Südtirol / Alto Adige

Once the civil rules for living together in a good way are established, everyone feels good”, I read in a book on republicanism and therefore on the constitution. Even if then the very person who theorized this idea realized that something is missing, that is to say that the theme of belonging is also linked to passions, emotions and that the correct establishing of and respect for rules is perhaps in the end not enough. That political scientist looked at South Tyrol as a territory where there is a surplus of identity-building cement and viewed this “cement” as being made up of the environment itself, in the defense of the natural patrimony, seen as the element spurring on identification and belonging. Indeed I believe that the latter can, as a profound part of the territory, be claimed as part of identity, obviously in a way which focuses less on ethnic-identifying in a strained fashion and instead adopts a much more civic and civil approach.
Giorgio Mezzalira, Stammtisch II, 27.10.2010


I have like the feeling that we have a bit of a tendency to distance ourselves, and a certain fear of being at the centre of something. It can happen that I get the symptoms of a complex of uneasiness too, and as a result I assume an attitude of distancing myself from this reality, even though it’s not the correct thing to do. I believe that all things considered we like a dimension where there are borders, because it gives us the sensation that we are always on the edge of something else. Magris (editor’s note Claudio Magris) too, in Microcosmi, in the paragraph dealing with Antholz chides those with a fixation, a “fetishism” about the border; it is what led many South Tyrolean scholars and Kaser (editor’s note Norbert Conrad Kaser) himself, to make a show of the move from one language to the other thus in the end emphasizing the border instead of overcoming it. It reminds me a lot of Langer’s (editor’s note Alexander Langer) criticism of that attitude of crossing the “ethnic” frontier not to demolish it, but to underline it, often playing the roles and mimicking the characters of the other culture.
Valentino, Liberto, Stammtisch III, 30.10.2010


Because the “Italian” who comes from far away, from areas near the border, doesn’t ask himself the question about his ethnic or linguistic self and therefore about an “us” linked to a Gemeinschaft (editor’s note community) and a territory; perhaps, in this sense he doesn’t even pose the question about his own “id”. The “Italian” who arrives here sees the linguistic groups – German, Italian, Ladino, - and perceives himself “forced” to “define himself”, to give himself an identity “ad hoc” which he wouldn’t otherwise feel the need to give. This is not necessarily negative, but it is difficult; and at the least it is symptomatic of how this reality has potential and blocks. That’s it, the feeling of a blocked space, defined by patterns which are created and re-created from time to time.
Guest, Stammtisch III, 30.10.2010


But careful: what does “South Tyrolean” mean, what does “Italian” mean…? Martina is South Tyrolean, she is a native Italian speaker…
Bianca Elzenbaumer, Stammtisch III, 30.10.2010


I feel annoyed, but with stupid people…Here in South Tyrol the problem is all about the ethno-linguistic groups, or rather first linguistic, then ethnic, which have become tools of power and forced to remain such in order to guarantee the usual dividing up of jobs and wealth. It’s a paradoxical problem of politics here, that has to maintain the separation of the groups in order to maintain the dividing up of the resources…
Guest, Stammtisch III, 30.10.2010