Readings by Rosa Lupoli

Becoming a brigand against oppression

 Farsi brigantessa  contro i soprusi  DCM-004
06 April 2024

Pino Aprile, La brigante bambina [The Child Brigand],
 Libreria Pienogiorno, 2023

I have long held a fascination with the history of the South during the tumultuous Risorgimento period, a time interpreted differently by both victors and vanquished. The emergence of archival documents offers the possibility of a perhaps more authentic and certainly truer interpretation of events. Delving into the significant historical event of the South's annexation, marking the birth of modern Italy, I have explored the role of women in the downfall of the Bourbon kingdom. In Pino Aprile’s novel, an insightful portrayal by a southern essayist and journalist, we encounter Cerasella—a young woman who, to escape the violence inflicted by the Piedmontese invaders, joins forces with her brother and teacher, Antonio, aligning herself with the so-called brigands. Yet, she is not alone. Other women, some coerced, others driven by choice, stand in defiance against the predatory and violent actions of the invaders. Cerasella and Antonio dream of forging unity among the armed factions of the South, but despite numerous attempts, they find themselves compelled to flee their homeland. The brigantesses remain an enigma, a subject of ongoing investigation for historians. These were women who took up arms to safeguard their families, property, and identities, yet like countless others, they met a merciless fate.