A distributed residency - the Messina diaries

7 October 2022

The game is finally on and the first patrol is looking at the Aspromonte peak on the other side of the strait. With a big although. In fact, we all would have prefered the residency starting with Edgeryders’ favourite speculative fiction writer @yudhanjaya here with us.
Unluckily, starting the procedure of getting a visa for EU in March this year has not been timely enough to get Yudha at least an appointment at the Italian embassy in Colombo yet.
Hopefully, that will change in the near future and we can think of organising a residency/something 2.0 somewhere in the near future.

Buon viso a cattivo gioco as they say here, we decided to go on with the bigger part of the crowd in Messina and Yudhanjaya pulling the creative strings remotely.

The three goals of the residency are to a) start a novel, b) strategize, c) communicate - check here for details.

The works have officially started this morning in the Messina’s Cinema Apollo where @alberto and I presented the work done in the last two years on Witness to the students of three Messina high schools (artistic, design, classical) - program here - together with Anita, Lucrezia and Antonella from FdCM (ping @giacomo.pinaffo too), @michi1 and @marcolok who both talked about their work on the illustrations.

There were 70+ kids from Basile, Verona-Trento and La Farina, who followed the presentations and engaged in discussions with keen interest.

The challenge to the kids in the following days is to get to know Witness, think about the concepts, propose new ideas, stories, characters, illustrations, designs, music (my personal fav would be a hip hop piece in thick Sicilian on this) or to contribute to Witnesspedia itself.

To facilitate the non English speakers, we opened the W section in Italian.

The Town by The Sea testing session proposal produced a chain reaction of interest
(@matteo_uguzzoni! ping also @nadia, @marina) and their moderators will work on organising the groups of six for the test rides (not necessarily next week).

@hugi is arriving tomorrow (have a safe trip!)

Alberto in action

Distributing the questions to the participants

One of the participants working on the questions

Well, you know… Sicily


A morning full of young energy. We hope the guys do a good job next Monday.


Wish I could be there. Best of luck!


I’m the guy in the 3rd picture. I really enjoyed all. Congratulations to Alberto, Ivan and all the others. I loved all. Thank you so much for all of this


Hello Yudha - here are the materials produced for the schools.

There is a translation in English of the story/history concepts and a ton of illustrations in the school folders.
Tomorrow, the kids will present their stories and we will provide them with feedback.
It would be great if you could take a look and have some notes for them


Hey everyone, especially @StarlingJFF: I wrote some notes about the srtudents’ work here in Messina. They are in English only, for now.


A couple of follow ups on the local press:

Alberto in action, taken from LetteraEmme website

Lettera Emme

Stampa Libera