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From America to Messina to read Rosa Polistreri

From the University of Houston (Texas) to the University of Messina to tell a new generation about the incredible life, interpret and translate the songs of the Sicilian folk singer into English. Rosa palisteri. He is 25 years old and an independent researcher who received a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to develop his research project titled “To Sing and Recount”.

is called Amanda Pascali Arriving in Sicily thanks to a link project signed by the University of Messina by the Department of Ancient and Modern Civilizations, he was welcomed by Mauro Gerasi, an ordinary professor of anthropology interested in folk music.

To Sing and Recount, which means Canta e Gunta in Sicilian, Canta e Racconta in Italian, is a project to translate and make known to new generations the Sicilian songs of Rosa Balistreri: one of the first Italian women to denounce social injustice with words. contained in the lyrics of his songs. These songs tell true stories and experiences related to various social challenges. Bilingual researcher and songwriter Amanda Pascali, a Fulbright Scholar from Texas, will be translated and sung in English for the first time. Apart from the translations, this research will try to highlight the stories of today’s people (immigrants, workers, women, young musicians) who somehow relate to the stories told by Rosa Balistreri in her songs to prove universal and great. news. In recent days, Dr. Amanda Pascali went to Licata, the city where Rosa Palisteri was born and lived, where she met and interviewed another professor at the University of Messina, Professor Francesco Piera, Sociology Associate and Rector’s Delegate of Communication. A young journalist, the singer Rosa Balistreri, takes him to her places to better understand her personality and history.

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Amanda Pascali is a songwriter born in New York and raised in Houston. The daughter of two immigrants, one of whom was deported from his country and landed in the United States as a refugee. In addition to research, Amanda writes songs that tell the story of her immigrant family in the United States and her global journey in search of national and regional identity. Her compositions have been performed at the Kennedy Center, the Kerville Folk Festival and in various parts of the world (Italy, Romania and Norway), where she has performed solo and with her ensemble. In 2021, Amanda Pascali was named “Musician of the Year” by the most important Texas newspaper (Houston Chronicle) and now, at just 25 years old, she is the holder of a Fulbright scholarship and has been able to implement it. Thanks to the support of the US government and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a very creative project by Rosa Polistreri in collaboration with the University of Messina. He recently recorded a new CD titled “La Mezaguera”. She sings with her husband of 30 years, Addison Freeman, a classically trained multi-instrumentalist from Central Texas who, at a young age, played viola in country music bands, Texan folk bands and her school band. For twenty years, he has toured the United States playing cello with groups such as Riverside (folk), and Sweet Shine and Honey (country/bluegrass). Now he goes with his wife, Amanda Pascali, a young researcher and songwriter.

The Fulbright Commission, which awards scholarships like the one Amanda Pascali received, promotes academic exchanges between Italy and the United States by awarding scholarships to Italian and American citizens for study, research, and teaching opportunities at American campuses and Italian universities. Fulbright scholarships are awarded to undertake postgraduate professional programs, research stays and teaching periods at universities and research centers in Italy and the United States. More than 8,000 Fulbright fellows have crossed the Atlantic since 1948. Top names in the fields of science, economics, politics, literature, communication and the arts are among those who have benefited from our scholarships at the start of their careers.

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Through a Fulbright scholarship, Amanda Pascali will try to transfer important parts of Sicilian folk music to new generations, trying to pass on knowledge. “I am a daughter of the Internet, I learned the story of Rosa Polistreri through the network and it immediately seemed to me a Netflix series. That is why I wrote the project and presented it, and I am very happy to retrace the steps of Rosa Polistreri. To Professor Gerasi and Professor Piara of the University of Messina for their help and support in this project. I thank you. I learned to love Sicily, it’s very welcoming people. I really rediscovered what Rosa was saying. It makes me happy as an American to show the pride of this female singer.

Popular song in Sicily is a socio-cultural archive of peoples dominated by Normans, Greeks, Arabs and Spaniards. The artist Rosa Balistreri is known not only for retrieving texts from ancient memory, but above all for reinterpreting them by updating them to her cultural context. To understand Rosa one cannot ignore her biography. Her songs are the cries of a woman born in a scorched land, who wants to wash away the sorrow and pain.

“You can be involved in politics, you can protest in a thousand ways, I sing. But I’m not a singer… I’m different, let’s say an activist who leads rallies with a guitar”. Born on March 21, 1927 in Licata, the great storyteller, Rosa Balistreri liked to define herself as “an enthusiast with a guitar.”

Her life was cut short on that tragic September 20, 1990, when a stroke killed her during a concert in Calabria.

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