Back in 2009, we had the pleasure to host video maker Francesco Cincotta (UK) and his partner Ariane Braillard (CH) in Residency at Palazzo Rinaldi. During this stay, Francesco developed a collaboration with neighbour and local writer Raffaele Carlomagno focused on the family history of the Palazzo, which led to the filming of one of Raffaele’s original poems, Alla Casa della Comare (At the Comare‘s House).
A Comare (or Cumpare for males) is a southern Italian term to describe female family acquaintances and neighbours and has shades of both respect and affection. In this case, the Comare of the title is Donna Candida Calabrese, our great-aunt, who lived at Palazzo Rinaldi and was well known for her work in the local parish, her love of books, her warmth and welcome.
The poem describes some of Raffaele’s childhood memories of Palazzo Rinaldi, spent with Candida Calabrese reading and chatting on the terrace. The poem is entirely in a very musical rhyming Nojese (Noepoli dialect) and is shot entirely at Palazzo Rinaldi and its surrounds.
Like Raffaele, I also remember how the door would always be open, somebody always knocking or peering in looking for a chat with Zia Candida at the kitchen table. We hope that her welcoming spirit is still honoured today at Palazzo Rinaldi, where that same door is now open to residents from around the world.
Video & editing: Francesco Cincotta
Poetry & voiceover: Raffaele Carlomagno