many young people of my generation in the Italy of the 70s-perhaps in contrast
to Germany-an engagement with the 'authentic' and original folk culture was a
political responsibility which went alongside a rejection of the petty bourgeois
cultural levelling prevalent at the time. It was also seen as politically important
to re-discover the villages and those few people still living there who were the
last witnesses to this rural culture.
almost thirty years later this ancient culture has merged with the modern Zeitgeist
and Tarantella, until recently practiced only by a practically forgotten minority
of local musicians, has become a mass phenomenon across southern Italy. Putting
aside for a moment the negative aspects of all mass phenomena, above all the risk
of destroying the very essence of the culture, this demonstrates at the very least
a desperate search for a strong identity, widespread across generations and geographical
differences in Italy, which is driving people from all corners of the peninsula
to search for an authentic feeling for life in the South of Italy.