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Night of Europe

Antonio Denti | Italy

Night of Europe.
Rome, Italy (2022)

In the night between the 30th and the 31st of May, from about 1 to 4am, thousands of members of the Italian armed forces marched through the deserted centre of the city, by the Roman forum and the Colosseum.They were rehearsing the military parade of June 2, Italy’s Republic Day.

This very rarely photographed event, involving tens of thousands of armed soldiers, takes place every year but most Romans ignore its existence as they are usually asleep during the maneuvers.

But this year it was different. It just was not like every other year.  I couldn't help thinking if the peace I had believed the norm had instead been the exception. If, like most my ancestors, I would also have to fight to defend my way of life. If, in Europe, we had given too much, freedom for instance, for granted for too long to imagine that we might have to fight for them not to be taken away.


 

Rome, Italy (2022)

In the night between the 30th and the 31st of May, from about 1 to 4am, thousands of members of the Italian armed forces marched through the deserted centre of the city, by the Roman forum and the Colosseum.They were rehearsing the military parade of June 2, Italy’s Republic Day.

This very rarely photographed event, involving tens of thousands of armed soldiers, takes place every year but most Romans ignore its existence as they are usually asleep during the maneuvers.

But this year it was different. It just was not like every other year. In one of his masterpieces, ''Com'e' Profondo il Mare'' (How Deep is the Sea) Italian music great Lucio Dalla wrote this verse: ''Thought is like the ocean. You cannot block it. You cannot build a fence around it.''. It came back to me as I wandered through the Roman night alongside the soldiers, in highly symbolic places for Italy's recent memory of war.  I couldn't help thinking if the peace I had believed the norm had instead been the exception. If, like most my ancestors, I would also have to fight to defend my way of life. If, in Europe, we had given too much, freedom for instance, for granted for too long to imagine that we might have to fight for them not to be taken away.


 

Antonio Denti

antclick@gmail.com

0039 3487607036

 

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