The cities of Palermo and Verona are the protagonists of the two winning works of the “Adopt an Italian UNESCO site” contest for students organized by the Inserra Chair.
The contest was open to Montclair State University students of all disciplines along with high school students in New Jersey. Both groups responded enthusiastically with a variety of audiovisual works celebrating the artistic and cultural beauty of Italy and the efforts of UNESCO in protecting this unique cultural and natural heritage (Italy has the largest number of UNESCO sites n the world). A jury of professors and experts in filmmaking, Claudio Napoli, Massimo Mascolo, Lisa Raven, and Beverly Peterson, selected the winners after careful consideration of the works submitted.
Emma Rush (major in Italian and International Justice) is the winner for the MSU category, with an insightful work on Arab-Norman monuments of Palermo, Monreale and Cefalu’, recently declared world patrimony by UNESCO. Her work utilizes an innovative tool to combine images with narrative, and emphasizes how these sites exemplify cultural diversity in artistic creativity. This is especially topical at a time of increasing multiculturalism in Italy.
“Persi in Verona” is the title of the winning video for the High School category, created by a team of young students of Italian, Chloe Serena, Greyson Gerdts, Alexander Fulchini, and Gianmarco Calzone, taking a AP Italian class at James Caldwell High School taught by Lisa Manfre`. The script reveals a fresh quality — it is in Italian and adopts a basic “greenback” technique to creatively simulate the experience of visiting a UNESCO site like the city of Verona as students of Italian.
Special mentions were given in both categories to Oscar Guevara Perez, Italian minor at MSU, for his commented slideshow on the UNESCO site of the Amalfi Coast, and to Luca Celentano, Cresskill High School, for the video “Ferrara: City of the Renaissance and its Po Delta.”