caminito .
The Week of the Italian Language in the World can be seen as the ideal conclusion to the program of celebration, “Dante 700 worldwide” and as the prelude to the States-General of Italian Language and Creativity, scheduled for November 29, 2021.