While waiting for bus n. 12 you can read a piece of "A Blind Man Sings To His City" by the Bosnian poet Abdulah Sidran. Here's the whole poem:
A Blind man sings to his City The rain stops. Now from the drains, From the attics, from under the floorboards Of the shattered homes in the suburbs Oozes the stench of the corpses Of mice. I walk seeking No special meaning in this. A blind man, To whom it has been given to see Only what others don't. This Makes up for my deprivation: in the south wind That touches me I recognise the voices Of those who left this city. As if they were crying. There, scent of the linden trees, close. I know The bridge is near, where my step and my stick Will ring differently - more light In the sound.There, now, right by my ear Two flies mate in the air. It will be scorching hot again Bodies Brush past me,hot Smelling of bed, smelling of lust. I walk muttering To God, as if He were beside me: 'Surely nobody in this city Better than me - better than me, God, To whom you have given never to see The face he loves.' (Ted Hughes, Selected Translations)
The "Kaiserlich Königliche Staats Gewerbe Schule", now the "Alessandro Volta" Technical Institute, was established in 1887 and was one of thirty-six Industrial schools in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The photo shows a detail of the new school premises in Via Monte Grappa.
It was on a cold winter's day in January that I gave you a brief outline of the story of Pedocin (1-2), showing you the women's side when it was completely deserted. Here is a summer shot I took from a boat.
An anguished memory of the Hotel Balkan events (see yesterday's post) is narrated by Giani Stuparich (Trieste, 1981 - Rome, 1961) in "Trieste nei miei ricordi". "I'll never forget that summer afternoon in 1920 when the Balkan was set on fire. [...] In the tragic spectacle of that afternoon I sensed something appalling: the boundaries of that square opened the way to a deadly vision of decay and ruin, as if something much more ghastly than war itself was threatening the foundations of our civilization [...]. The fascists were responding to the cruel events of Split, where officers of the Italian ship Puglia had been beaten up and Gulli, the commanding officer, had been fatally wounded. I had believed that a civilized country had higher aims than that of being violent with even more arbitrary violence, blindly hitting out at innocent people in order to punish the offenders and making a whole nation responsible for the insane acts of only a few of its members. If the Balkan was actually a den of conspirators and Slavic murderers, as was alleged afterwards to justify "the people's anger", if it really was a threat to the quiet city life, couldn't a governor with all the legal powers and local police at his disposal, have expurgated it and made it harmless? But the truth was that violence, as a brutal method, was in the soul and in the intentions of a group of men that tended to leave the confused mass in order to seize the State power".
Narodni Dom (National House), also known among the Italians as the Hotel Balkan, is a building in Piazza Oberdan constructed in 1904 to a design by architect Max Fabiani.
Now it hosts the Scuola Superiore per Interpreti e Traduttori di Trieste. In the past it has hosted a theatre, a hotel, a bank, a restaurant, a cafè and it used to be the cultural centre of Triestine Slovenians.
During the 1920s and 1930s the Slavic population was subjected to forced Italianization and discrimination under the Italian Fascist regime. They were also exposed to state sponsored violence by fascist party mobs.
On July 13 1920, the fascist squads burnt down the building and prevented the fire brigade from putting the fire out, while the people inside the building were jumping out of the windows to flee from the blaze.
The Forum ("foro" in Italian) was the public space in the middle of a Roman city. A gathering place of great social significance, it was often the scene of diverse activities, including political discussions, meetings, et cetera (wiki). Times changed and our Foro Ulpiano, facing the courthouse, is now a car park.