little children and little chairs were the only thing
he cared about. Holding tight to this made breathing almost possible. His world contained only sweet things. He tried to keep loud and sharp away. But his world was shrinking. Of course neighbors loved him and his growing assembly of little chairs, they smiled to him or “Salve” to him but did not stay long. Children came often to him to watch him sanding a chair or listening to him while singing wild and sometimes tears flowed. One day it was silent and the door closed. Never ever the parade of little chairs enchanted passengers anymore. Nobody knew what went wrong but Gino wasn’t here anymore.
“the boy was only 13 maybe 14 shorts and thin legs pale like the wall his hat skew. the break was short his backpack bigger than himself no brother to go along no mother to stroke his hair. I believe one second he saw me strangers touching and he went on leaving me with ages of distance apart.”
A boy has been killed .. Gianni is dead. Probably killed by another group of boys, young same age. Napoli has very harsh problems. Criminality under young boys is still there. This is the football square he used to play with his friends and his brother. They still play football there, almost every sunny day. His little brother shows me the monument on the right to remember Gianni .. Gianni lives. He is with Maradonna giving Napoli the 3rd championship. Napoli is one big blue-white plastic party. Life and death closely connected.
When young people have no idea what to do with their life, when school is not really working for them, when at home nobody is a good role model, when your needs are not recognized, when the future is not a rose garden .. then somebody can fall into the darkness of criminality. Young gangs in Naples walk around to find a victim to rob and sometimes it goes totally wrong. An accidental bullet can end a life like the life of Gianni, only 15yr young .. everybody sad but what can we do, really do to end this? What is it we must change? Where to start? I bring my students to the square where it happened and we talk about this tragic story .. and we create something new and hopeful out of it. We transform bad into good and we hope more people follow.