Giulio Pitroso – 3rd prize of the literary contest “A Sea of Words” 2017

My story is called ‘Pizza Kebab’ and it comes from the union of two very important elements in the culinary patrimony of Italian, Arab and Turkish culture. It’s inspired by a very famous rap song by a known Italian-Tunisian rapper called “Ghali” But in general we could say that ‘Pizza Kebab’ is the union between these two cultures, the new generations, the second generation Italians… There is this Italian boy that converts into Islam and ends up being a terrorist, There is also the media, the police, and how do they relate to the the neighbourhood. They create a clear problem to the criminal business system, and not only to Mafia groups, but to low-level criminals as well. It is a short story, it is very harsh, written, somehow in slang. It also has a cultural approach, It is close to the sub-urban culture, especially to hip hop and trap music, and also to marginalized neighbourhoods, where the ethical code is completely different. There is this general idea that young people don’t do anything, that they are not interested. In fact, especially in the south of Italy, in Sicily, the youth unemployment is very high. This is a very serious problem, they end up being discriminated, but in general the situation is dreadful, terrible. Us (Italians), contrary to young Catalan people, we don’t take part in political matters. We have a total lack of interest, we are very arrogant, let’s say we have a disgraceful attitude of disinterest… We bury our heads in the sand. Maybe somehow this is our fault, because we haven’t done anything to change this And Italian boys and girls should move and do something, make themselves be heard by their governments, not only through demonstrations but also with an everyday and widespread activism, My experience here has been great. I think it is a magnificent contest, not because of the numbers or the international notoriety, but because of the spirit put in it. And mainly for trying to create networks within the cultural arena, because all these people here are not only writers, or young writers. They are also activists, people that have wider interests that go beyond writing Let’s say they are part of a new class of engaged intellectuals, very new and very interesting. It’s been a productive meeting.

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