Cristiano Zingale – Reriate

Cristiano Zingale – Reriate

Certainly few have heard or know the history of Reriate.

Reriate is a very small fraction of a town in the Milan hinterland, completely evacuated following the armistice proclamation of Badoglio on 8 September 1943.

Only after a few years, people began to return again, giving life to one of the most brilliant examples, without equal, of hospitality and preservation of the past, of everything that had escaped the bombings.

In Reriate time seems to have stopped decades ago, there is no pub, but only carefully preserved bars, there is no multiplex, but many cinemas where people still go as they once did.

There are no modern cars whizzing by, but cars that are already considered machines… and then the old post office, the old cemetery and the old post-war architecture.

But all this is not true! Reriate does not exist! Reriate is a simple anagram

The anagram of a nation that rises to prominence only in the case of landings of illegal immigrants on the Italian coasts or when it comes to forgotten conflicts in the world.

But Eritrea is not only this and for those who have not forgotten it, it has a very deep bond with Italy.

Since 1890 Eritrea has been one of the few Italian colonies, the capital Asmara, nicknamed the little Rome of Africa, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017 and both every place and every corner are a continuous reminder of the golden years of the colonial period.

These images are those of an Africa that you do not expect and that seem to clash with those of the refugees who are leaving the nation.

These are images that could lead a reader to wonder why this mass flight, not knowing in truth that Eritrea is one of the most militarized countries in Africa, under special surveillance by the UN, where freedom of the press has been abolished and in fact there is a perennial compulsory military service for citizens.

All this exists in Eritrea nowadays, but Reriate unfortunately does not.

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