September 17, 2023 18:00
…maybe we cannot know the real reason why we are crying.
Maybe we do not cry about, but rather near or around.
Maybe all our explanations are stories constructed after the fact. (Heather Christle, The Crying Book)
As Alfonso di Nola writes in La Morte Trionfata, mourning is the set of social practices and psychic processes aroused by the death of a loved one. In the past mourning was an aspect of social life, a complex system of shared gestures and tears which, through defined codes and ritual practices, allowed the individual to express pain with the support of the community.
Today, in an atomized society, mourning has lost its community dimension to become an individual condition; the human being finds himself alone in front of a ‘naked’ death, a death devoid of the cultural and relational aspect which it had maintained for centuries. There is no longer the cultural institution of a funeral rite that allow you to overcome grief by elevating it, through the symbol, to a meta-historical level. There is no longer a community which can help you to process the pain.
And yet, we constantly experience the death of someone or something, the losses are so close, numerous and varied – just think of the recent pandemic, the wars, the shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea – that mourning becomes an existential condition, almost a sense of widespread melancholy which, although present, cannot be elaborated.
The only possible reaction is crying. And then we cry unmotivated tears, as if mourning were an inevitable state of existence.
Thus, apparently for no reason, the five performers of Stuporosa cry, giving life to a crying that takes on various nuances, now held back, now suffocated, now it becomes music, now it flows into hope, now it becomes a song tracing the sounds of an ancient Salento funeral lament.