The Centre Alberto Manzi
The Centre Alberto Manzi is financed by the Legislative Assembly of the Emilia-Romagna Region, the Ministry of Communication, the Ministry of Public Instruction, the Department of Educational Sciences of the University of Bologna and Rai, thanks to a declaration of consent.
The Centre is formed to divulge the figure and the work of the teacher Alberto Manzi through the analysis of his work as an educator, writer and author of radio-television programmes. Ten years from his death his work still offers strong innovative stimulations to the ones who work in the field of education, television and new media, as well as in the social field and cultural integration.
Who didn’t hear talking about the TV programme “Non è mai troppo tardi? (It’s never too late)”, that from 1959 until 1968 taught writing and reading to at least one million of Italians? Who didn’t know this tall, well-mannered gentleman drawing with the crayon on the blackboard? Everyone remembers and knows him: the teacher Manzi. Or they believe to know him.
In reality Alberto Manzi remained “hidden” from the big publicity of his first TV programme. He was a teacher for/in television and for/in the radio, as well as screenwriter and director, prison teacher, for almost 40 years school teacher, teacher between illiterate indios and campesinos in South America, teacher of Italian for immigrants (“Insieme”, 1992), writer of great success, specially of books for children and young people, translator, researcher, major of Pitigliano (Grosseto)…
Graduated in Biology, Psychology and Pedagogy, other than teacher, “Distance Instructor” and precursor in the utilization of the radio-television as a tool, Manzi has always felt engaged in the constant research of an effective didactical methodology.
1981 he will be dismissed from teaching for having refused to fill-out the evaluation forms of the pupils asked by the Ministry. He doesn’t want to effectuate an action that he thinks of as adversarial to the interests of the youngster. He will answer with a mark: He does what he can, what he can’t he doesn’t do. Thought, words, colours, music and play itself can become tools of revolutionary changing, in school, books and reality of South America, when they facilitate the knowledge of an “Other”: “Every Other is me, do you understand? Every Other is me.”
“In the deep he was a missionary…” his wife Sonia told. A missionary as a school teacher, as an educator through radio and television, as a writer of school books, stories, fairy-tales, romances for young people and adults, as a teacher of life, but above all – a word that would please him – as a man.
Centro Manzi’s objectives are:
· To collect in one place all the documentary and archival material that belonged to or was produced by Manzi.
· Enrich through time the archive with the gathering of new publications of editorial or audiovisual materials of his vast production, of studies about his work or inspired on it.
· To promote cultural and formative initiatives, addressed in particular to teachers, educators, cultural operators.
· To put on circuit the exposition “Alberto Manzi. Storia di un maestro”/ “Alberto Manzi. Story of a teacher.”
· To constitute a referring point for educational and didactical research, for educational communication, specially new media
· To project, also in collaboration with other institutions, initiatives around these themes
· To organize the award “Premio Alberto Manzi” for educational communication
Alberto Manzi. Story of a Teacher.
Produced by the festival of Philosophy Modena, Carpi and Sassuolo it intends to reconstruct the “all round” figure of Alberto Manzi. It does, through the materials of the archive of the centre that has his name and those, loan by his wife Sonia Bondi: manuscripts and typewritten texts published and unpublished; layouts and press proofs of publications; schoolbooks, lecture books, diaries, fairy-tales, stories and romances translated all over the world; original coloured boards, manifests, records, newspaper cut-outs, parts of the most famous broadcasts; theoretical writings and speeches, personal letters and of fans from all over the world, photographs and personal objects…All these materials contributed to the research and results of the laboratory of Alberto Manzi “teacher of knowledge”. Knowledge understood as education to thought, freedom and liberation for oneself and the others.
Behavioural teaching, cognitive tension, addressed to habits that generate passivity, stupidity and egoism are only some of the words, that outline his strategies of cognitive colonisation.