Comrade Sante Notarnicola died last Monday at the age of 82. Portrait of a bandit, revolutionary and poet.
Last night we were informed about the loss of Sante Notarnicola, a news that left us speechless in the crude reality of someone who goes away on tiptoes, leaving a human, personal and political void that makes so much noise. Sante, described as a bandit, robber, former terrorist, murderer, writer, poet, was first of all Sante.
After 28 years in prison and 5 years of semi-freedom, Sante has retaken his life in hand in the city of Bologna, with many difficulties that a former prisoner may face. The political consciousness that Sante has had since he was a child has been consolidated in that non-place called prison, fighting numerous battles within that institution that he has opposed, challenged and fought until the end. The same Sante who has never left the path of struggle, committing himself to keep the memory alive, almost as if it was a field where he could sow new struggles, new visions of justice and freedom. Because beyond catchphrases, without memory there is no basis on which a future can be built.
And so, yes, we have had the opportunity to know Sante in numerous versions and in different moments of our and his life. Sante the “bandit”, Sante the prisoner, Sante the poet, Sante the ex-convict, Sante stripped as a human being, Sante re-dressed for a fake return to society. And in spite of everything, the constant lucidity, the coherence, the ability of political and human analysis on the events concerning his own life and on today’s reality of a world on which it is still possible to bet, in which it is still worth to fight.
It is this that perhaps Sante left us more than anything else and that make him a companion we will continue to love, respect and remember.
“It’s time to give yourself a blueprint for the day so that you can hold up the vault of heaven. It remains to be seen how to sustain all the blue.”