The book Il coraggio e la memoria consists of a collection of documentations of protagonists who lived through the Covid-19 emergency in the Humanitas Gavazzeni hospital in Bergamo. Out of desire to portray this time, a publication and a sound installation were created. Containers of words and voices to remember and look to the future. Lupo Burtscher was responsible for the art direction, graphic design and installation.
The publication Il coraggio e la memoria tells the stories collected by journalist Fabiana Tinaglia in the hospital wards. Letters, diary pages, voice messages, emails, words and memories of those who experienced the Humanitas Gavazzeni hospital during the emergency of the first lockdown. From those who provided care and assistance to the patients and also those who were patients themselves.
In order to bring out this diversity of linguistic registers, the book consists of twenty chapters in which the layout changes according to the material. Twenty chapters in which, through the stories of about sixty people, the most difficult months of the pandemic are reconstructed from inside the hospital. A book of true stories, memories, emotions and expectations that keeps alive the memory of a dramatic experience that brought out solidarity, sharing and hope for the future. The stories are merged with visual inserts featuring photographs taken during those days, which tie in with the words.
The project Il coraggio e la memoria also involved the students of the Liceo Artistico Fantoni of Bergamo and through a series of workshops asked them to translate the stories told in the book into images, illustrations and graphic works. These works are presented in a leporello format, which, through a narration of objects, accompanies the voices in the book.
On the occasion of the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Covid-19 in Bergamo, the book was translated into a sound installation. Located in the park of the Humanitas Gavazzeni hospital. This place, in fact, was a refuge during the hardest months of the pandemic, a place of meeting and reflection for staff. The sound installation was created in collaboration with the sound artist Stefano Bernardi.
The temporary installation tells the story of the pandemic through the reproduction of audio tracks, consisting a selection of the most important and evocative testimonies taken from the book Il coraggio e la memoria.
The installation consists of 20 audio speakers arranged in a circle at ear height which, like real voices and presences, reproduce the testimonies from the book at different intervals. The experience of those who enter and move within the circle is of twenty voices alternately speaking directly into the ears of the spectators from different positions in a continuous cross-reference. The circle arrangement invites the spectator to a moment of recollection, a metaphor for community, the power of proximity and collective memory.