The Celebration of the Living
(who reflect upon death) 5th ed.
, San Cesario di Lecce, Italy, Oct. 25 to dawn of Nov. 2, 2014

I am Beatrice who urges you to journey,

Come from a place to which I long to return.

Love moved me to speak my heart to you.

(Dante, Inferno, Canto II, 70-72)

The learnings of Free Home University have taken root this year both metaphorically and physically; seeds of ideas planted in early winter grew tendrils of the Parco Comune die Frutti Minori (Common Orchard) in spring. Fig trees and other native plants sprouted from reclaimed common land beside the roads of San Cesario, bringing together artists, thinkers, and farmers in celebrating an awareness of the land, revisiting rural traditions, and creating a new space for experimentation. In August, we reaped the first harvest with the Mercato Comune (Common Market), the first farmer’s market in the Salento area, shaded by a canopy made of neighbourhood bedsheets, with a small parliament of modified elementary school chairs for animated discussion between villagers young and old. And in the fall, we branched out to consider the acts of making by hand and crafting digitally with a workshop on videography and mosaic-making; our representation of our experience in this world. Golden fruit hung from the trees. What is our place in the physical and metaphorical spaces of this world, our role as artists? We gather from October 25 to November 2, 2014 for the final harvest of the year, a fifth edition of Lu Cafausu’s The Celebration of the Living (who reflect upon death). For this pilgrimage, which takes on a different form each year, participants are invited to carry with them someone they have lost, to cultivate the sense that we’re always accompanied by those we’ve lost. Through imagination, intuition, storytelling, we will enliven an unusual form of participation, between the dead who speak through the living, and the living who meet through the dead. Every day from October 25th to November 1st the group will muster at Lu Cafausu to contemplate and speak about the invisible presence that accompanies them. Across this span of days, the theme of the relationship between the living and the dead will form the backdrop of gestures and conversations, until November 2nd, the final day, in which we will gather by walking, visible and invisible, from dusk towards dawn. Musagetes will be updating our blog daily with reflections and thoughts on this experience. We will share meals across time and space by posting some recipes of our ancestors—the tastes and smells which bring up memories long forgotten—and invite you to post your own recipes of times past. We will read Derrida’s “What is Ideology” and invite you share your thoughts on this reading about the absent presence of those who are no longer with us at our A.nnotate page. Join us in this contemplation of communities beyond the merely physical.